Manly Warringah CC at HART 9Mar2018

The sun was out and bright this afternoon. With numbers down in A & B grade no doubt due to other races around the state over the weekend meant some new riders could shine.

Indeed that is exactly what happened, both A & B grade seemed to be running by the numbers until the 30ish minute mark when breakaways in both grades seemed to happen in consecutive laps, interesting. In A grade a two-man break screamed away never to be seen again, well seen in the distance taking first & second place. B grade break could be barely called a break didn’t seem to last long. Meanwhile, the large C grade looked fast and from my perspective confusing if I am not mistaken there were several surges which never resulted in a proper breakaway. The heartlessness of HART is the combination of hills, technical corners, fast sections and false flats. D grade was also an interesting night with some strong almost A grade assertiveness with the leaders pushing the bunch to a breaking point. 

 This was the penultimate round of the 2017/18 season, I will miss HART, looking forward to next year already and hint hint it would be nice to see some MTB action at HART again too.

Since autumn has well and truly arrived the sun is setting through the trees providing some interesting photo opportunities which I gambled on tonight, some paid off, others didn’t. 150ish photos in the gallery, sorry things took a little longer this week to publish, my Friday efforts punished me over the weekend. 

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Lidcombe Auburn CC at Newington 1Mar18

Cyclocross comes to Newington

In late breaking news, Lidcombe Auburn cycling club organise a last minute cyclocross race at Newington Armoury for Thursday 1st March 2018. Well, that could have been the heading or maybe I turned up to the wrong race. 

We’ve seen people go “wide” before at this track, but tonight there were a couple more than usual, in both races and a couple places around the track. 

If there was a criterium circuit around Sydney where going off the ‘hard stuff’ onto the grass was ok, Newington Armoury is probably it. There are not many rough grass/road joins, not many gutters or many obstacles to hit if you do go off. Heffron Park, Regatta Centre are also fairly good in this regard. 

So on a serious note, it was just the usual criterium racing at Newington tonight or was it? The LACC presidents cup criterium series continues. Tonight was Snowball. A variation of the points race, where each points are awarded for each sprint and as the name suggests the points increase (snowball) for each sprint. The master of racing tactics Paul Craft would probably tell you a strong rider winning a couple of the later high point sprints is the most likely to win overall, and you don’t even need to contest the final sprint. I suspect that is the purpose of snowball racing, allowing a good lead-out rider to win rather than the pure sprinters. Alternatively, sprinters who have enough endurance can blow a snowball race apart.

To the photos, 192 photos, lots of closeup shots, completely in contrast to Tuesdays shooting at Sydney Dragway. Lots of same-same but really hope to have got most people a couple of times

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Marconi Syd Dragway 27Feb18

Playing with light and shadows

As summer draws to an end the temperature at races drop. Whether that is good or bad is up to each person. Personally, I love it. It also means the sunset is earlier and often arrives at the end of the race. Tricker for me to take photos but a magnificent sunset is the bonus of being outside riding your bike (or taking pictures). 

Please excuse my approach to tonight’s photos which was a bit of an exercise of distance shooting. The way the sun was playing with the track, shadows and pockets of light became a game. Add to that I was close to exhaustion and in lots of pain. 

Now that the light is disappearing it reminds me that it will not be long until we start racing the hotdog circuit under lights. Makes me wonder what a proper crit track would look like if designing one from scratch. How valuable would it be to have a track that could be raced all year round, in all weather and by different bikes. By different bikes I mean, could a red hook styled race, fixed gear bike; A proper circuit with other elements for cyclocross, quite a bit of cycling could be done at night. 

Anyway mind experiments over, the thing about shooting from a distance was the noise, a peloton of bikes riding down the dragway does make a unique sound.

Not so many photos tonight and not many closeup photos either. 

1st Ben Dyball , 2nd Peter Wakefield , 3rd Nick Spratt

 1st Terrence Howes , 2nd Max Cyresko , 3rd David Winfield

1st Oliver Marshall , 2nd Campbell Hyde , 3rd Christopher Ludlam

1st Eddie Chung , 2nd Walter Machado , 3rd Paul Drury

1st Anthony New , 2nd Greg Fisher , 3rd Daniel Moya

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Manly Warringah at HART 23Feb18

The original thirst crusher

A grade can of solo to that man, Marcus Culey. The A grade race was blown apart by two breaks, the solo and the chasers. While the solo break from Marcus was impressive, the thing that impressed me the most was the chase and Nic Martin in particular. I can’t comment on the climb up the back of the course because I spent my time at the sweeping corner at the bottom of the track. Nic hooked into that corner with ferocity and the sound of his tyres complaining under pressure, whoa. 

As the days draw to a close so do the weeks of racing at HART and the sunsets become orange. Hoping to capture some of that I headed to furthermost regions of the course and the best sunset came as racing finished, doh! The sweeping roads of this circuit are pretty beautiful to look at. So much pain tonight, people pushing themselves to limits.

MWCC facebook post and podiums below and almost 200 photo gallery. Hopefully, tonights images make up for a below-par effort last week

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Marconi at Grey Dragway 20Feb18

Attempting to Rain Part II

Like last night at Penrith, the weather really threatened but never delivered. The colour was grey, the clouds low, spits of rain and thats all. By the end of racing the breeze was on the chilly side of the thermostat. The marshalls started setting up for a quick course change if required, but the rain never got heavy enough to require it. 

Two nights in a row, two multi-lap A grade breakaways with 3 men. Lasted the distance too. Well done, clearly took some effort, some pained faces in A & A2 grades. Other grades well attended, yet again I am impressed by the number of riders at the Dragway/Motorsport Park on a Tuesday evening. 

A few scary moments as cars entered the circuit, well done to those who avoided any collisions,  thankfully no damage done. So good to be back at the Dragway, much easier for me to walk around a flat venue with lots of pavement and bitumen road. 130ish photos a bit same same tonight and I took some time to chat with Darren Covington rather than take photos. Cycling is meant to be a social sport. Good to a see a coffee van, mental note for next time, make sure to have one.


A grade: 1st S Cuff , 2nd M Clark, 3rd C Halliday
A2 grade: 1st D Schwartz , 2nd D Winfield, 3rd K Berkeley
B grade: 1st D Gooch , 2nd C Hyde , 3rd M Vanos
C grade: 1st A Bollins , 2nd W Machado , 3rd A Gomez
D grade: 1st O Ludlam , 2nd C Wilkins , 3rd D Bayliss