Race Report: Battle of the Bridge – Round 4

A beautiful morning at Heffron Park for the final round of the Battle of the Bridge series for 2017. Heading into the round the leaderboard looked as follows:

Club Points
Northern Sydney 26
SUVelo 20
Manly Warringah 15
Randwick Botany 13
Central Coast 6
Easts 0

Northern Sydney were well placed to retain the title they won last year. With only six points the difference, SUVelo was the only real threat to Northern Sydney’s chances. One of these clubs would be crowned champion and take home the illustrious Battle of the Bridge trophy:

Battle of the Bridge trophy

Given the points gap to third, it would be extremely difficult for the other clubs to really have a shot at top spot. All their racing would be for pride.

The racing started with the Women’s and Men’s C grade races. SUVelo opened up their account with a 1-2 finish from Georgia Whitehouse and Lisa Antill. Randwick Botany’s Sue Henry rounded out the podium. With a big haul of points for SUVelo and NSCC denied any, a real fight for the title was guaranteed.

BotB 2017_R4_W

The sold out C grade race was hotly contested and unfortunately not without incident. A nasty tumble just before the end saw Randwick Botany rider Declan Jones injured. We wish Declan a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him racing as soon as possible.

In what would prove to be the recurring theme of the morning, SUVelo claimed first place thanks to a strong ride from Brendan Hancox. Easts finally secured a podium finish this series with Daniel Corbett in second. Minh Dinh took third to add just one point to NSCC’s tally.

BotB 2017_R4_C

SUVelo by now was the provisional leader in the series. But with the lead so small, meaningful results in either the A or B grade races could see the series win go either way.

The B grade race saw a series of attacks to tire out the bunch. For the most part though the bunch stayed together until the final lap. Mitch Dixon from Manly Warringah opened up the sprint early and looked like he had the result in hand. A late move by Andy Matthews though produced one of the closer finishes we’ve seen at Heffron in a while. Photos and video were reviewed by the commissaire and other interested parties, with Andy Matthews declared the winner. His bike throw was timed perfectly to inch out Mitch for first place. Jason Douglas from RBCC finished third.

BotB 2017_R4_B

A smaller than usual A grade (several regulars were at the NRS Tour of the Great South Coast) was blown apart very quickly, ultimately seeing the grade split across three or four bunches around the circuit. Tacks on the circuit just after the first bend unfortunately ended a couple of riders’ racing too early but otherwise it became clear that the lead group would produce the place getters. Importantly for the series win, three SUVelo riders but only one NSCC rider – Angus Calder – made the selection.

The lead group worked together well for the first half of the race to establish the gap. From here on though, SUVelo’s numerical advantage would be exploited to maximum effect. Moosh Brown did the hard yards and softened up the competition, pushing ahead of the group. Nathan Bonarius and Ben Wray wouldn’t chase him, forcing the others to keep bringing him back.

To finish Ben opened up a long sprint with Nate coming around his wheel to win by a clear margin. Ben finished second with Easts’ John Peppard close behind. Angus missed out on a podium finish, denying NSCC any points in the race.

BotB 2017_R4_A

Four grades. Four SUVelo firsts. With this dominant performance SUVelo proved itself worthy winners of the Battle of the Bridge series for 2017. Northern Sydney’s Archie Wilson presented the trophy to SUVelo Club Captain Stuart Hamilton and Alexis Kaless wrapped up the series.

botb_ceremony

Congratulations and thanks to all the riders of all clubs who participated in and supported the series. No racing happens magically, so hats off to the commissaires, marshalls and other volunteers who organised and managed the races. Thanks for a fun and exciting Battle of the Bridge for 2017. We look forward to defending the title next year.

BotB_champs

Advance screening of All For One

SUVelo is hosting a special pre-release screening of the new Orica GreenEDGE documentary, All For One. And everyone’s invited!

