The long-awaited first handicap road race of the season took place under warm blue skies but with a stubborn cross-wind that would make the outward leg more challenging than the return on the meandering Dangarsleigh course. A good roll-up of 21 riders were split into just four groups as an early-season handicap measure. The Go group of Bob Murison, Chris Stace and Ray Philips had a lead of 4 minutes on a group of four behind them who in turn were 3 minutes ahead of a monster group of ten riders, with scratch a further 2 minutes behind comprising H and Dave Munday, Kirky and Mick Harris.
There were a few retirements along the way as early-season legs weren’t quite doing what they were told, but in the main the groups stayed together at least until the turn. Dave Harris almost stayed with his group on his Norco CX bike but the 32-section tyres and upright position made the going a bit too tough, not to mention the baggy shorts and shirt which turned into a parachute over the top of the rises. The mixed composition of the large group meant the pace was tougher for some than others but everyone pulled their turns on the way out by which point the 4-minute group had made their way to the front of the race but looked to only have around 30-45s on the chasing pack with scratch now notably reduced to just three riders a similar distance behind.
The cross-tail wind on the way home favoured the groups ahead with their slim but useful lead and it wasn’t until the top of Monument that the front-runners were finally caught. Rhys Williams and Clint Bourke continue to impress showing good form with Clint managing to latch onto the main train as it crested the last climb with just the undulations to go. Scratch meanwhile were winding in the leaders and there was no time for cat and mouse games as Peterson’s came into view. Paul Williams pushed himself hard along with Holly Harris who rode selflessly pulling great turns with the front-runners that ultimately cost her a place in the final sprint. In the end Sam Munday and Rob Hale jumped away on the final rise to contest the sprint which was a good one – deservedly won by Sam by half a wheel. Clint hung on for third place ahead of Rob Tindale and Holly, Dave Munday the first of the scratch riders rattling in 30s later but still comfortably recording fastest time of just under 46 mins at 39.29kph
Don’t forget that race results are now also up on the Results Service Page – you can filter by rider, location, date etc to check your performances and see where the competition is at.
Thanks to Houlty for putting the signs out and running a great race, ably assisted by Johnny and thanks to all the riders for a well-contested and competitive race. Next week we’re back at the crit track – see you all then.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||Elapsed||Race Time||Avg Spd|
|MUNDAY Dave||07||0:09:00||0:54:58||0:45:58||39.29 FT|