Sunday 29 April - Black and Tan

MMBCC road race report


Black and Tan. The mere words strike fear into the heart of many a member of the Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club. Not because they fear a mix of stout and lager at the post-race carbohydrate re-fuelling. It’s because the Black and Tan is a road race which mixes the black of sealed roads with the tan of dirt roads.

A sunny Sunday (29 April) morning saw six of the club’s ‘hardest’ members line up for a start - five of them handicapped by a late night at Jane’s Diplock’s Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraiser 80’s night - with far too many carbohydrates consumed! A seventh entrant, Darren ‘Cher’ Bakker, was so severely handicapped by the 80’s night that he wasn’t even able to get out of bed, let alone make the startline.

First to start from the BP Roadhouse was Di Condie as the Limit group off 11 minutes and 30 seconds. She was followed by Craig ‘Wil’ Wilson off 8:30; Steve Flew off 5:30; Mauro Brega and Bruce Halket off 1:00 and Josh Hopwood was the ‘lucky bloke’ to start on his own as Scratch.

The first 6km were ridden on the Buller Road heading towards Merrijig and were relatively uneventful. However, the first left turn onto Scully’s Lane and onto the dirt was followed soon after by the first casualty - Wil had just caught and passed Di when he punctured half way along Sculley’s Lane. So he was forced to wait for Tony Ryan in the safety car for a lift as he watched the rest of the field go past.

The middle 15km back on tarmac saw the next ‘casualty’ as Di Condie was caught again. She couldn’t stay with Steve but managed to hang onto Jock and Bruce as they came through, forming the biggest bunch of the race; and Josh wasn’t far back.

From the heady heights of the ‘Barwite HIll’ the ‘peloton’ could see Steve a long way ahead but, with another section of dirt to come, thought they still had a chance. But the bunch started breaking up on Mt Battery Road: first Di dropped off near the Showgrounds, then Bruce almost fell off with surprise when he dropped Jock on the second ‘tan’ section.

However, Steve was just too strong - not attending the 80’s night did his riding no harm! He turned off the dirt and onto Graves Road to win well clear of the field in a time of 1 hour, 4.23 minutes (corrected to 58.23.)

Bruce managed to hang for second (and fastest time of 55.07) over a minute later, just ahead of Jock, Josh and Di.

For his win, Steve won a free entry into the 2013 SCODY High Country Cycle Challenge, which was well worth getting out of bed for!

Many thanks to all our officials: Leonie, Tony, Laurie, Tony and Dave. (Yes, two Tonys!)

MMBCC Dirt Crits continue at the Riflebutts Reserve each Sunday and a Social road ride will be held between Alexandra and Eildon (with lunch at Alex) on Sunday 6 June. Details of all these rides on the calendar page. And photos on the pictures page.