Rob Tindale notched up his first win of the year on Saturday (August 2), coming out on top in a 30km handicap road race. The event was run on Dangarsleigh Road in cold and very windy conditions which made racing difficult for the large field.
Five groups lined up at the start with the riders off “go” being overhauled by the three minute group fairly quickly. A new group of six riders then formed out of the remnants and took the lead before the turnaround, working well together.
Meanwhile, Rob’s group which had started at five minutes was rapidly gaining, but the fast pace was taking its toll. Shortly after the turn they had lost three of their starting five. The two remaining riders had the leaders in their sights, but in the strong headwind could not bridge the gap for another 2.5km.
Eventually they made it across, and after a brief rest started working with the bunch to stay ahead of the chasers, consisting of the Peter Wilkinson 7 minute group and the Mitch Bullen 9 minute group. These riders were also making good time despite losing Bill Mara who was riding his training bike (a replica of Hubert Opperman’s 1926 Melbourne to Warnambool Malvern Star), and Andrew Kirk trying to take out Dave Munday with a ball and all tackle at 45kmh.
The leaders were then reduced to four on the hill from the monument, made up of Rob, Phil Hess, and two unnamed riders who happened to devise the handicap (“funny how the handicappers always seem to go so well” someone was heard to mutter after the race).
Working hard to stay in the lead, they managed to arrive at the finish first and put on an exciting sprint. Although he seemed to be struggling to hold wheels in the last few kilometres, Rob proved to be too smart for the other three, starting his sprint from a long way out and on the inside. Nobody could match his finishing speed and he crossed the line for a hard fought and well earned win, with the unnamed handicappers second and third and Phil in fourth.
Wilko’s group was next home about half a minute down with Mitch and co coming in shortly afterwards.
All up it was a very enjoyable and competitive day’s racing (at least that’s what the handicappers said).