The MiHaven Mareeba Tour wouldn’t be complete without a Jonesy report so here it is hot off the press:
TOWNSVILLE’S ACE CYCLIST BEN LAWES at his second attempt has taken THE MIHAVEN MAREEBA TOUR in BRILLIANT FASHION. Ben who last year had just returned to the saddle after a serious injury, made amends on Sunday standing atop of the podium after a trio of top rides. Lawes won the time trial at JAQUES COFFEE’s new Time Trial course, then finished a close third to Thomas Beddome in a thrilling Criterium at Mako Park, before clinching the road race with the aid of young teammate Zac Ryan, as this dynamic duo rode off into the morning sun and spread-eagled a top-class field of A GRADE RIDERS. Lawes won the TT from Kaito Leveille, Zac Ryan and Thomas Beddome next best was Brian Nesbit. Townsville had strong representation in the top grade with Zac Ryan, Kelvin Robertson, Jon Entriken and well known to Cairns, Marvin Beaumeister Schonian a true character who often makes the trip north.
However, the Criterium on Saturday had the Cairns boys working hard to unsettle the nominal race favourites in Ryan and Lawes. Matt Diver, Damien Ingram and Brian Nesbit all work hard early but as the race progressed it was left to Thomas Beddome and Kaito Levielle to be part of a five-man breakaway which included M B Shoenian, unluckily for Marvin a flat put him out of contention. So over the concluding stages, the foursome put on the Race of the series. All riders were adept on the tricky course and it was anyone’s guess who should take to points. Beddome shot to the lead at Ant Hill on the final lap and in a thrilling finish held off Leveille with Lawes just touching out Ryan for the minor spot, Levielle’s second placing makes the top cross country mountain biker a welcome addition to the road riding ranks.
The Road race, what could be done to overpower the strength of the Townsville boys? To be frank nothing, whilst the enigmatic Damien Ingram took off and led to the first decent ascent about 8 k’s out and it was left to the inform Thomas Beddome to match motors with Ben Lawes and his younger teammate Zac Ryan however this was a bridge too far, as try as our top rider might he really needed someone on his shoulder to support a chase to reel back the tearaways. With the margin increasing Lawes and Ryan flashed across the line together with Lawes taking the win from Ryan, third in Beddome followed by Brian Nesbit and Townsville’s Keith Robertson fifth. On a lighter note well down the track four of the TWW BOYS Raynor, Hutton, Koch and Thompson struggled in VOWING TO FIGHT AGAIN ANOTHER DAY, this giving the impish Ingram to comment at least I beat a few of them home. All in All a great victory for Crack Townsville Rider where I believe Ben has an invite to join team Cobra at the Battle of the Borders, a team that has former Cairns junior Cahn Butler Son Of Gav on their books.
The first four through the time trial were in order Matthias Wust, Greg Hutton, Chris Cochrane and Gavin Butler. On to the Criterium and whilst there were some entertaining attacks though out the race, no one really went on with it which was always going to play in the hands of master sprinter Greg Hutton. First Gavin Butler and Then Matthias Wust each had at least four or five stints at the head of affairs, but each time they either eased back or were chased down by the likes of Grahame Allen, Shawn Garraway, Adrian Cartlidge, Chris Cochrane or Townsville’s Kyle Gibbs. It was Wust who at one stage looked like he may sneak away and stay there however Cochrane, Allen and Cartlidge were having none of it. So it then came down to a sprint and with Hutton sitting smack on the pace a lap out, no one would match him in a sprint finish, and so it came to pass Greg Hutton took the race from Chris Cochrane with Shawn Garraway third, next in Gavin Butler. The road race a turning point in the stage this time a more measured performance by Matthias Wust saw him ride away with a comfortable win over the very consistent Chris Cochrane with Greg Hutton third just in front of Ken Dyson who is much more at home over the extra distance. The win giving the series to Matthias from Greg Hutton, third Chris Cochrane with Gavin Butler fourth.
