Deceptively windy conditions made for some hard racing yesterday with 26 riders competing over 2 laps of the 15k out-and-back Long Swamp course. Jacqui King made it two wins out of two, finishing over 30s clear of a hard-charging Scratch group and jumping into the top 5 of the RROTY League as a result.
By the end of Lap 1, the 8-minute pairing of Greg Flynn and Derek Shirlaw were going well and within striking distance of Jo Wauch but still almost six minutes in arrears of Jacqui who had settled into a good pace on the blustery course. Hot on their heels though were seven riders from the combined 10 and 11-minute groups, and then another 30s behind them, another 8 riders who’d formed when Block went through early on the return leg. At this point Scratch were one minute back, precisely half the time-gap they’d started with, so things were all set for a tight final lap.
The Block-led group continued to drive things along and caught the bunch ahead at the top of Imbota on the outward leg. The resultant fifteen rider bunch then split on the rapid downhill with Phil Hess and Hammy joining and going clear with the remains of Block. Lachie McPhie impressively jumped across to join them and this group pulled away, in pursuit of Jo and Jacqui.
Lachie couldn’t quite hang on over Imbota and when Jo was picked off shortly after, it was a case of the four riders chasing Jacqui and not being caught by Scratch. The Scratch trio were really motoring now having punched out a 40.15kph first lap. Despite some monster pulls from Houlty, they had the four Block riders in their sights on the long straight before Dump Hill. Scratch slowly reeled them in and then hit hard with an impressive attack on the final ramp of the climb with no one able to respond. It wasn’t in time to catch Jacqui however and she cruised over the line for her second successive RROTY win.
Mick Harris once again used his explosive sprint to punch clear of Dave Munday and take second place, with Inverell’s Brent Rees comfortably taking third and Houlty and Phil Hess claiming the last bonus points.
Due to RROTY rule 1.4.3 (rules at foot of RROTY table page), Brent unfortunately doesn’t gain any bonus points for his efforts. His welcome presence has certainly made Scratch a more competitive unit though and if he keeps on racing with us each week he might need to consider nominating Armidale as his home club for the new licence season!
At the top of the league, Dave Munday has just edged out Alex Thomas courtesy of a higher points-per-race figure. Along with Chris Stace in third, they’ve now opened a gap of 10 points over the chasers. Watch out for Jacqui King though, she has jumped into 5th place with just three rounds to go.
Congratulations to Jacqui on the victory and many thanks to Rob Tindale for putting the signs out and running the race. Next week we’re back on Dangarsleigh for round 18 which is shaping up to be a very rapid event as riders build on their form ahead of the Club Championships which are now just a month away.
|Place||Handicap||Lap 1||Lap 2||Finish||Adjusted||Gap||Avg|
|HARRIS Mick||02||0:15:30||0:22:34||0:23:06||1:01:10||0:45:40||0:00:34||39.68 FT|