Breakaway riders dominate Byron Bay criterium cycling

C-grade podium: Jason, Matt and Damian

Ritchie Duncan

The second criterium summer racing by the Byron Bay Cycling Club was held in great riding conditions and saw quick times last Sunday at the Byron Arts and Industry Estate circuit.

In the main race A and B grades were combined owing to a smaller number on cyclists but this did not slow the pace or diminish the winning effort of Matt Bickel.

He broke away from the main group on the second lap and stayed out in front slowly extending his lead for the whole race, catching and lapping the field on his final lap.

This left the rest of the group to fight it out for the minor placings. David Erbacer narrowly outpaced Connor Gibney in the final sprint. Connor was also the fastest/best junior!

C grade followed a similar pattern to the first race, but this time Jason Denson was the standout rider.

After the first few laps and travelling at 45km/h Jason broke away with a couple of other riders but soon found himself alone. He made the most of the opportunity and put his head down and stayed ahead of the bunch for the rest of the race, taking first place and the mid-race sprint.

Once again the bunch was left to sprint it out for the minor placings with Matt Perkins outpacing Damian Chappelle and Matt Long.

Rachel Pearson rode well and was awarded the best female rider.

There was a solid field for D grade and they rode well keeping pace with C grade at times. Unlike the other grades, they stayed together until the final sprint.

Andrew Downey showed some solid pace to take the mid-race sprint but faded afterwards.

Graeme Way won after a clever race and left the field behind in the sprint to the line followed by Ben Hogan and Paul Barton.

Ben was riding in his first criterium as a junior and did well to secure second.

It was great to see Denise Bennett back racing and making life hard for the men!

The number of riders from different clubs did add that extra spice to the race and it would be great to see them at future events.

The new calendar will be sorted soon and be available on the club’s website.


A/B Grade: Matt Bickel (Balmoral CC), David Erbacer (Grafton CC), Connor Gibney (Byron CC)

C Grade; Jason Denson (Murwillumbah CC), Matt Perkins (Murwillumbah CC), Damian Chappelle (Byron Bay CC)

Prime: Jason Denson

Best Female Rider: Rachel Pearson (Byron Bay CC)

D Grade: Graham Way (Byron Bay CC), Ben Hogan (Ballina CC), Paul Barton (North West Sydney CC)

Prime: Andrew Downey (Ballina CC)

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