RESULTS

2014 Race Report

Race Report

Race Directors Report SDBC 2014

RD - Alan Keenleside

RD – Alan Keenleside

The lesson of the desert is to always expect the unexpected, especially when you least expect it.
If you had told me that I would lose half the field on Stage 2, which is traditionally one of the easiest stages I would have laughed. Still, 10 riders got swept and the ones that made the distance described it as ‘brutal’.
Wind, temperature and terrain make this race the challenge that it is. Riders complained of headwind for most of the event. A brief trip north up the swale on day 2 only served to show how easy it would have been in different circumstances, if the wind had helped rather than hindered.
This year the terrain was also different. Some of our best dunes have been graded making for smooth riding from Stage 4 onwards. Some veterans shed a tear as we drove towards the K1 line but even here, so soon, sand had blown ½ way across the road. The grading is not forever and the desert will take back its own, in time.

DAY 1 DATE: TUES 30/9/14

DAILY ROUNDUP:

Stage 1:

Hot....damn hot

Hot….damn hot

The first stage can be a bit of a scramble before people get into a routine. Medic 1 decided that the first stage of the first day was a good chance to sleep in and earned a ‘Goose of the Day’ t-shirt for their efforts.
The riders were off at dawn with plenty of enthusiasm. The morning stage took the sting out of the fresh legs but most riders made it into the lunch stop.
Stage1 win was a shared by No6 Michael Chidley (youngest rider, 28) and No20 Bruce Wood(oldest rider, 64) both cruising over the line together.
2 riders snaffled by the sweep before lunch…No14 Dr Mal and No17 Maria Hamelink.

Stage 2:

40 degree plus temperatures and strong head winds decimated the riders on this stage. Only 9 riders finished the afternoon stage with the rest of the field swept.
Line honors went to (1) Bill Somerville. Bruce Wood had a bad stage and looked like he’d been ‘dug up’. It was good to see Graham Hancox, a veteran campaigner, finish this stage comfortably and in control.

STAGE 1. STAGE 2.
1st: (20) Bruce Wood
1st: (6) Michael Chidgey
3rd (13) Jason Morrison
1st: (1) Bill Somerville
2nd (20) Bruce Wood, (11) Graham Hancox

DAY 2 DATE: WED 1/10/14

DAILY ROUNDUP:

Stage 3:

day2_peleton_DSC_3830At the Race Briefing I gave the riders the bad news. ‘If you thought Stage 2 was brutal then strap on your helmets for Stage 3’.
The wind picked up overnight and it was decidedly on the nose. With the start of the ‘widow maker’ stage only 4 vehicles came forward, the rest staying in the rear convoy to pick up swept riders.
As is often the case when expecting the worst, things can be ‘relatively’ better. Cooler conditions allowed riders to work harder and the feeling was that it was easier than Stage 2. Only 6 riders got swept.
Line honors went to veteran (1) Bruce Wood and (4) Bronwyn Stephens was last in before the sweep, a great effort.

Stage 4:

The afternoon stage had a surprise bonus with part of the track being freshly graded! But wouldn’t you know it, riders still complained about the headwind.
Peletons formed as riders headed into the strong southerly wind and then broke up as the route turned east onto the smoothly graded track.
First over the line was No1 Bill Somerville with No5 Ben Hew being the last in before the sweep.
8 riders were swept in the afternoon stage.
No7 Brendan Smith re-joined the race after scratching on Stage 3.

The travelling circus is running well with all performers in good health. Riders are settling in and generally getting the job done in the cooler conditions. Tomorrow also forecasts cooler conditions in the mid 20s but the SE wind continues.

