SAMCA organise a series of races throughout the year in and around Adelaide. The majority of races are run on public roads but a few, like criteriums, are run on a closed track.
The races are formatted as one of the following :
- Graded scratch races (GSR) – Riders are grouped according to abilities and compete only within their group. Grade extend from A through to F or even G if entries are large.
- Handicaps – Again riders are grouped by ability, but compete against the whole pack, having been started at different times. Often the riders will be split into to 2 separate divisions.
- TT – Individual riders compete in their age groups for fasted times.
- Criterium – as per GSR but generally on a closed track. There are also team events held.
- NOTE – all championship races, regardless of the format, are conducted in 5 year age group increments based on the riders age at 31st December of that year.
- Special events like CAMS and Tour of Goolwa cater for both teams and grades and are multi stage events.
Each SAMCA featured race is hosted by one of the 3 local clubs, SDVLCC, AHMCC or VLCC. Points for placing in these events are accumulated through the year and the top 16 riders at the end are presented with bonus prize money.
The AVCC permits 2 come and try events before you are required to become a financial racing member. You may contact any of the 3 clubs directly and race their local events, it does not have to be a SAMCA featured event. Membership runs annually from January to December, but you are able to purchase a membership from October for the price of one year, thus gaining 3 months for free.
CAMS (Classic Adelaide Masters Series)
The CAMS series is an annual event held during the Tour Down Under week in January. Arguably the flagship event for SAMCA, it attracts racers from all states in Australia and regularly caters for 150 or more riders. There are a number of events, namely a TT, Road Race, Hill Climb and a Criterium over the course of the TDU week. Individual prizes and a medals are awarded within each event, as well as an overall winners trophy at the final presentation. The individual events (TT and hill climb) are generally run in age group format, whilst the Road Race and Criterium are GSRs.
Started in 1999, in conjunction with the first Tour down Under in Adelaide, CAMS will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary next year. The even has run under various names and formats in the past. The very first event was a single handicapped road race with with the finish line under the TDU banner, and organised by race director Wolf Harder. History has it that the winner was a Tasmanian gentleman, who whilst was seen starting with the peloton, was mysteriously not seen again till he re-emerged, triumphant and ahead of the pack by some way, to claim the $700 purse. Of course there was speculation and complaint, but no evidence forthcoming as to any misgivings, so the prize was awarded!
Following on from work by previous members like Audrey Donsen and Raey de Ross, for the past decade, Robert Freak (the Race Director and current SAMCA vice president) has been instrumental in maintaining the momentum of the event and promoting it to national status.
Tour of Goolwa
Whilst not a SAMCA organised event, the ToG should be highlighted as a premier event for all SAMCA member cyclists. A 2 day format see riders participate in a team time trial, a flat (but usually windy) road race, a race merely known as ‘the one with that hill’, and finally a hill climb up the deceptive Crows Nest climb. As a team centric event, tactics play a large part in each race as teams strive to get their best sprinters and climbers into the leaderboards. The event is usually held in February.