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Poker race run and won

Thursday, 11th August, 2011

WINNER: Royce Beck (left) took out the Men’s A Grade WINNER: Royce Beck (left) took out the Men’s A Grade

Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club held its 13th annual “Poker Race” at the Silverton Heritage Trail on the weekend.

The focus of the event is to have a good time on your bike. Riders or teams are issued with a playing card every time they complete a lap. The rider or team with the best “Poker Hand” wins the prize. In this way every rider, fast or slow, has an equal chance of winning. This year’s prize was an original artwork by local artist Amanda Johnson.

Nearly 50 riders turned up to take on the dealer for their chance to win the painting with riders coming from Coomealla and as far away as Canberra to race in one of the many categories that catered for the serious and not so serious mountain biker. As usual the race committee had done a great job in organising a very relaxed event where everybody had great fun.

The race had an emotional start with a minute silence observed in respect for Barry Gentle, a long time Broken Hill Mountain Club member who passed away last year but once the starting horn sounded it was one for young and old.

The Mens “A” saw last year’s winner Steve Chinner hold a formidable lead until the last lap. On the final hill Steve broke his chain which allowed Royce Beck to pass and take the win. Steve was able to repair his chain and finish in second place. David “Benny” Goodman placed 3rd after riding a tactical race by sitting on the wheel of Wayne Demory (4th) for most of the race. Benny passed Wayne on the run into the finish.

The Mens ëBí saw Ben Foulis from Coomealla take out the win over locals Nick Algate and Phil Eberlie. In Veteran Men, the flying professor, David Lyle took out the top spot over Tony Hepburn and Phil Sullivan.

Once again the Women’s race was the domain of Megan Algate who gave her male counterparts a real touch up and showing them how a bike should be ridden. The social category had only one entry with Darren Orr putting in a courageous effort to complete the full 5 laps. Darren has only just taken up mountain biking and is doing a great job. 

The Junior boys was shaping up to be a great race with Coomeallaís Barnden brothers Callam and Sam making the trip north to mix it up with local hero Corey Sammut. Sam Barnden was leading up until the 3rd lap a when a flat tyre allowed Sammut to take the lead and dominate for the rest of the race. Sammut finished the race in a time that would have been respectable in the Mens “A”. I’m sure Sam will be looking forward to a rematch in next month’s 3hr Enduro at Coomealla. 

The Teams event saw six teams battling out for “supremacy” including the Bondi Beauties who returned in 2011 in their lycra, fluro spandex and wigs. The fluro spandex was not enough to put off Team 0.1 or Barney Banana who took the top two podium places. 

The Junior Girls raced one lap of the short course with Kristie Lenton beating home sister Alexis ahead of Kate Baldwin, Rahana and Chelsea Dawes. The Amanda Johnson painting was one by the “Lance Who” team with a “poker hand” of 3 tens and the best costume was won by the Bondi Beauty’s Mark Lenton. 


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