With the highly popular Walcha Road Race on earlier in the day, numbers were down today for Round 22 of the Road Racer of the Year competition, a 30km handicap race on Dangarsleigh Road. This didn’t make it any less exciting however and the two RROTY protagonists were naturally both present. Richard Wilkinson v Dave Munday was the contest within a contest and when the handicapper announced the latter would be a lone Scratch rider a minute behind Houlty, David Cook and Hugh Munday, it was clear that if he got anything out of it, it would certainly be well-deserved.
Jo Wauch and PC set off at a relaxed pace and it was five minutes before anyone else turned a wheel in pursuit. VP Livings, Tinny, Keglegs and Wilko went next and settled quickly with Phil in particular looking good on his new steed, followed five minutes later by Block and then the lone Scratch rider.
At the turn, PC and Jo were looking good and had 3 mins on their chasers and just under 6mins on Scratch with Dave Munday making inroads but not enough, still around 40s down. The gaps started to come down more dramatically across the field on the home leg and at the top of the Monument climb the leaders had 70s on the chase group which had only lost Wilf at this point and Block had closed dramatically, now just 2m further behind and coming home fast.
When they reached the last corner at the railway with 2km to go, PC and Jo didn’t dare look back, their lead down to around 30s and Wilko acutely aware that with no sign of Dave Munday, if he could sneak a top 5 finish he would get those all-important RROTY bonus points and pull out an unassailable lead.
In the end PC and Jo held off and PC sailed over the line two bike lengths to the good for his first win since November last year (also on Dangarsleigh). Just 13s later, Phil Thomas powered home to take the bunch sprint with a photo needed to split 4th and 5th places. Rob Tindale just edged out Wilko but he still claimed 3 bonus points for 5th place and in doing so has sealed his place at the top of the RROTY League for 2016.
It was another 90+ seconds before Block and Scratch riders came home having had a hard chase with no reward, Dave Munday managing a resigned smile, at least having picked up Fastest Time on his solo chase with an average of 39.52kph.
Congratulations to PC on a great win and of course a huge well done to Wilko having finally sealed the RROTY championship with just one round remaining. Thanks also to Johnny for putting the signs out and running the race.
Next week we have our Club Road Race Championships and in case anyone missed the latest updates, please note there will be no separate Junior Championship Day this year, instead, the event on the 22nd October will be open to all Junior and Senior licenced riders with a mass-start format over 45km on Long Swamp Road starting at the earlier time of 3pm and followed by drinks and a sausage sizzle at the start/finish line. Spectators, friends and family very welcome.
|MUNDAY Dave||10||0:11:00||0:56:42||0:45:42||39.52 FT|