STAGE 3 STAGE 4
1st: (20) Bruce Wood
2nd (1) Bill Somerville, (6) Michael Chidgey, (13) Jason Morrison
1st: (1) Bill Somerville
2nd (16) John Allison
3rd (20) Bruce Wood

DAY 3 DATE: THU 2/10/14

DAILY ROUNDUP:

Stage 5:

The terrible twins

The terrible twins

It was a cool, calm start with winds picking up during the day. The big surprise today was that the dune crossings have gone, graded out and smooth! I cheered as one dune was already back half way across the road.
Peletons formed around the salt lakes and riders settled into a new rhythm.
Rider 16 John Allison put in a strong effort to take out line honours for the morning stage followed by (1) Bill Somerville and (20) Bruce Wood coming in equal 2nd
(12) Dave Holley was last in to beat the sweep

Stage 6:

No 11 Graham Hancox put in a huge effort riding off the front for 35 km to win the afternoon stage. The chasing peleton started with 5 riders, then 4, then 3 with the final 3 (1) Bill, (20) Bruce, (6) Michael all coming in equal 2nd.
The terrible twins (4) Bronwyn and (5) Ben finished together just before the sweep. Bronwyn has taken to riding with one leg so that Ben can keep up.

Riders are getting fatigued and sore spots are starting to develop.
No14 Dr Mal pulled the pin today as he struggled with lack of form.

Note that at this late stage only 2 minutes between first and second place

STAGE 5 STAGE 6
1st: (16) John Allison (line honors)
1st (1) Bill Somerville, (20) Bruce Wood (equal time)
1st: (11) Graham Hancox
2nd (1) Bill Somerville, (20) Bruce Wood (6) Michael Chidgey

DAY 4 DATE: FRI 3/10/14

DAILY ROUNDUP:

Stage 7

Very cranky

Very cranky

A flat run today with mild temperatures. A bit windy in the morning calming later in the day.

A flat course changes the dynamics of the group and the placings changed a bit today.

First past the post was (13) Jason Morrison followed in equal 2nd by (20) Bruce, (1) Bill and (6) Michael.

(15) Rodney Edwards (riding a thin bike) was last in before the sweep.

(6) Michael had a major mechanical problem when his bottom bracket self destructed. He managed to grind into the lunch stop but when dismantling his bottom bracket discovered mostly metal filings.

A plethora of bush mechanics rushed to his assistance when it was discovered that his ‘press fit’ bottom bracket was not very common and not readily fixable. Running repairs to the bike included incorporating other bearings, spacers and bolts to recreate something resembling a bottom bracket.
At this point I really thought Michael would be unable to continue.

Stage 8

The afternoon stage was a fast and easy 40k with southerly winds assisting as the riders headed north on the ‘inside’ Birdsville Track. Track conditions were good with a few gibber stones hardly unsettling the composure of riders.

Line honors went to (22) Anthony Duff followed by (1) Bill (20) Bruce and (13) Jason in equal second.
Michael headed out with his newly created bottom bracket, but unfortunately it didn’t really hold together well and required regular ‘adjustments’ throughout the stage as it threatened to disassemble itself and fall off. Amazingly Michael finished only 7 min behind the 2nd bunch.

A little jostling was going on between 1st and 2nd places as there was only two minutes between them. But (20) Bruce covered every move that (1) Bill made, maintaining his tenuous lead.

(10) Gary and (2) Andy were last in before the sweep with lots of time in hand.

STAGE 7 STAGE 8
1st: (13) Jason Morrison
2nd (1) Bill Somerville, (20) Bruce Wood (6) Michael Chidgey
1st: (22) Anthony Duff
2nd (1) Bill Somerville, (20) Bruce Wood

DAY 5 DATE: SAT 4/10/14

DAILY ROUNDUP:

A social day out

Day 5 water stop – a social day out

The Race Director has no jurisdiction to dictate how the final stage is ridden.

It may be fought tooth and claw all the way to the line in Birdsville or the riders may come to some other decision. On some years the riders have decided that everyone will finish.

At the race briefing I cautioned against this. Its one thing to cover the 35km from Little Red but 80km might prove very difficult.

It was great to see the riders work together and help each other so that the whole field finished the last stage. Graham Hancox stayed back with Maria for most of the stage to ensure she made it.