All For One follows the first five years of the GreenEDGE journey. United by their renegade spirit and a determination to win against substantial odds, these riders take on the international circuit. The film offers unique insights into their journey, bearing witness to the ethos of the team as embodied by all – from the strongest to most embattled members. Out of a culture that embraces a deeply human approach to sport, unlikely champions are born, and seemingly improbable team and personal goals are achieved.

Tickets are limited and on sale now. For more information head to our event page.

 

SUVelo riders collect at NSW Team Time Trial Champs

A number of Sydney University Velo Club riders recorded impressive results at Saturday’s NSW Teams Time Trial Championships in Nowra.

The event, dubbed the biggest day in NSW club racing, attracted nearly 500 riders who formed teams of four to race either 40km (one lap) or 80km (two laps) of the Nowra course.

Sydney Uni Velo Club’s Elite Women’s team, SUVelo Super Chicks, made up of Mia-Louise Barry, Gina Ricardo, Georgia Whitehouse and Lisa Antill claimed first place with a time of 1:03:03.52.

Another Sydney Uni Velo Elite Women’s team – the SUVeloritas of Jennifer Darmody, Rae-Anne Hardie, Shahrzad Shahnia and Victoria McNeill, placed third with a time of 1:07:21:45.

2017 NSW TTT Women

The Club’s Elite Men’s team featuring Christopher Miller, Jesse Coyle, Aden Reynolds and Michael Brown placed second, taking home the the silver medal.

Following Saturday’s Team Time Trials was the ‘Ride for Robbie’ Graded Scratch Race.

Hundreds took part in the race from Nowra to Sassafras in honour of local rider Robbie Williams, who sadly passed away on a ride in Canberra five years ago in 2012.

In this event, Sydney Uni Velo Club’s Georgia Whitehouse won the Division 1 Women’s Road Race with a time of 2:03:41.

Daniel Van Der Lan claimed first place in the Division 3 Men’s Road Race and Robert Car won bronze in Division 2.

See the full results from the TTT here and the Road Race here.

(Article courtesy of SUSF)

SUVelo Crits, May 21st

Despite threats of rain, conditions at Heffron Park were absolutely perfect this morning. Some competitive racing across three grades for women and men produced the following results:

Mens A
1st Jesse Coyle – SUVelo
2nd Nate Bonarius – SUVelo
3rd Chris Miller – SUVelo
Prime Mathieu Bremaud – RBCC

Mens B
1st Stuart Hamilton – SUVelo
2nd Matthew Spence – RBCC
3rd Ben De Groot – Easts
Prime Stuart Hamilton – SUVelo

Mens C
1st & Prime Bradley Bird – Parklife CC
2nd Ian Schmidt – SUVelo
3rd Cameron Butchard – MWCC

Womens A
1st Nadia Younan – SCC
2nd Maddy Beevors – SUVelo

Womens B
1st Amanda Burdett – Manning Valley
2nd & Prime Julie-Anne Hazlett – Manning Valley
3rd Caitlin Wallace – Manning Valley

Womens C
1st Alice Clayton – CNSW

Thanks to everyone who came down to join in the action. Particular thanks to Andrew Duggan, Brett McLeod, Emlyn Simpson and Jane Ritchard for their help in organising and running the day’s races.

President’s Annual Report

With the Sydney Uni Velo Club AGM only a week away I thought it a good time to reflect over the past year and the year ahead.

2016 finished in emphatic style with SUVelo being awarded the 2016 NSW Road Premiership by Cycling NSW.  That is back to back titles for SUVelo and shows that SUVelo is clearly the dominant road racing club in NSW.  These awards are a testament to the men and women who regularly pin on a number and compete for the club around NSW and Australia.  As an established and well recognised road cycling club, SUVelo enjoys a solid reputation as a safe, competitive, welcoming and developmental club, catering for the interests of road cyclists of all abilities.

