We had a fantastic turn-out of 35 riders today for the first Boorolong Scratch Race that anyone can remember. It certainly lived up to its billing as a tough course, especially for the 16 riders in A-Grade. The presence of the Munday’s inspired some Geldof lyrics before the start as riders wondered how long they’d survive once Dave and Sam dished out the hurt. Mick Harris wasn’t in any way concerned though, and after an inspired early attack from Kirky that lasted all of 100m, Mick rolled to the front and stayed there until at least the half-way turn and probably longer.
Spartacus was working on his Chubby Checker moves up the Twisties, which made it very difficult for those behind to concentrate. By that point, anyone that had actually managed to hang on to Mad Mick was most certainly on the rivet. The Claremont Road drag saw the pace rise to the point where it was just the Munday’s, Mick, Brent Rees, Houlty (and almost Flappy Shorts) who were left. Behind them nine riders regrouped and really started to roll well to the point where they actually managed to get the leaders back in sight. Houlty almost made it to the end in the front group, but ultimately was swallowed up by the bunch behind in the final kilometre.
Brent unleashed an impressive sprint at the end to come around Mick on the line with Sam following up in third place and Dave 10s further back. 30s later the bunch powered home with a well-contested sprint finish after a nice lead-out from Flappy Shorts. Strong rides from Angus Apps, Holly Harris and Phil Hess in particular today.
B-Grade was also well contested with 13 riders ensuring there were plenty of places to hide for those purely focused on survival. There were actually only a dozen riders who started but despite having been knocked off his Vice-Presidential perch, Ben Livings’ time-keeping reputation remains intact. He briefly impressed with a deliberate (unlikely) delayed start, followed by a furious sprint and shortly after, a furious DNF. Bad luck Ben.
Wilf also didn’t disappoint, with a number of brutal solo attacks off the front which were generally ignored except by Lachie who gamely decided to take him on after a couple of sighting runs. The pair did the bulk of the work on the outward leg with good assistance from Jason. After the turn, things heated up notably, which destroyed the bunch and like A-Grade, let a smaller group get away to contest matters.
Phil Thomas demonstrated his downhill prowess over Blacks Hill but was soon recaptured and with Jason now having a go at riding with Wilf on the front, the half-dozen riders stayed together with a good but steady pace until the final turn onto the long home straight. It came down to a bunch sprint with everyone holding off until quite late. Sam King then out-dragged Chris Stace for victory by half a wheel and Keglegs grabbed third.
C-Grade had smaller numbers but no less excitement. They lost Jacqui and Dave Jenner on Blacks Hill on the outward leg (recorded as DNF today – apologies if not). It was therefore up to Haydo, San Remo and Captain Creagan to do the work. This they did and the teamwork proved effective as they started to pick up a lot of stragglers from the earlier grades.
After the turn they briefly pulled away from Jo and Derek “Flying Crank” Shirlaw, but the pair dug deep and managed to make contact once again before the pace picked up. The bunch then collected the Bourke Sisters and Lachie before San Remo came good and put in some solid efforts on the front.
With a good bunch of B-Grade leftovers now sitting on the back spectating, the sprint was a noisy one with lots of shouting and yelling. Still with energy left after a strong ride, Haydo launched an impressive early attack, but faded quickly. PC showed he still has it in the old legs, managing to reel in the now almost stationary Haydo and power home for the victory.
Congratulations to Brent, Sam and PC and to all riders on the day for a fantastic afternoon of competitive and sociable racing. Many thanks to Bill Mara for putting signs out and running the race and appreciation also to senior riders for all paying subs – we had record takings this week!
Next week it’s the first part of our Club Championship double – the 25K ITT on Dangarsleigh. Hopefully we can get a similar turnout but if you’re not racing and are around – please let a hand to marshall the start/finish and turns.