The Time trial to Tate Jones from Steven Davies and third John Duel, plus solid rides from Mark Procter and Don Huyser to set up an interesting Criterium. Fabulous to see the Women have a go against the blokes. I refer to Petra Anderson and the mother and daughter combo of Gerna and Renee Thompson. Early in the race Keith Fearon, Mark Smedts, Mark Procter and Steven Davies were prominent along with John Duel and Youngster Thomas Dummel. However it wasn’t long before Tate Jones (no relation) took total control of the race and while Steve Davies rode strongly with Tate, it appeared that only John Duel could be the rider that may cause Jones and Davies any real concern. However soon after the WHOLE TOWN was talking about THE JONES BOY as he took the race by the scruff of the neck and victory was his thereafter. Tate Jones ran out an easy winner from Steven Davies who’s second placing was an outstanding effort considering this was Stevens first ride for the year. The third placing was filled by John Duel and then Thomas Dummel just in advance of Petra Anderson. A huge effort by Young Thomas who more than held his own against this, the toughest grade he has faced thus far, ditto Renee Thompson and both these young athletes have a lot to look forward to. The Road race was another win for Tate to give him the series, second in Mark Procter who is really starting to hit his straps. Steve Davies finished just ahead of Petra Anderson with her TWW teammate Gerna Thompson right alongside her continuing their good form. After the 3 stages, It was Tate Jones 1st Steven Davies 2nd John Duel 3rd
Like C Grade three women moved out of their own grade electing to hand the men some real opposition, I refer to Megan Pickford, Bianca Grillo and Kylie Anderson all three have been riding in terrific form in their own grade, However, they weren’t to Know they would run into a man with the acronym of TKCFC or The Kiwi Chiropractor from Cairns To the defence of Matt Kingette, Matt wasn’t sure what grade he would be suited to. We know now, what a scintillating performance Matt bounced straight to the front and that was the last the others saw of him. He went further and further away as the race progressed. The Battle behind Kingette was a ripper Bianca Grillo, Kylie Anderson, Megan Pickford and Jason Hanson they were in a race within a race as they went wheel for wheel behind the runaway leader and it took to the final lap before fate had a hand in deciding the final placings. Jason Hanson sitting second heading toward the Ant HILL slipped and crashed on a tight corner with Kylie Anderson showing great bike skills to avoid the fallen Jason, while Bianca and Megan were caught up in the fall. However Jason was back on his feet and gingerly completed the journey. By this time Jason was in the shower when Kylie rode into second place just in front of Megan Pickford and Bianca Fourth, it was an eventful Crit. Not much change on the road with another big win to Matt Kingette from Bianca Grillo and Megan Pickford with Jason Hanson back in fourth. Overall Placings Matt Kingette 1st Megan Pickford 2nd Bianca Grillo 3rd.
Always a close event. Time trial honours to Lucy Heffernan 1st Hannah White 2ND Colleen Harrison 3rd Danielle Erskine 4th add Amanda Gibbs representing ADF and Kim Jones and that was the field that took to the Mako Track on Saturday. All six women did their fair share of work on top of the speed. Lucy Heffernan in particular early however Kim Jones and Danielle Erskine also faced the breeze on more than one occasion. The sprint found the talented Hannah White outpacing her rivals to take the points from Amanda Gibbs and Kim Jones. Again the group were evenly matched throughout the race but Hannah in particular was looking extremely comfortable and a product of the Cairns Crocs triathlon club Hannah White gathered maximum points by defeating Danielle Erskine next in Colleen Harrison followed by Lucy Heffernan. The road race however threw up a different result with KIM Jones finding touch to strongly take the points from Hannah White, while Colleen Harrison ever-consistent finishing third. Fourth place to Amanda Gibbs. The MiHaven Series to Hannah White 1st 2nd thanks to a brilliant Time Trial belonged to Lucy Heffernan with Kim Jones 3rd.
Junior stand out performances was handed in by Chloe Buckley and Ben Emeleus. However wonderful to see ALL these kids getting a crack at criterium racing and THEY who participated take a bow and this included a little seven y old Thomas Huyser who did beat GRAND DAD OVER THE LINE.
A HUGE SHOUT out from me to The Groth boys for their help early in the day and backed up brilliantly by Ava Mcintyre and Chloe Buckley whose young sharp eyes gave me an opportunity for accurate calling.