Enormous week for the club.

On Saturday we had our third and final race in our first club championships. More on the race and the final wrap up a little later.

Pete McSwiggan was reppin’ the club and Australia at the Gran Fondo World Championships in Varese , Italy.

Swiggers came 80th out of 250 riders in his age group, which is a sensational effort.

Here’s his thoughts on the race.

The fondo/race was very demanding… most NSW riders i spoke with said it made Bathurst qualifier feel like picnic by comparison….

Some very narrow roads… a little moisture on some bends….. descents were contested and nearly always included navigating through a village half way down…. lots of crashes/ambos…doesn’t seem phase the “locals” they seem to accept it all…. the other “exciting” addition is that with 7 mins between age group waves meant we caught up with younger age waves less skillful descenders ( and climbers) very quickly and overtaking these lads bombing down through Italian villages added to the “Excitement”…… was a great day out.. highly recommend… overall organisation was much better than Albi ( France) last year were they managed to run out of water and start waves were a melee.

Well done Swiggers.

Euro Dan headed south to Goulburn for the Acconia Gunning Windfarm Great Divide race today. This was a 94km 2 lap undulating course that was made more difficult by being “extremely super incredibly windy” . (I think Dan ran out of adjectives but I think we get the picture . They didn’t put a windfarm there for no reason Dan .) . Anyway despite that Dan did incredibly well and came in 5th in a bunch sprint in Div 3. Really well done Dan.

Also a number of C graders headed to West Head this morning for the final race in the MWCC KOM Financial Advice Race series. We had Jono Lam leading C grade and we were out to help him protect the lead. To say the plan worked a treat is an understatement. Everything we hoped for happened and everyone did their job. The result was Jono took second place in the race but most importantly he held his lead and is the C grade series winner. Great job Jono and to everyone that helped in in each of the races, not just today.

Everything is just going gang busters for Jono at the moment. He recently got engaged to his now fiancé Vienne. They are planning on marrying in July next year. This guy just cannot stop winning. Congrats to Jono and Vienne and a happy life together.

And of course we had the Quantum Engineers criterium at the SMSP yesterday morning. The rain from the night before passed and the race was held in dry conditions.

In the Men’s A grade, a person who looked like Brian, but is not Brian (cause he doesn’t race) attacked early and took Nash and Craig Sinteur from NWSCC with him. The bloke that looked like Brian dropped off a little at the top of the straight in the final lap with Nash tucked in behind Craig. All of us watching thought Nash had it easily but Craig is a powerhouse and when Nash kicked, Craig responded and the two crossed the line together.

It depends on which of the many photos taken you look at as to who was the winner and so it was rightfully decided to award equal first place. The bloke that looked like Brian came thru for third and the second Parklife rider. James Evo lead the sprint in the chasing group to be the third Parklife rider home with Andy Yuen just in behind home.

The win bu Nash consolidated his top place at the top of the A grade champs and so he is our first A grade champ.

In the Mens’ B grade Euro Dan and Ricardo Samson established a break. One of the two looked a little more comfortable than the other. (I can fully relate Richard. Ahh to be 30 years younger. ).

They were joined by a number of other riders from Marconi and NWSCC. With the break established, Connor bridged from the chasing bunch and that group then stayed together and it came down to a final sprint. The youngster from Marconi took the honours in the final sprint, with Connor coming through for a very good third. Richard took second of the Parklife riders and Dan third.

In the B grade cub champs, Connor was a few points back from Jono Lam before the race but the third place overall and first Parklife rider allowed him the leap frog Jono to become our B grade champion. Well done Connor.

In the C grade race, two NWSCC and a Marconi established a break quite early in the race. I (Russell) jumped across to join them. After a couple of laps the Marconi rider dropped back to the chasing bunch and another NWSCC rider took his place. The chasing bunch was controlled by Parklife and allowed the breakaway to establish and so it came down to the four of us for around 40 minutes. We dropped one the NWSCC riders and so it was the three of us fighting it out for a place. I missed the bell for the last lap and it was only at the start of the final turn into the straight that one of the other riders said something about it being the last lap and took off. I wasn’t sure if it was a stitch up and so let him go and only realised it wasn’t when the marshal at the top of the straight started yelling to sprint. I managed to come thru for second. Chris Lam lead the frantic sprint home in the chasing group from Birdman, followed by the General in fourth.

At the start of this race there were 4 riders separated by only 6 points. In the end, Chris’ second place was enough to jump to the top and pip the General by a solitary point. Chris Lam is our C grade club champ.

In D grade, the bunch stayed together and it all came down to the final sprint. Andy Hinks was the first of the Parklife riders just outside the podium. Ramon came thru for second and Irish (now Aussie) Clive for third.

Andy held a comfortable lead going into this race and his first Parklife rider home meant he extended that and is our D grade club champ.

In the Women’s A grade, there was three riders only, including our Renzo. The three decided to ride together for the race and fight it out in the last lap. They all made a point of posing for the cameras at the finish line when they came past. In the final sprint Renzo was pipped into second place.

In the Women’s B grade, there was four riders including Dutchie and young Rach. They four stayed together for the most of the race and it too came down a sprint with Carlijn grabbing second and Rach just missing out on the podium.

It was neck and neck between Renzo and Rach at the top of the points table for the Women’s club champ and Renzo’s second place in Women’s A was enough to break the tie and be our Women’s club champ.

The overall club champions are the people with the most points for the men and women. It’s great to be able to say our first club champions are Nasho and Renzo. Congratulations to both of them.

We will present the trophies to both Nash and Renzo, and each of the grade champions, at the Parklife Christmas Party on December 8. Please save that date. Renzo will announce more details very soon.

Rebecca McShane was busy out on course taking lots of photos and has posted them at PLCC Club Crit 2018. Also Darren Kable nabbed a whole bunch of photos as well and posted them at Club Championships 8th September 2018. I have also put up the final points and results at Club Championships Results

I just want to close out by thanking our very generous sponsors, Perry and LJ Hooker Rhodes, Cesar and Dynamic Office National, Brian and Lesley and Discount Skips and Rob and Tammy and Quantum Engineers. We truly appreciate your support.

Thanks to the volunteers who helped out at each of the races. I’m not going to trying and name each of you as I am likely to embarrass myself and miss someone. These races don’t happen without you giving up their time.

And lastly a huge thanks to everyone that came out and raced and supported the races. We had 30 or more people who turned up to race at each of the three races. We had 15 who made it to all three races. In total 41 different people raced in at least once. This is just fantastic for a small club like us and our first crack at a club championships.

Thank you all very much.

Grade Club Champions – Chris (C grade), Renzo (Women’s), Connor (B grade), Andy (D grade), Nash (A grade)