Manjimup seems to be gaining a new lease on life and riders in today’s Cristal Series Round 2 were certainly impressed.

With the winter we have been experiencing and a somewhat doubtful forecast, most were sure it was going to be typically wet Manjimup weather today, but for the most part we were blessed with sunshine although it could have been a few degrees warmer!!

The locals recommended Tall Timbers as a meeting spot and it certainly lived up to recommendations with the majority struggling to believe there was such a venue in Manjimup!!

After a quick re visit of team lists and coloured caps, it seemed the field was similar to round one despite long weekend commitments for some.

Paul Cogan was once again on lead vehicle duties and led the group through the two km neutral to the start line on Graphite Road.  The sun came out for a perfect photo opportunity although a couple of km up the road riders were battling a head / side wind and a nasty rain shower just to remind everyone we were actually in Manjimup!!

The small Cat 1 field of three ‘elite’ teams (Avantiplus Uberquads 1, Busselton Cycle Club and Drillers 1) were wary of the challenging course and set off at an easy tempo.  Jamie Coutts had stepped up to Cat 1 and he and Iain Ferry tried a few attacks but to no avail and the field stayed together until Nicholas Lawler, Lee Scurlock and Martin Thurlby established a break.  With a rider from each team, there was no incentive in the bunch to chase and it became a training ride until Cat 2 who had mostly stayed together as a bunch came past.

With the two grades mixing on the road, there was a bit of confusion as Cat 1 were not going to sit up and just let Cat 2 ride away.  Coming in to the finish and with points still up for grabs in Cat 1 as well as Cat 2, riders tried to ride away and some Cat 2 riders were reportedly across the road.  With transgressions amongst both Cat 1 and Cat 2 riders and no commissaire following the bunch, it was impossible to adjudicate which riders were at fault but certainly in the future, Cat 1 will be getting at least a 5 minute head start and clear instructions to sit up if caught!!  A decision has been made to neutralise all Cat 1 placings below third place as some reportedly sat up so as not to interfere with Cat 2 sprint and should not be penalised for this sensible behaviour.

Out in front and clear of this confusion Nicholas Lawler representing the Drillers had claimed line honours for Cat 1 ahead of Martin Thurlby and the in form Lee Scurlock.

Arimia’s Andrea D’Ambrosio led the Cat1 and 2 bunch home claiming the win for Cat 2 ahead of Courtland Wood who put in a great sprint on his restricted gears.  Lee Haselgrove scored more points for Arimia in Cat 2 placing third ahead of Wayne Rowe representing Avanti Uberquads 2 and Andrew Sime from Dunsborough team.

In Cat 3 Busselton dominated with Russell Smith taking victory ahead of Jarryd Heldt representing Grinders and good to see Lyndon Miles back on his bike and claiming third place and more points for Busselton Cycle Club 3 team.  Andy Johns took fourth place for TMC and Ric Svanberg representing Arimia 2 did well crossing in 5th place ahead of TMC’s Graham Blincow.

Unfortunately the juniors who were not in teams, but just taking part in the road race had a bad day out mechanically with Harrison Lawler puncturing and Lowan Ferry having a lot of trouble keeping his chain on.  After dropping his chain 5 times, Lowan gave up on the final steep climb to the finish and walked across the line while Harrison flagged sag wagon, Jo down and kicked Arimia’s Brett Roberts out of the passenger seat.  This left Brett waiting on the side of the road with Harrison’s bike.  Luckily Paul Cogan was soon to the rescue ferrying him back to the finish.

After the road race, riders had a fair idea what they were in for in the return Team Time Trial with some realising they probably wouldn’t be staying with their teams for long on the hilly course!!

The decision to drop a rider when the time is taken on the third rider across the line is somewhat risky, but both Avanti Uberquads 1 and Drillers 1 had to make this decision early on when they had riders in trouble on the climbs.  In contrast Busselton Cycle Club 1 looked to be riding well as a team sharing the pace making and not burning any riders off on the uphills.

Heading up the long climb the faster teams were making good ground on the teams in front and there were also a few challenges with some long weekend traffic.  Busselton’s Soren Groen, a power house in round 1 unfortunately started to drop off.

All interest was on the final times amongst these three well matched Cat 1 teams and it was Avanti Uberquads 1 who once again showed their prowess at team time trialling taking the glory by 20 seconds from Drillers 1 and with one minute on round one winners Busselton Cycle Club 1 who will no doubt looking to come out firing in the final showdown at Nannup.

Team Dunsborough once again blitzed the Team Time Trial placings in Cat 2 with a time of 1.10.57, almost two minutes quicker than BCC 2 who despite losing Adrian Wood early on, put in a great showing with young Courtland doing a power of work on the front.  A lack of points in the in the road race was telling in their overall total however and they have slipped to third place behind BCC 2 and Arimia 1 who both placed well in the road race this week.

Team Prime were a new entry in Cat 2 and were always going to find the TTT a challenge with Kim Overington irrepressibly attacking his team on the climbs only to be dropped several times towards the end of the race.  Ian Janssen fitted in well with this team stepping across from the dogs but found Kim’s pace too much on the long climb.  In the end the clock did not stop for Prime until Ian crossed the line as third rider though, well ahead of Kim who had put in one attack too many it seemed (……TTT format may not be for everyone!!)

In Cat 3 the rejuvenated BCC 3 team were quickest ahead of Geographe Grinders, Arimia 2 and home town favourites, TMC.

All in all, it was a challenging, but certainly picturesque course winding through the Karri Forrest.  A re-think of the road race finish line and perhaps avoiding long weekend traffic and certainly this course could be a real winner with some calling for an out and back road race next time to sort riders out!!

Many thanks to Paul Cogan who stepped up in Robbie’s absence and took carriage of signs and flags as well as being lead vehicle.  Huge thanks as always to Brendon for his help with finish line set ups and placings and to Suzanne our commissaire and finish line recorder.  We missed Robbie, Mark and Brian our normal support crew, but had great assistance from Manjimup and well done to Roger Kamman and crew for organising the course and liaising with Tall Timbers for us.

Our final event in this year’s Cristal Series is back on our favourite course, Mowen Road heading out of Nannup on Sunday 30th October, a great final hit out before the ToMR.



Road Race – Manjimup
Cat 1
Nicholas Lawler 25 Drillers 1
Martin Thurlby 20 UBQ 1
Lee Scurlock 15 BCC 1
Iain Ferry Drillers 1
Brent Allan Drillers 1
Matt Walker UBQ 1
Cat 2
Andrea D’Ambrosio 25 Arimia 1
Courtland Wood 20 BCC 2
Lee Haselgrove 15 Arimia 1
Wayne Rowe 10 UBQ 2
Andrew Sime 6 Duns
Kurt Harmer 4 UBQ 2
Cat 3
Russell Smith 25 BCC 3
Jarryd Heldt 20 Grinders
Lyndon Miles 15 BCC 3
Andy Johns 10 TMC
Ric Svanberg 6 Arimia 2
Graham Blincow 4 TMC
Juniors (not in teams)
Lowan Ferry 1st
Harrison Lawler DNF – puncture
1st Female
Louise Bentley