14 February - Stewart Buslines Straight Line Sprint Results

World-first race format for MMBCC.

The Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club’s usual races are Handicap, Graded Scratch and an occasional Individual Time Trial.

But they say a change is as good as a holiday!

In what we think is a first (Possibly not a World-first but we’d go as far to claim an Australian-first) the race on Thursday 14 February saw a new ‘4-up sprint’ race format to give members a bit of a holiday.

The Stewart Buslines 4-up Sprint was held on Graves Road on a course only 800 metres long! (Sounds like a bit of a doddle, really.)

Heats were raced with four riders per heat. Based on the number of entrants, each rider had to compete in four heats; and there wasn’t much time to rest between heats! The best four points scorers from each grade then lined up for the grade final.

This four-up format brought together a unique combination of the tactics of track sprinting, the four-rider format of skier/boardercross and the point scoring of BMX.

20 entrants were divided up into two grades of 10; a total of 10 heats for each grade.

We certainly haven’t heard of the same format before. It seemed to go down very well with riders and spectators. The only voice of dissent heard was that of Dave Clark, who either needs to do some interval training, or needs to complain more quietly!

B-Grade came down to a final between David Jagger, Tim Hall, Rod Stewart and Uschi Steedman; Steedman proved too strong to win clearly from Hall, Stewart and Jagger.

A-Grade saw Tim Ross, Steve Plummer, Darren Bakker and Bruce Halket make it through to the final. In the closest finish of the night, Bakker managed to come around Halket on the line to take the win by a wheel. Ross took third ahead of Plummer.

Many thanks to Stewart Buslines for their sponsorship of the new race and their well-received prize money. Thanks also to Leonie, Lisa, Loretta, Annie and Di for officiating; and to all the spectators who lined the course at the finish line!

The MMBCC’s Summer Series continues on Thursday 21 February with the Bakker Plumbing Handicap on Howes Creek Road; starting at the Lord’s Ground. This is another of the club’s feature races of the summer with $300 of prize money up for grabs. Entries via SMS to 0428 503 437 by 8pm Wednesday 20 February please.