Considering the mercury was barely into double figures with a notable easterly blowing around, there was a surprisingly good turnout of 25 riders for an extended out-and-back 40km assault of the challenging Booroong course yesterday. Mick Harris was given the same 22 minute handicap he’d been allocated two years ago on a day when he rode away from his Scratch mates to win by a comfortable margin. This time round he had David Cook and David Munday for company but they were 2 minutes in arrears of a six-strong Block group that included an in-form Brent Rees from Inverell.
Up front Jacqui King had set off at a good healthy pace with Jo five minutes in arrears. At the turn, Jacqui still had 1m:20s on Jo who in turn was just under two minutes ahead of the 10-minute group that followed. Chris, Alex and Carl were making steady inroads on the leaders and in looked like they’d reel them in at about two-thirds distance. Back up the road Wilf and Billy had despatched the Bourke Sisters and shown little love to San Remo (who’d chosen probably the toughest course possible for his comeback ride). Wilf pulled away slightly at the turn with both just a handful of seconds off the Stace trio ahead and a healthy advantage on Angus, Hugh Munday and Swanny who were looking dangerous until Swanny punctured on the Tom’s Gully bridge crossing.
Block were a little bit lumpy on the way out but found a better rhythm by the turn although they were still eight minutes in arrears of the leaders at this point. Scratch were still exactly two minutes further back and with little likelihood of the two quicker groups combining it was going to be a hard grind home. Chris, Carl and Alex were going really well until Carl dropped his chain on the bump just after the railway bridge which coincided with the group making brief contact with Jo. Chris and Alex continued on, then passing Jacqui on the Dumaresq Road drag who gave her customary cheery wave as they went on their merry way.
Further back, Block were starting to splinter due to some stinging efforts on the front by Reesy which eventually caused Pete Harris to detonate after what had been an impressive ride on the climbs in particular. Dave Harris was hanging on grimly, shorts flapping and as always Houlty was giving it his all. Despite this, the gap wasn’t coming down fast enough and the stragglers being collected weren’t able to do anything other than hang on the back.
At the sharp end of things, it was down to just Chris and Alex to contest the finish which wasn’t so much a sprint as an exhausted roll over the line from the lead pair which Chris won comfortably. Less than a minute behind, Jo and Carl were hanging on for all their worth. As they passed Weirs Rd, Block were still 30s behind but under the flamme rouge Reesy attacked hard and in the end almost pulled in Jacqui, finishing just 7s down on third-placed Carl who outgunned Jo on the line. The bunch behind then summoned whatever they had left to contest a sprint for the minor places.
Congratulations to Chris and Alex for a well-paced and well-earned race win and to Block rider Brent Rees who grabbed Fastest Time at 37.49kph. Thanks also to Clint for putting the signs out and to Col for running the race. We’ve given them both 4 RROTY points as a result which of course could be highly contentious at the end of the season!
At the top of the RROTY league Chris and Alex are both starting to pull out a bit of a lead and watch out for Carl Hooton who’s up into 6th place. With roadworks still taking place on Dangarsleigh, we are back on Lumpy Long Swamp again next weekend for a pairs team time trial.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||Turn||Turn Split||Finish||Finish Split||Adjusted||Avg Kph|
|REECE Brent||06||0:20:00||0:54:57||0:07:57||1:24:30||0:00:56||1:04:30 FT||37.49|