40km Dangarsleigh scratch race results from last weekend:
8 riders lined up for A Grade; Peter Hoskins making his debut at this level with some trepidations. Sam Jenner looked pumped after his successful weekend at the Junior nationals, as did Col MacIver just coming off the Masters the previous weekend. The fine weather also lured out John S-H. The rest of the field was made up of Pat MacMillan, Greg Manttan, Andrew Kirk, Mick Hoult. The race had an incentive of a KOM competition, with points up for offer on four climbs.
The riders set off at a fast pace and worked together, making Pete do a turn up the lower part of Dangarsleigh Hall; by the top of that stretch Mick Hoult, as usual was dragging everybody up withy his relentless pace making. The first KOM point was on top of the short climb to Otterbourne and Sam jumped out of the peleton early and did enough to stay ahead of a fast closing Mick. Kirky took the one point remaining with Greg right on his back wheel. Sam’s surge had split the group and everybody was working flat out to catch up down the long descent to Salisbury creek. John made a heroic effort and just rejoined on the bridge in time to fall victim to another surge. The other casualty was Pat and both of them were unable to rejoin and ended up timetrialling the remaining 25 ks of the race, not wanting to be caught by B Grade and be subjected to Pete W’s caustic tongue.
The second KOM was the short but steep climb up from Ghostwyck turn-off. Sam set the pattern for the rest of the race and easily gathered the main points, once again followed by Mick. This time Greg got over the top in third, just ahead of a tiring Kirky. Col and Pete went over the top about 30 seconds behind them.
The toughest climb came soon after the turn-around and Sam and greg were putting in some distance on Mick as they battled each other up Salisbury Hill; Sam, again, being able to pull ahead to collect first place and virtually wrapping up the KOM competition. Sam sat up and waited for Greg and the two worked effectively together to make sure Mick (third place at the KOM) had no chance to rejoin them. It proved an effective strategy as Mick powered up his diesel engine but was unable to close up the 30 second or so distance. Kirky had been joined by Col and Pete and the three set about trying to rein in Mick, tantalisingly in sight ahead of them.
The fourth KOM on the top of Knob’s Hill saw the same scenario: Sam half a bike’s length ahead of Greg, Mick third, followed by the trio of chasers. John and Pat were losing time but still continuing with their heroic solo efforts.
These positions were maintained at the end with Sam crossing the line first – he and Greg completing the race in just over 1 hour 4 minutes. Mick had maged to stay ahead to finish third, with Col taking fourth place, followed by Pete (who must be congratulated for a great effort).
KOM results (with Salisbury Hill counting double points): first place- Sam (15); equal second – Greg (7); equal second – Mick (7).
Dene Bourke, Peter Wilkinson, Aaron O’Grady and Phil Thomas set off at a quite leisurely pace, which they maintained to the turn-around, after which some serious racing began. Aaron was unable to hold on to the relentless surges, especially with Phil’s turns at the front and dropped off in the latter stages. The three remaining riders came charging to the line and, for once, Dene was unable to get that killer sprint working in the last fifty metres. Phil just held on for the win, with Pete W taking third place.
A group of five set off, Sophie Wallace literally joining them on the line as they started. Bob Murison was in his usual role of road captain and organising Dave Jenner, Dave Rubie and Jack Parker into an effective rolling unit that was able to stay with B Grade pace to the halfway mark. Not quite, Dave Rubie decided to contest a 30 k race (which he won) by turning at the 15 k point.
The others stayed together until dropping Dave Jenner near Peterson’s as Sophie and Jack upped the pace, Jack especially feeling a bit twitchy. Unfortunately, Sophie was able to exploit her track sprinting experience and just finish ahead of Jack, bob taking the final place in C Grade.