Juniors were back in action this weekend with a good turnout featuring the Harris brothers, Alex and Sam King, Lachie Fittler, Cal Godwin, Ky Ho and Adam Bourke (good to see you back Adam!). After some good time trialling, Ryan Harris (“the boy they couldn’t handicap”) as usual won the 6 lap handicap race. He didn’t get things all his own way though in a two lap wheel race, having to settle for second place just behind scratch marker Ky, with Adam (also off scratch) third, and Alex riding well for fourth place.
Then it was off to Dangarsleigh Road for the senior race, a 30km handicap organised by Col Maciver, featuring two laps out to the Monument and back. There were the usual protests from Andrew Kirk after he was swapped from the 9 minute group back to block, but none from Dave Munday who as reigning club champion was given the job of keeping Sam Jenner company off scratch.
The race started with Dave Jenner, Bob Murison and Jo Wauch off limit. Jo and Bob set off like scalded cats quickly leaving Dave in their wake. Wilf Keller, Dene Bourke and Phil Thomas started at 6 minutes and began chipping away at the lead. Off 9 minutes were Rob Tindale, Aaron O’Grady, Lachie McPhie, Tad Davenport and All Black Triallist Jeff Flatt who was riding like one, regularly performing the cycling equivalent of the Maori sidestep, surging through to the front and putting the rest of the group on the rivet.
The block group started with Kirkie, Mick Sherwood, and Andrew Swan under the leadership of Mick Hoult. By the first turn they had the 9 minute group in their sights, catching them just after Knobs Hill much to the disappointment of Rob Tindale. Now reinforced, in particular with some strong work by Jeff they set about chasing down the leaders.
Meanwhile, Sam decided he didn’t really need Dave’s help and decided to go solo. In typical fashion Dave pressed on stoically to ride out the race on his own.
The action came to a head on the last leg, with Phil Thomas leaving Wilf and Bourkey behind on Knobs Hill, slowly edging his way towards Jo and Bob who were still riding well. The block-9 minute group was riding hard but by and large stayed together, and as they came down the hill from Peterson’s could see the front markers approaching the corner of Gostwyck Road. At this point it looked touch and go whether the race would come together, but with some big turns by several of the group (mainly Houlty!) the catch was made right on the line.
And the winner was …. Kirkie (who quickly forgot all complaints about the handicap), just pipping Phil Thomas on the line, with Mick Sherwood in third. Sam Jenner was not far behind with fastest time. Excellent rides also by Jo and Bob who came agonisingly close to winning, and also from Tad who gritted his teeth to hang on for the finish.