Surge in cycling excites officials
CYCLING: Former Queensland Cyclist of the Year Grant Irwin continued to serve it up in his return to A Grade when the Bundaberg Cycling Club track season reverted to midweek on Wednesday night.
Club secretary Jason Templeman said racing last Saturday night was washed out after only a couple of events and was completed on Wednesday at Kevin Brogden Memorial Velodrome.
"A decision by the track committee was made to move racing back to the more traditional Wednesday night slot at 6.30pm, and it proved popular," Templeman said.
"In top grade, 'Grunter' Irwin provided some stiff opposition to the 'Stang Fever' boys Toby Boylan and Brad Davis, while the evergreen and ultra-competitive Shane Roberts and 'The Fox' Sean Cox mixed the pace up a far bit."
Cox won the A-Grade 800m handicap from Dylan Newbery and Davis and the 1200m handicap in advance of Roberts and Newbery, while Newbery outgunned Ben Boylan and Davis in the point score and Davis and Ben Boylan in the 20-lap scratch race.
Templeman said another of their top riders, Martin Bannister, was out of action after being injured in a crash in a recent criterium race but it was hoped he will return soon.
"With increased numbers turning up, it has produced some outstanding racing, with the excitement even coaxing 'The Shell-Tone' Sheldon 'China' Devantier out of retirement to again roll the legs over, and his return has provided some extra grunt to B Grade," Templeman said.
"In C Grade, Dominic Devine has proven hard to beat in the handicaps, with newcomers Taylor Allen and Isaac Gibson also performing quite well in this division.
"D Grade has seen Sean Boylan battling it out with Leanna Sutton for first, and their battles have been enjoyable.
"The junior races have seen the sibling rivalry of the Allen boys heat up with Duncan and Austin battling it out for brotherly superiority.
"They have been kept in check by the growing numbers in our junior ranks, with some impressive racing coming from Drew and Patrick Boylan, Justine Bennett and the Reid siblings."
Templeman said the club was excited by the rise in participation numbers.
With club training on Monday nights, any newcomers are welcome to come down and try the sport under the supervision of expert coaches.