16 July 2022
The Dirty Thirty, no, nothing grubby to see here other than the red gravel slush decorating the bikes of the eighteen racers who recently competed in Albany Cycle Club’s first gravel race after a series of highly successful (but non-competitive!) gravel fondo style events over the last two years.
Held at Lowlands Beach on a ten kilometre loop featuring a mix of gravel roads and Munda Biddi single track, the racers completed three laps. The riders in the parallel ride event, Twenty’s Plenty, did two.
Starting en-masse, the group was quickly split in two after Brent Schoof and Brett Dal Pozzo threw down some big watts and rocketed off the line from the Lowlands Beach car park and up the only significant rise in the course to Francis Road. Clinging, limpet like, just, to their back wheels, were Matt and Vince Bascombe, Ryan McLaren and Mike Staude, all chewing their stems in the desperate effort to stay with the leaders. The following group was headed by the two metre diesels, Ben Murphy and Dave Beckwith.
The high pace set at the front eventually split the group with Schoof and Dal Pozzo leaving their four followers weltering in their muddy wake. As the race went on, the young legs of Vince Bascombe proved decisive as he, too, escaped from his aged companions. Behind them, Beckwith, lapping consistently, gapped Murphy with Brad Bootsma, Lucy Wellstead and debutant, Brett Turbill, also riding strongly a bit further back.
On the final lap, having reeled in an attack from Schoof, Dal Pozzo launched off the front creating just enough of a gap to carry him to victory. Vince Bascombe carried his strong form through to a well deserved third overall, family bragging rights, and first mountain bike to finish. Lucy Wellstead was the first female finisher, piloting her gravel bike to a solid tenth overall.
Starting after the racers, the eighteen Twenty’s Plenty riders tackled the same course, albeit at a distinctly friendlier pace. With an emphasis on maximising the social aspect of cycling as opposed to the watts, the heart rate and the speed, these riders enjoyed each other’s company as they cruised, chatted to the cows and admired the karri forest. For at least one rider, this was their longest ride, a feat celebrated at the presentation.
Albany Cycle Club would like to thank Impulse Cycles for the donation of prizes for this event and all the volunteers who put out the signs, timed the event and ensured riders were safe on course. The next event, the ‘Scottsdale Slam’, is back in the Western suburbs, aka Denmark, on July 30th at 2pm.