1 day ago
Coonabarabran to Gunnadah Race Report:-by Matt Smithson.
For those of you that have raced it before Penrith have a long history of great results in this state handicap. I was there when Eddie won, Peter has at least a second and even I have a third. The race is a handicap so this year after his top 15 last year Club Sponsor John Cooper (the Wilbo Warrior) was moved back to bunch 4, Rob Hacker (the 50 year old pro) bunch 3, Nick Spratt (Comeback Kid) scratch and myself Matt Smithson (the old fat bloke) block.
The race is 60km of rolling hills, then 40km mostly flat to the finish, with the forecast being 10 degrees and a 10kmh tailwind we all thought we were in for a fast and mostly easy day, with a massive bunch finish like the last few years. Little did we know what was in store for us……….
Arriving in at the start in the Sinclair Ford bus we knew it would be a great day, sun was shining and light wind. The comeback kid was getting oiled up, the 50 year old pro copped a sneaky pat on the bum by his wife, the Wilbo Warrior was pumping up our tires with a pump for 1967 that was reading 40psi to low and I was whinging to anyone who would listen how unfit I was and how I will get dropped in the first 10km…..pretty standard all round really.
All up there was about 120 starters with limit heading off with about 45 min head start.
From all reports the first 60km were quite uneventful my bunch worked well and caught the 50 year old pros group at about 40km bringing bunches 2 and 3 together. The Wilbo Warrior in bunch 4 caught bunches 5 and 6 at about 60km leaving 4 main bunches on the road. As we came off the last hill it was 7,8,9 out front, about 5 min back to the Wilbo Warrior with 4,5,6 another 5 min to the old fat bloke (who was still whinging) and the 50 year old pro in 2,3 combined and about 3 min back to the oiled up comeback kid in scratch.
Pretty much standard for the race, looking like it would all come together for a 100 person finish with 15 km to go. Pretty uneventful and quiet out there, we saw plenty of roadkill, a few emus, a cow on the road, some hills that get bigger every year and the silence was only interrupted by my whinging and the Wilbo Warrior trying to sell some bloke a new Ranger.
However the wind that was behind us had decided to get really really angry with us and turn into a 50+ kmh cross tail wind across the flattest most open country in NSW……….I think the Wilbo Warrior must have upset the Courage Wolf (don’t ask) and mother nature let us have it. In 30 years of racing I have not seen a simple race turn into carnage as quickly as this did.
Scratch put it in the gutter at 60kmh with the comeback kid the last one to be dropped from a group of 25 down to 10 at about the 75km mark. Bunch 2 and 3 did the same and suddenly there were 9 of us left from about 30 , some very good bike riders had their souls destroyed in the space of 5km. I fought so hard to stay there using every bit of experience I had and I was lucky enough to make the 9 from bunch 2 and 3. I was thinking wow thank god that bit was over when I turn around to see the 50 year old pro on my wheel. What a ride by Rob, seriously it was brutal and for anyone at 50 to stay in that group was unbelievable !! Rob later told me he broke is 5,10 and 20min power records to stay there !!!
About 20km to go scratch caught us and unfortunately the 50 year old pro was on his limit and said goodbye to the front group leaving 20 of us up front. We caught the bunch of 4,5,6 about 15 km to go
and went past so fast they had no hope of getting on, in fact the Wilbo Warrior reckons the V8 Mustang has nothing on us. Pretty much the race was in groups 3 or 4 riders and a front group of 20.
Unfortunately a small split of 6 got away with 10km to go and I made a poor decision that I could win if it was a sprint so I didn’t go with it, guess what, it didn’t come back and we finished 9 sec behind them. I ended up 9th on the day after avoiding a crash in the last 200m and walked away really happy to finish up there against the young blokes. The Wilbo Warrior and the 50 year old pro sprinted each other for the line with a dead heat being called according to John, to me it looked like Rob by 24 lengths😊
All in all one of the most brutal days out I can remember, great to see Nick back out there. Trust me he will be winning big races soon and for Rob and John to ride like they did at 50 and 58 is unbelievable. Big shout out to the other Western Sydney locals, Brian Appleyard, Andrew Fell, Mark Fozzard (who finished in the front group at 50) Darren Covington and the Mtoss boys.
For the numbers guys I rode 101km in 2 hours and 9 min at 46.2kmh and scratch we 5 min quicker than me. The last 30 min was an average of 53.1kmh !!!
There are not many of these country races anymore, come up next year and join in the fun.
Matt ... See MoreSee Less
Wow the bloke that wrote that needs his wife to proof read haha...
Magic write up,thanks
Great race report Matt.
Good read! Thanks
Next year I am using the big chain ring for sure. Thanks for the report Matt
I won it in 91 😀 sorry not that leg lol i won gunnedah to tamworth
Nice story Matt. a couple of Kiwis were 1st& 2nd sometime in the 70s 🤣
Nice write up Matthew Jack Hanoff This photo sums up the weekend
Good read, enjoyed that.🚴
Great write up Matthew Jack Hanoff. A great weekend away with lots of laughs with mates and families. Only other thing to say is an outstanding ride by you, Fozz and Edward Parker in those conditions to get through the crosswinds and what look like innocuous hills near Gunnedah (til you get there), and be in the front group at the finish.
To all Penrith Cycling Club members,
During our committee meeting this week sitting club Treasurer Mark Hind has
declared the role vacant and thus we are now seeking a new Treasurer.
Interested members can contact club Secretary Rob Hacker for further
information. If you have been sitting on the sidelines wishing to be more
involved then this is your chance. Clubs such as ours can only exist
because of the generosity of its volunteers.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark for all of his efforts
during his time as Treasurer and wish him well in his future endeavours in
sunny Queensland. ... See MoreSee Less
Come and race at Oatley Park, handicap 2-30 start
Sorry I no do hills.
IMPORTANT NOTICE RACING CANCELLED
Due to unseen circumstances racing tomorrow afternoon at the Regatta Centre is CANCELLED!! There has been an issue with circuit repairs & will not be ready or safe to ride around tomorrow.
Thanks for your understanding. Have a great weekend!! Oakville Racing on tomorrow please head over there if you wish to race.
PCC Board ... See MoreSee Less
Is it near bike path
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL CLUB MEMBERS:-
Can you please make sure that you're email addresses that you have registered with Penrith Cycling Club are both current & correct!! as we are also notifying members of all events via email now as well as facebook & website. If you feel that you need to update this information with us? Please send an email to:-
Please update us immediately so we can keep you up to date!!
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