There are some induvial achievements that need to be recognised and 2016 was a break out year for Jessie Coyle who only started racing in 2015.  Jesse achieved a silver medal at the NSW State title for the individual time trial.  Our men’s racing squad also achieved a hard-fought silver medal at the NSW Club Teams Time Trial at Nowra.  The men’s squad was expertly captained by Chris Miller who himself had a strong season with numerous top 30 results in the National Road Series including a very strong performance in the Grafton to Inverell and the Tour of Tasmania.  Chris recently won L’Étape Australia and the 2017 NSW Master’s Road Race and Individual Time Trial for his age category.  Other noticeable racing performances that cannot go unheralded include Jesse Morley’s NSW road race title, Moosh Brown Master’s criterium title and Nate Bonarius for like…everything.

Ella Scanlon-Boor showed why she is one of the brightest talents in women’s racing on the national scene at the moment with a strong win in the women’s road race at the Australian University Games in Perth.  Robert Carr was in the right place at the right time to take a well-deserved second place at the same games in the men’s road race.  This event remains one of the club’s key focal points and an important date on our competition calendar.

The club has refocussed its racing efforts this year with an emphasis on racing at a club level.  We have created the Racing@SUVelo program which aims to create a collaborative and supported program for our members to race, learn skills and come together.  This program has been expertly run by Nate Bonarius who has provided mentoring and skills support to allow people to become racers or grow in their racing pursuits.  Top end high level racing is still important to the club and whilst the club itself is no longer running a mens and women’s team this year, we have partnered with two great teams to provide a strong link to the highest level of domestic racing and to provide a pathway for club mates who wish to compete at these top levels.  On the men’s side we have partnered with NERO Racing in their inaugural year as an NRS team and on the women’s side we have partnered with the NSWIS Sydney University team who are competing at an NRS level and proudly flew the flag at the World Tour level at the Santos Tour Down Under this year.

SUVelo had the good fortune to maintain very strong sponsor support in 2016 and it is the generosity of these sponsors that underpins SUVelo’s ongoing development and success. Our sponsors Slater and Gordon Lawyers, The Malaya, Sports Focus Physiotherapy, Staminade, A’qto, Turbo Studio and Pave the Way have all made valuable contributions in 2016.  The role and support of the Sydney University Sports Federation cannot by understated, their commitment to the club is second to none and we are proud to wear the University lion on our jersey.

The club’s social side is just as important as the riding and the club organised a series of stellar event for its member and supporters.  The highlight of which was hosting Australian Olympians Rachel Neylan and Richie Porte at the SUVelo President’s dinner at the Malaya restaurant in November.

2016 was another successful year of growth for SUVelo, building upon its solid performance-based ethos of which SUVelo is proud and from which we can work to further enhance the reputation and rewards for our club.  I would like to thank the SUVelo committee for their efforts over the past year. Without them none of this would have been possible.  I am blessed to work with such a great group of people who sacrifice their time to make our sport and our club better.

Andrew Duggan
President

 

SUVelo Crits, April 30th

Great conditions for racing this morning at Heffron, apart from a very brief shower during the first round of races. We had good numbers across the grades, apart from Women’s A as they’re all down racing at the Canberra Women’s Tour.

We also had a few first-timers, with both of our Women’s C riders making their debuts after coming to our Come & Try Day last week, which was great to see. Both looked comfortable in a combined B & C bunch.

Thanks to Andrew Duggan as Commissaire, to Danny Roberts-Clarke and Yash Budhraja as marshals and to everyone else who came along to race. Hope you all enjoyed yourselves and we’ll see you again next month.

Next race: May 21st!

