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2012 Border Ride in Review

Ninety eight cyclists along with almost sixty supporters took part in last year’s ride. The Mount Isa Irish Club, Xstrata Mount Isa Mines, Bell and Moir, Harvey World Travel, M.I.Sprints, Sportspower and Sam Balch from QH2O Water, all who have supported the ride since the first, once again came on board as sponsors. 

Joining the sponsors list last year were legends of Australian cycling, Eddie Salas and Domonic Caravello. Eddie’s list of accomplishments in cycling include the Seoul Olympics, European professional along with winning numerous Australian titles. There will be many remember Eddie from the Barkly Challenge and as an ambassador for the ride.Domonic’s  ‘Caravello Cycling Team’ has long held the reputation of being one of Australia’s top domestic cycling teams. There would be few, if any, races or tours around Australia where Domonics team have not stood on the winning podium.These two Sydneysiders sent up jerseys, knicks, winter jackets and an enormous amount of cycling gear for the presentation night.  

As for the ride, the highlight would certainly be Glen ‘Hightower’ McMurtrie's one hundred and forty three kilometre effort on a handcycle on which he had only five training rides prior to the weekend. The longest of which was twenty five kilometres. 

There were a number of other highlights in this year’s ride which saw an increase in visiting riders from Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville and as far away as Victoria.  

Though not a race most riders go for a personal best and visiting Sydney rider Wayne Sanchez finished the two hundred and two kilometre ride in 5:14:00, one second ahead of local Jessie Fergie. A very good effort by anyone’s standard.Officials at the finish line were considering getting portable flood lights for race director Steve Carson who rolled over dead stone last on 8:18. Steve’s claim that stopping at the Camooweal pub for the traditional whiskey and beer chaser on the way caused a forty five minute delay fell on deaf ears.  

The ladies of the ‘The Border Babes’ were once again resplendent in their pink outfits and impossible to miss during both the ride and presentations. Of their members Dale Rackham won the inaugural Hightower shield for most inspiring rider while team mate Lynda Jones completed the whole two hundred.Other women to do the two hundred this year were Lyn Roughan, Linda French, Amanda Gowing, Clover Cross and visiting American Nichole Knepprath. Congratulations to all. 

Ex local and now resident in Brisbane, Mathias Schwarze, can now sleep easy after at last beating Frank Longs time of three years ago. Triathlete Geoff Baker showed he’s no slouch at cycling either when he and Ron Whitehead came across the line together at 5:17.  

Seems Shane Breen’s brother Dan was not the best recruit for support. While the rest were handing out sports drinks, bananas, protein bars etc it seems all Dan had in the esky was beer. Rumour has it Carson has approached Dan for next year’s ride. 

The miners helmet (Lantern Rouge) went to Dale Atkinson who, it must be pointed out, gave all a head start by staying back with Hightower for the first forty. Two others Alistair Grubb and Tom Curaton stayed with Glen and then rode onto Camooweal. All efforts to drag them from the pub to finish the last twelve k’s failed. Seriously, a wonderful display of mateship by all three of them and one which epitomises the spirit of the ride. 

Tony Sweeney was up at two a.m. preparing for the ride, watching the Olympics and when the sun came up fed the cows obviously unaware the clock was at five to seven, not, as he thought, five to six. West street was deserted when he arrived. Finished the ride with a respectable time though. 

Apparently Bob Jakeman’s team captain Ted Larson, who came up from the Sunshine Coast to compete in his second Border Ride, is a bit of a dab hand with the guitar. “Let’s hope next year when Ted comes up he thinks he’s Lance Armstrong and not bloody Eric Clapton,” Bob remarked when asked about the teams dismal performance. 

Thanks go to co-organisers of the event, Erin and Nathan Cross, George and Debbie Alford, Dave and Teresa Knight and Jenny and Dennis Potter. As they do each year the Potters also rode the event.    

A special thank you must go to Liz Flood from the Drovers Camp. Liz has opened up the camp to the ride since the first and will be sadly missed as Liz and Col heading south to enjoy retirement and of course the Grandkids. Liz’s contribution over the five years has played a big part in the rides success.

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