Conclusion

Another great year and another great event. The desert may have changed, but it will change back, or more likely just continue to change as it always has done.
The Desert Challenge has 3 aims

  • To provide a sporting challenge
  • To foster a love of The Outback
  • To raise money for charity

On those three criteria we’ve have had a very successful year.
Curiously, as a rider turned official, I find my love for the event unchanged. A difficult task in a harsh environment brings out the best in people. On a desolate gibber plain, you can make a friend for life. In the heat and the dust and the baking sun you can have the best of times. It’s the people, the riders and officials that make the event.
I’ve enjoyed myself immensely. You have shown me your best side, my life is richer for it and I thank you.

Alan Keenleside

Race Director 2014

Results

Final Results 2014

Outright Placings

Placing No. Name Distance
1 20 Bruce Wood 587.6
2 1 Bill Somerville 587.6
3 6 Michael Chidgey 587.6
4 16 John Allison 587.6
5 13 Jason Morrison 587.6
6 22 Anthony Duff 587.6
7 11 Graham Hancox 587.6
8 18 Martin Havlicek 587.6
9 2 Andrew Griffiths 587.6
10 3 Rick Neale 568.4
11 10 Garry Davis 559
12 19 Dave Holley 545
13 15 Rodney Edwards 514
14 7 Brendan Smith 480.2
15 5 Ben Hew 476.4
16 21 David Wighton 467.5
17 4 Bronwyn Stephens 465.2
18 12 Adam Iannos 375.8
19 17 Maria Hamelink 332.5
20 14 Leon Malzinskas 108.1
DNS 8 Owen Mandry
DNS 9 Lynton Stretton

Category Placings

Male U40
Place No Name
1 3 Rick Neale
2 5 Ben Hew
3 12 Adam Iannos
Male U50
1 1 Bill Somerville
2 13 Jason Morrison
3 22 Anthony Duff
4 11 Graham Hancox
5 18 Martin Havlicek
6 19 Dave Holley
Male 50+
1 20 Bruce Wood
2 16 John Allison
3 3 Andrew Griffiths
4 10 Gary Davis
5 15 Rodney Edwards
6 7 Brendan Edwards
7 21 Dave Wighton
8 14 Leon Malzinskas
Female U40
Place No Name
1 4 Bronwyn Stephens
Female 50+
1 17 Maria Hamelink

 


Day by Day Results

Day 1

Placing No. Name Distance Time %
1 1 Bill Somerville 126.6 7.21 100
2 20 Bruce Wood 126.6 7.32 100
3 6 Michael Chidgey 126.6 7.32 100
4 13 Jason Morrison 126.6 7.46 100
5 11 Graham Hancox 126.6 7.47 100
6 16 John Allison 126.6 7.58 100
7 22 Anthony Duff 126.6 8.40 100
8 18 Martin Havlicek 126.6 8.56 100
9 2 Andrew Griffiths 126.6 9.18 100
10 5 Ben Hew 117.4 9.16 93
11 4 Bronwyn Stephens 113.4 8.06 90
12 3 Rick Neale 107.4 7.09 85
13 10 Garry Davis 107.4 8.05 85
14 19 Dave Holley 107.4 8.26 85
15 15 Rodney Edwards 107.4 8.31 85
16 21 David Wighton 104.4 8.28 82
17 7 Brendan Smith 98.2 7.10 78
18 12 Adam Iannos 92.4 7.16 73
19 14 Leon Malzinskas 66.8 5.26 53
20 17 Maria Hamelink 50 4.25 39
DNS 8 Owen Mandry
DNS 9 Lynton Stretton