20170430WomenC

Women’s C-Grade

  1. Fiona Bennett (Rapha CC)
  2. Amber Bidwell (Rapha CC)

 

20170430WomenB

Women’s B-Grade

  1. Amanda Burdett (Cheeky Velosport) +prime
  2. Caitlin Wallis (Cheeky Velosport)
  3. Kelly Stanton (Cheeky Velosport)

 

20170430MenC

Men’s C-Grade

  1. Peter Cridland (Southern Cross CC) + prime
  2. Adnan Al Debet (Sydney Uni Velo)
  3. Paul Curjak (Sydney Uni Velo)

 

20170430MenB

Men’s B-Grade

  1. Jesse Morley (Sydney Uni Velo)
  2. Paraic Hogan (Sydney Uni Velo)
  3. Michael Elias (Parklife CC)

Prime: Mark Eedle (LACC)

 

20170430MenA

Men’s A-Grade

  1. Nash Kent (Parklife CC)
  2. Luke Cridland (St. George CC)
  3. Jonathan Cridland (St. George CC)

Prime: Jeremy Hopson (Bicisport)

SUVelo Crits – March 5th

After a week of pretty ordinary weather, it was touch and go as to whether we’d be able to race or not. Every other race around Sydney got rained out this weekend, but we got lucky. The track was dry and, after some hard work by Rob Even, Jane Ritchard, Darren Russell and Georg Bienert we had the green light to race.

Numbers were down across all grades, particularly the Women – no doubt partly due to the weather and clashes with the Orange Challenge and the Tolland Classic in Wagga Wagga. Men’s C, Women’s A & B had the best of the dry track, with light showers returning towards the end of their races. Men’s A & B had a damp track but further rain held off.

Thanks to all who took a gamble on the weather and came down to pin a number on, to Rob Even, Jane Ritchard and Georg Bienert for marshalling duties and to Nic Martin as Commissaire.

Next Race: March 26th. See you then, hopefully with blue skies!

Note: we’re going to change the race times again as we try to settle on a format that makes it easier for new riders to get started in the lower grades, so double-check the event details on Facebook in the week before the race!

20170305WomenB

Women’s B-Grade

  1. Renee Simon (Parklife)
  2. Claire Carroll (Sydney Uni Velo)

 

20170305WomenA

Women’s A-Grade

  1. Gina Ricardo (Sydney Uni Velo)

 

20170305MenC

Men’s C-Grade

  1. Jesse Morley (Sydney Uni Velo)
  2. Evan Stilwell (Sydney Uni Velo)
  3. Paul Curjak (Sydney Uni Velo)

 

20170305MenB

Men’s B-Grade

  1. Evan Haugh (Rapha
  2. Johnny Ryan (Sydney Uni)
  3. Dan d’Auvergne Massie (Rapha)

 

20170305MenA

Men’s A-Grade

  1. Nathan Bonarius (Sydney Uni Velo)
  2. Jeremy Hopson (Bicisport)
  3. Michael Brown (Sydney Uni Velo)

 

Just Another Race – Tour Down Under 2017

NSWIS-Sydney Uni is our Women’s NRS team run in partnership with the NSW Insitute of Sport. This is the first year of the partnership and we had an official team launch while down in Adelaide for the TDU. Three of our ladies are on the squad of 10; Gina Ricardo, Emma Coral Roberts and Holly Hawtin. We’ll hear from each of them throughout the season with looks inside the life of a racer at the top level in Australia. Gina is first up with her experiences riding the Tour Down Under. Over to you Gina! (DR)

Hey there, it’s Gina from the women’s race team recapping my experience at TDU. It was a bit of a whirlwind to get there, but we eventually did, on a new bike 3 days before racing – there’s no better way to test new wheels than in a world-class field!

TDU is always a highlight of the year for me, whether it’s racing or being a spectator/fan girl! It’s always amazing to see so many cyclists together for one big week of cycling and racing. I love how you can walk down the street and bump into someone that you know. There’s that real sense of community.

The women’s race has gotten bigger year-on-year. The first year I raced it in 2015 it was part of the NRS, with Wiggle and Orica the only international representing teams. Last year was the first year it was a UCI race with a good number of international teams, but this year the field was an even bigger step up with 10 international women’s teams lining up on the start line, and a few lucky domestic teams including our very own NSWIS-Sydney Uni.

