Finally, after two very wet weekends without racing, there was a break in the weather, the sun came out and racing was on! There was still a definite sniff of winter in the air and arm and leg warmers were out in force for the 15 riders who battled for victory on the 30K Dangarsleigh course. There was a welcome return for Sam Jenner, back from racing in Europe and also for Swanny who found himself in very unfamiliar territory, racing off Go in the first of only 3 groups on the road.
With none of the usual Block riders present, Hugh Munday went a minute behind the 5-strong two-minute group and four minutes ahead of the 4-strong Scratch bunch. He set off like a rocket and managed to catch the group ahead, just about recovering until Wilf launched his own attack from that same group at around 12k distance. This was short-lived and the 6 riders regrouped and turned together, 1m:40s behind the leaders and just under two minutes ahead of Scratch who were making good progress and looking comfortable.
With a slight tail-wind on the homeward leg, the front group were going well and Scratch had their work cut out to make the catch. They slowly reeled in the bunch ahead and half-way up Monument had caught and passed them with no one able to jump across and join the train. At this point the front runners were visible and perhaps only 30s ahead but the road and time were running out. A furious last 3K saw Scratch draw ever closer while Haydo, Swanny, Wilko and Dave Jenner continued to stick to their task up ahead.
At the finishing line, the front-runners crested the final rise with only a handful of seconds advantage, but despite Houlty throwing everything he had into the chase, victory was in the bag for the Go group – just. Haydo and Wilko fought out a tough and high-speed final hundred metres with some serious grimacing and grunting going on as they whistled over the line, Haydo just taking victory by a bike length and Dave Jenner hanging on for third place. Swanny completed an inspiring race to just survive and take fourth spot before the Scratchies came ripping over the line one second later.
Dave Munday looked like he’d collect Fastest Time on the day but hadn’t counted on Sam Jenner’s last minute explosive sprint to come round him on the line, completing the course at an average speed of just over 40kph.
At the top of the Road Racer League, Dave Jenner has extended his lead to 5 points and Richard Wilkinson now moves up from 5th to 2nd place with Haydo also jumping from 7th to 3rd.
Well done to all riders on another exciting and very close-fought competitive race. Thanks to Johnny for putting the signs out and running the race and we hope to see you all out in big numbers next weekend on Long Swamp for Round 8 of the RROTY competition. Don’t forget the Gunnedah to Tamworth next Sunday – not too late to get your entries in if you haven’t already done so.
|JENNER Sam||05||0:07:00||0:52:01||0:45:01 FT||40.25 FT|