Day 2

Placing No. Name Distance Time %
1 1 Bill Somerville 255 14.59 100
2 20 Bruce Wood 255 14.57 100
3 6 Michael Chidgey 255 15.17 100
4 13 Jason Morrison 255 15.42 100
5 11 Graham Hancox 255 15.58 100
6 16 John Allison 255 16.0 100
7 22 Anthony Duff 255 17.32 100
8 18 Martin Havlicek 255 17.53 100
9 2 Andrew Griffiths 255 18.27 100
10 3 Rick Neale 235.8 16.00 92
11 10 Garry Davis 226.4 16.48 89
12 19 Dave Holley 212.4 16.21 83
13 4 Bronwyn Stephens 207.4 15.51 81
14 5 Ben Hew 206.8 16.04 81
15 15 Rodney Edwards 189.7 15.13 74
16 21 David Wighton 184.7 15.3 72
15 12 Adam Iannos 162.4 13.16 64
18 7 Brendan Smith 147.6 10.45 58
19 14 Leon Malzinskas 108.1 9.1 42
20 17 Maria Hamelink 91.5 8.05 36
DNS 8 Owen Mandry
DNS 9 Lynton Stretton

Day 3

Placing No. Name Distance Time %
1 20 Bruce Wood 381.4 21.46 100
2 1 Bill Somerville 381.4 21:48 100
3 6 Michael Chidgey 381.4 22:08 100
4 16 John Allison 381.4 22.51 100
5 11 Graham Hancox 381.4 23.09 100
6 13 Jason Morrison 381.4 23.36 100
7 22 Anthony Duff 381.4 25.03 100
8 18 Martin Havlicek 381.4 26.46 100
9 2 Andrew Griffiths 381.4 27:47 100
10 3 Rick Neale 362.2 24:59 95
11 10 Garry Davis 352.8 26.08 93
12 19 Dave Holley 338.8 25.12 89
13 4 Bronwyn Stephens 333.8 25:52 88
14 5 Ben Hew 333.2 26:05 87
15 21 David Wighton 311.11 24.58 82
16 15 Rodney Edwards 307.7 23.57 81
17 7 Brendan Smith 274 19:38 72
18 12 Adam Iannos 255.5 20.58 67
19 17 Maria Hamelink 166.8 14.30 44
20 14 Leon Malzinskas 108.1 9.01 28
DNS 8 Owen Mandry
DNS 9 Lynton Stretton

Day 4

Placing No. Name Distance Time %
1 20 Bruce Wood 509.9 28.29 100
2 1 Bill Somerville 509.9 28.31 100
3 6 Michael Chidgey 509.9 28.57 100
4 16 John Allison 506.9 30.00 100
5 13 Jason Morrison 509.9 30.15 100
6 11 Graham Hancox 509.9 31.30 100
7 22 Anthony Duff 509.9 32.12 100
8 18 Martin Havlicek 509.8 35.19 100
9 2 Andrew Griffiths 509.9 37.06 100
10 3 Rick Neale 490.7 33.57 96
11 10 Garry Davis 481.3 35.27 94
12 19 Dave Holley 467.3 33.34 92
13 15 Rodney Edwards 436.3 33.10 86
14 7 Brendan Smith 402.5 28.10 79
15 5 Ben Hew 398.7 30.36 78
16 21 David Wighton 389.8 30.48 76
17 4 Bronwyn Stephens 387.5 30.17 76
18 12 Adam Iannos 298.1 24.33 58
19 17 Maria Hamelink 254.8 21.35 50
20 14 Leon Malzinskas 108.1 9.01 21
DNS 8 Owen Mandry
DNS 9 Lynton Stretton

Photo Gallery

Selected Photos from 2014

If you want to see the full set of photos on our Flickr site Click Here

If you would like to put captions to the images, send me the image number (as shown where the caption would go) and the appropriate caption…keep it factual, although a little funny is ok.
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Stories

Stories from the gallery

coming soon a no-holds barred account by our 2014 winner, Bruce Wood.

A Course Marker’s Perspective – Lorraine & Alan Hancox

A Course Marker's Perspective (177.0 KiB)

Video

Video

Contributed by Bill Somerville

Fundraising

Fundraising Report

coming soon

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