Brendon Cole grabbed his first race victory on the weekend from hard-chasing newcomer Jim Cook who just pipped Mark Haydon on the line in the Boorolong 30K Handicap.
Sam Munday and Holly Harris were determined to stay away from the scratch group of San Remo, Mick Harris and Mick Sherwood – the latter having already done 100K’s earlier in the day – who were 3 minutes behind, and as a result dropped Billy Mara and Dean Bourke on the first hill. Sam and Holly rolled strong turns together on the wind-assisted first leg and were caught with about 5 km to go by Harrison Munday. The scratch team had been happy to watch Harrison practice his time trial skills on the way out, with the odd suggestion of help given to the NRS rider who is clearly in some great form as a result of his early season national racing. Harrison decided it was time to pull back the leaders at the base of the last climb before the turn around and although Mick Harris went with him for a while, he slowly slipped out of sight although he didn’t manage to catch the leaders. The chase group just behind the Go marker of Ray Phillips had split up near the turn, which made for some individual time trialing home by Dave Jenner, Bob Murrison and Jo Wauch.
San Remo and Sherwood worked together, picking Mick Harris back up and later on Jo Wauch who stayed with them for the last few K’s to the finish. Up front, the final 3 km saw Cole, Cooke and Haydon fight it out with Mark Haydon doing an enormous turn which left Jim Cook wondering. Brendan Cole managed to stick to Haydon’s wheel to jump away with the win. The big effort took all energy away from Haydon who staggered home in 3rd with Jim Cook recovering to pip Haydon with 100 m to race. Harrison caught Sam and Holly allowing Sam to pick up some race points and Dave Jenner gamely held on to grab 5th spot and in the remnants of the scratch group, Luke finished strongly over Mick Harris and Mick Sherwood.
All in all a safe day of racing, with no body managing to run into Shaun The Sheep who was keen to watch the racing at the top of the last climb, with his fellow mates supporting loudly over the other side of the fence. We were not sure they were bellowing at Shawn or the riders. A very solid ride from the trio made them worthy victors and great to still see good numbers out on the course in spite of 9 Armidale riders being absent over in Grafton and Yamba.
Thanks to Dave Munday for doing the signs and running the race and to him and Luke for providing the above race commentary. At the top of the RROTY League, the gap between Luke and Billy remains at 17 points and the top 4 is unchanged, however Dave Jenner has closed the gap on 4th spot to just 5 points and as a result of his victory, Brendon moves from 15th to 7th.
|MUNDAY Harrison||07||00:11:00||00:59:10||00:48:10 FT|