Nicholas Lawler today joined the legendary Brendon Morrison as the only rider to have won the Henk and Marg Stoffers Event twice.  Brendon still remains the only rider to have claimed the trophy two years in a row, but Nicholas has been one of the club’s most consistent achievers in recent years and was certainly deserving of his second victory which he indicated he had to fight just as hard for as when he first won in 2012.

Starting off scratch and giving away 10 minutes to the front markers Nicholas and Bryce Lanigan were always going to be hard to beat.  Unfortunately James Stephenson was an early casualty of this group feeling the effects of an off road Duathlon the day before.  Busselton’s Jamie Coutts and Michael Midgley could not quite hold on to the youngsters on the Gnomesville climb leaving Lanigan and Lawler to make the run for home with the front markers still holding a good advantage.

Out in front Denise Allan was riding strongly having left her limit markers Mark Thomas and Steve Camarri in her wake.  The second group consisting of Ian Kugler, Kevin Keally, Andrew McGruddy, John Hancza, Darren Wallis, Tony Shaw and Kate Tatham were working well although Jessica Lawler was off her best and pulled out at the Wellington Mills turn.  With this group catching Denise towards the top of the long Gnomesville climb, Denise was able to hold on but Andrew McGruddy and John Hancza unfortunately couldn’t quite stick there. It was still a decent bunch of six though who were the rabbits in front.

The third handicap group consisting of the in form Michael Morton from Harvey, Ian Ferry, Brent Allan, Ben Hastie, Denny Teede, Kim Overington and Regan Pye were somewhat mismatched with a few riders struggling early on.  As a result the group splintered and they were soon caught by the scratch boys halfway around the Wellington Mills loop.  Unable to hold the speed of the scratch group on the main climb, Michael Morton, Brent and Ben joined forces with Jamie Coutts, Michael Midgley and Andrew McGruddy on the run for home.

Heading into Dardanup with a tailwind the rabbits almost had the line in sight but young Bryce and Nicholas dug deep to reel them in with only 1.5km to go.  Sneaking onto the back of the group the boys got their breath back before launching for the sprint finish with Lawler too strong for the younger Lanigan.

Showing it is not all about age, Boyup Brook’s Ian Kugler sprinted well to take third place ahead of Tony Shaw with Kate Tatham first lady home in fifth place.  Kevin Keally had a great ride to take out sixth while Denise was well pleased with her hit out finishing seventh just in front of Darren Wallis who showed the benefit of his spin training with some strong turns out on the road.  Michael Morton led home the chasers ahead of Ben Hastie and Michael Midgley.

Earlier on the junior pairings were probably not quite right with Josh Commons too strong for his handicap partner Isabella and Harrison Lawler showing a clean set of wheels to Lowan Ferry.  Harrison put in a great solo effort to bridge up 2 minutes to Josh by the halfway turn at Wellington Mills intersection and from there the two worked strongly together on the way home.  Commons shows he takes after his father with a powerful sprint finish claiming victory.

Lowan continued working hard after Harrison rode away and can be well pleased with his effort.  Isabella did enough to hold Lowan off though and claim third place on the back of her recent podium placings at state events.

It was also great to have over a dozen riders in the Participation event today including a few faces like Alan Lea and Rob Ellem that we haven’t seen much of on recent rides.  Well done to all who completed the challenge, looked like Owen, Dean, Werner and Allan Potaka had a great ride finishing with the powerhouse Steve Camarri leading them out to the line.  Further back Felicity and Dale kept each other company while Lou and Lucinda put in great efforts once again and we look forward to the resurgence of the ‘Loose Wheels’ team at the Cristal Series.

Henk and Marg Stoffers were life members of what was the Bunbury Cycle Club and were involved in it’s inception.  They continued to help out over the years even when their son Frank was no longer riding.  They donated the Stoffers trophy for the first club road race of the season with the aim of making what is often one of the most popular races more prestigious.  Today was a fantastic event and they would have been very proud of the range of ages and abilities all out participating and competing.  We honour and give thanks for all they did for cycling in the South West.

Many thanks to Robbie Commons for all his organising today, to Brendon for bringing the signs up, to Brian for marshalling and to Suzanne as always for running the event.

It was great to finish up today back at Ferguson Falls Café and enjoy the excellent hospitality that Tim and Laura have become renown for.  Hopefully we can make this a regular coffee stop after our events with our next booking set to be June 21st after the SWCC Pile Rd Hill Climb Champs.

Results

Juniors

  1. Josh Commons 2.  Harrison Lawler 3.  Isabella Commons 4.  Lowan Ferry

Open Event – Henk and Marg Stoffers Trophy

  1. Nicholas Lawler 2. Bryce Lanigan 3. Ian Kugler 4. Tony Shaw 5.  Kate Tatham 6.  Kevin Keally 7.  Denise Allan 8.  Darren Wallis 9.  Michael Morton 10.  Ben Hastie 11.  Michael Midgley 12. Brent Allan 13.  Jamie Coutts 14.  Andrew McGruddy 15.  Regan Pye 16.  John Hancza 17. Ian Ferry 18.  Kim Overington 19.  Mark Thomas 20.  Denny Teede 21. Steve Camarri DNF Jessica Lawler, James Stephenson