A clash with the 3-day Tour de Rocks and the extended Easter and ANZAC Day holidays meant numbers were down for the 45Km handicap race on Long Swamp at the weekend and no doubt Tour de Rock Star Billy Mara would have been sweating an Ice Cold beer in the pub at Willawarrin on Friday night wondering if San Remo was going to add further points atop the RROTY League, or if Jo Wauch or Dave Jenner would be snapping at his heels by the end of the day.
All that remained to be seen as 12 riders rolled up to the start of 3 laps of the hilly course with Col’s on-board handicapping brain proving well up to the task of extending the regular 30K times. Full marks also to Col for not only managing to run the race, but also provide the most comprehensive set of timings, splits and placings ever seen, simply by using his mobile phone. So comprehensive in fact that our website table plugin doesn’t handle it very well so I’ve had to drop a few columns yet still need to apologise for the hard to read data in the table below.
Jo Wauch, Dave Jenner and Wilf were off Go and with a healthy margin of 12m:30s on the trio of Aeroman, San Remo and Greg Manttan who followed after their lengthy warm-up. The Go group actually worked really well and stayed in elegant formation until the climb of Imbota on the last lap where Jo and Wilf pulled away from Dave with just the last few K’s to go.
Back down the road the San Remo express was rattling along with a group of 3 very different riding styles in need of a bit of breaking in before they clicked. Unfortunately by the time the bike whisperer arrived, Aeroman was no longer with them and shortly after the end of lap 1, they were in the sights of the Butcher of Bitumen himself, John ‘Cannibal’ Scott-Hamilton and his three amigos, Mick Hoult, Rob Tindale and Mick Sherwood, who punched out a smoking 10m:05s outward leg. The in-form pair of Sam Jenner and Dave Rugendyke made up the scratch ‘group’ and despite dropping into single minute digits for a first leg averging over 45kph, they couldn’t do more than nibble away at the 1m:30s that separated them from the powerful, larger block group. Consistent they were however, with very good pace-making that resulting in them taking 8, 1, 7, 5 and 9 seconds out of the block group lead on the first 5 legs, and only conceding any time on the final run-in which included a sprint from the larger leading group.
With Aeroman back in the pack, the group of 7 realised they could hold scratch at bay and turned their attention to reeling in the Go group. Unfortunately with the lifting pace, and without his aero helmet this week, Jeff didn’t stay with them and pulled out after 2 laps to ensure he had a prime position at the finish line. Up ahead Jo and Wilf were working well and on the final leg they dispatched with Jenner senior who was still in third at this point but with the bunch hard on his heels.
At the bottom of Dump Hill the bunch swallowed up Dave but Wilf and Jo had the first two places in the bag. At this point Mick Sherwood kicked on the second part of the hill, San Remo jumped onto his wheel and held him for a while before launching an attack that will have the Katusha scouts talking. Summoning all his Spring Classic strength, he kicked and “just went for it” powering past Mick and over the line to claim an excellent third place, crossing the line in his words “barely conscious”. Mick took fourth spot and Greg grabbed the last (and his first) RROTY points in fifth. By all accounts Houlty and Sherwood were putting in some monster efforts, especially on the hills, rallying the troops and keeping the bunch morale up along the way.
Col’s time breakdown makes interesting reading, clearly showing the power of a relatively large good working group against two on their own. Sam Jenner and Dave Rugendyke slogged away all race and achieved the fastest time on the day (72m:34s) but only nibbled back a few seconds each leg on the group ahead of them and Luke and Greg accelerated somewhat on the return leg into the wind when caught by the group of 4. The head-cross wind on the return leg was clearly evident by the times for that leg and also from the echelon formed by the group of 6.
A great victory for Wilf and gutsy ride from him and Jo to take the first two spots on another extended-distance race format that seems to be proving popular. Ride of the day again from San Remo who is now not only leading the RROTY league by a clear 10 points, but also timing his form perfectly ahead of our very own Spring Classic at Yarrowyck next week. The battle for second place in the league is hotting up with a surge from Jo and Wilf ensuring they remain very much in contention.
Thanks again Col for running the race, doing handicapping, signage, timekeeping and providing comments – you’ve earned your 4 points this week! Next week is Yarrowyck and pending a Presidential ruling, the 100K Mt Yarrowyck race is a handicap event so will probably qualify for RROTY points. For those not competing on the Sunday, we have a 30K scratch race on Dangarsleigh the day before.
RIDER Start Time 7.5K Split
15K Split 22.5K Split 30K Split 37.5K Split 45K Split Race Time Race Place
Jo Waugh Go * * * * * * 85m 36s 02
Dave Jenner Go * * * * * * 87m 40s 08
Wilfried Keller Go * * * * * * 85m 31s 01
Jeff Flatt 12m 30s 11m 10s 14m 44s 10m 53s 16m 04s * DNF DNF
Luke Milan 12m 30s 10m 55s 14m 47s 10m 48s 13m 58s 10m 49s 13m 13s 74m 30s 03
Greg Manntan 12m 30s 10m 55s 14m 47s 10m 48s 13m 58s 10m 49s 13m 33s 74m 50s 05
John Scott-Hamilton 14m 30s 10m 05s 13m 49s 10m 36s 13m 58s 10m 49s 13m 38s 72m 55s 06
Mick Hoult 14m 30s 10m 05s 13m 49s 10m 36s 13m 58s 10m 49s 13m 46s 73m 03s 07
Rob Tindale 14m 30s 10m 05s 13m 49s 10m 36s 13m 58s 10m 49s 14m 21s 73m 38s 09
Mick Sherwood 14m 30s 10m 05s 13m 49s 10m 36s 13m 58s 10m 49s 13m 28s 72m 45s 04
Sam Jenner 16m 9m 57s 13m 48s 10m 29s 13m 53s 10m 40s 13m 47s 72m 34s 11
Dave Rugendyke 16m 9m 57s 13m 48s 10m 29s 13m 53s 10m 40s 13m 47s 72m 34s 10