Part of the reason we were able to get a start was because we had the likes of experienced pro and all-round legend Lauren Kitchen (WM3 Cycling – Marianna Vos’ team this year) and Ash Ankudinoff (Olympian & Team Pursuit world champ) riding with us. Lauren finished a definitive 4th overall on GC, so let’s just say we were very fortunate to have her and her experience for the race! It was unreal to have her around and hear her take on the race and tactics before/after stages. One of the great things about Aussie cycling is that our season is out of whack to the Euros – so we are fortunate that we get to have all the pros come back over summer and ride, train and race with us.

As for the race… In terms of the atmosphere, the amount of people cheering, the level of talent in the field, the organisation – there’s no better race throughout the year. In terms of the race course – for the punter like myself who’s trying to work & train – the shorter distances suit me – but for the international teams that fly out all the way to Australia – the stages are quite short with two, one hour criteriums counting as full stages… What it means is plenty of time for a coffee roll to the beach and relaxed day before those stages (my favourite part)… and some fast and hard racing! Our average speed for stage 2 was 44km/h and for stage 4, 42km/h. It felt as hectic as Tuesday night Heffron does when A/B/C all come together at once. Hectic! Packed in, shoulder to shoulder (or in my case as a short person head to shoulder) with the pros, just hanging on to maintain position… All we could really tell ourselves was that the rest of the year should be a breeze compared to the TDU criteriums! As for the two road races – it’s a shame that we don’t get to share some of the more iconic roads of Adelaide with our international visitors – like Gorge Rd, Norton Summit, Greenhill Rd. The course this year was more like a rolling West Head course with a few flat bits in between interspersed with a couple of longer drags. But no Willungas or Norton Summits. It was enough to weedle out the best and it was definitely hard racing (especially in 38 degrees!), but the course this year didn’t really meet up to 2015 where we raced up Corkscrew then down Gorge Rd. As horrible as ‘race’ and ‘corkscrew’ sound in the one sentence, it was an experience I’ll remember – whereas this year’s course won’t really have as many memorable moments, apart from almost being knocked off my bike by Kirsten Wild’s hips (they were level with my forearms) as she was making her way through the bunch. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, I just want to be realistic. I’m hoping (like we all are) that as the race develops it’ll grow bigger and better – hopefully not too big that our local teams won’t be able to have the opportunity to ride – but bigger to better mirror the men’s race. But just to have it is a massive win for women’s racing in Australia.

It was the first time our team had ridden together & for some of us, met each other. We had a great time and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Being on the team is unreal. We had an amazing support crew that made us feel like we were pros – I guess for four days we were. Thanks to the team at NSWIS for making it happen and to SUVelo. I’m not sure what’s next yet. A few of us are racing Oceanias in Canberra in a week or so, and we then have a team camp hosted at Brad McGee’s Estate in the Kangaroo Valley late March – so looking forward to those two adventures for the near future! All the best, and looking forward to a ride or coffee soon.

SUVelo wins second NSW Clubs’ Road Premiership title

Club of the Year 2016

SUVelo has won the NSW Club’s Road Premiership title for a second year running. The title recognises the club whose members amassed the most number of points across the combined Cycling NSW Road premierships (men, women, U23 and masters). This year The Club Premiership was won by taking the outright win on points over Canberra CC (which was the points leader in 2015).

The award was presented at Cycling NSW’s Clarence St Cup at Dunc Gray Velodrome. Club President Andrew Duggan, Club Captain Stuart Hamilton, Race Director Donncha Redmond and SUVelo NRS rider Daniel Van Der Laan were on hand to receive the award (and have a bit of fun on the podium).

Cycling NSW CEO Phil Ayres said the competition was much closer than 2015 with the margin of difference between the top four clubs being just over 100 points, “which when you consider is using the results of all a clubs riders, a very close finish.

“Although Canberra CC has immense strength in the elite men’s division (with four riders in the top 20), Sydney Uni Velo Club had much better spread of placing and participating riders across all competitions.”

The manner of the club’s win demonstrates its commitment to the development of its members at all levels of cycling.