Younger club members were very much in evidence today and they took out the top three places in a well contested and competitive 30km handicap over two laps of the hilly Long Swamp course. 26 riders took advantage of perfect calm and sunny winter racing conditions and the bigger mid-race groups combined well to keep the pace high throughout.
The Go pairing of Jo Wauch and Emily Wooster shook off Jim Cook on the first lap, turning with over 2.5 mins still on the five-minute group who were now just 20s ahead of the combined seven and eight-minute groups at the half-way mark. These three bunches then quickly combined to create a monster 14-strong peloton that were charging along once the second lap was underway.
The eight-minute riders had blasted out a very hot first lap in 23m:46s, only 36s slower than Scratch who now had 2m:24s to make up in less than 15km against a bunch of 14 riders. The good news for Scratch was that although there were a lot of riders up the road, they weren’t all working effectively together. The youngsters clearly had their eyes fixed on victory with David Cook, Sam King and Tom Simmonds combining well with Col, Holly, Peter Hosking and Dave Harris to keep the pace high.
At the final turn, Jo and Emily still had a minute on their chasers but this was quickly whittled down and half-way up the Imbota climb they were caught. Jo managed to tag on and stay with the bunch that was now leading on the road but other riders were being shelled on the climb as the pace picked up with victory now a real possibility. Back in Scratch, Houlty, Dave and Hugh Munday were giving it their all with a blistering charge up Imbota for the second time but lost valuable momentum when some vehicles slotted in just in front of them and slowed for riders ahead. Despite a late charge up Dump Hill it wasn’t their day, their cause not helped by Rob Hale who, still shaking off his holiday culinary excess, didn’t do a thing although this week he at least managed to stay in contact with them for most of the race.
Up ahead, the big bunch was readying itself for the final run up Dump Hill and despite some strong riding from Col and Peter Hosking, it was the younger legs that danced up the final climb. David Cook impressed again with a powerful late surge to take the win comfortably from Tom Simmonds and Sam King, who both also finished strongly. Scratch eventually came home 75s down on the winning time with Hugh claiming Fastest Time on the day, 46m:18s at an average of just over 39kph. Notably, Dave and Houlty recorded exactly the same time – 23m:10s for each of their 15km laps – good pacing!
Congratulations to David Cook on a fine victory and well done also to Tom and Sam, Katherine, Hugh, Emily and Holly – great to see so many strong young riders racing so well in the club – we hope to see you all again next week. A big thank you to Jacqui King for putting the signs out and running the race which went off without a hitch. Jacqui’s 4 RROTY points weren’t sufficient to keep her ahead of Sam who leapfrogged from 18th to 12th and Tom goes from 10th to 6th courtesy of his second place today but there is no change in the top 5 with Richard Wilkinson way out in front despite not racing today. Next week RROTY is having a rest with graded scratch racing on Dangarsleigh.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||L1 Clock||L1 Time||L2 Clock||L2 Time||Adjusted||Avg Kph|
|MUNDAY Hugh||12||0:11:00||0:34:10||0:23:10||0:57:18 FT||0:23:08||0:46:18||39.14|