Predicting the weather is probably something best left to the experts. With mere mortals now having access to real-time radar imagery, and last-minute SMS updates to riders, you might think we’d be able to accurately call a race on or off with a good degree of confidence. It appears however that we can now just make incorrect decisions more quickly. So when we boldly confirmed racing was ON this weekend just one hour before the start time, the heavens opened, thunder clapped and rolled and hail fell.
A tribute to the tough breed of riders in the New England, we still had 12 turn up, cowering under grey skies and despite some last minute “I’m pulling the pin on this” wobbles, the appearance of a very small but rapidly growing section of blue sky coinciding with the arrival of the ever-positive handicapper Col, signaled that a full race would be run as planned, albeit 20 minutes late. As if by magic the sun then appeared and all was well with the world once again.
Jo Wauch was off Go and she pedalled away with a gap of 3 minutes on Richard Wilkinson and a further 2 on Clint Bourke and Wilf. Wilko was going well and had wiped away just under half of Jo’ 3 minute advantage by the half-way point whereas the 5-minute pair had only pulled back 31 seconds on him. Dene Bourke was also travelling well having started at 7 minutes and despite losing Brendon mid-way he turned with a deficit of 36s on the pair ahead, but unfortunately for him, the chasing scratch pack was now just 21s behind.
And this is where we need to go back a bit. Col and Holly were meant to go at 8 minutes but having been caught out training in the storms earlier, Holly was waiting for her team car (Mum) to bring some warm gear to the start line at the critical moment. She missed the start and Col went solo. Then the comedy started. The 10-minute scratch group waited for Holly but it was really more of a gesture than anything else and after 10s, they went – after all there were RROTY points at stake here! Johnny the Gentleman however waited, and waited… About 2 minutes later the pair were off at a cracking pace with Johnny throwing the kitchen sink at it to try and get Holly back with the group. Not surprisingly they didn’t pull that kind of deficit back by the first turn at 7.5K, and with lots of yelling and gesturing from the scratch trio, the pair turned early and joined the group. As Houlty ripped up Imbota on the big ring Johnny slipped off the back having paid the price for his earlier efforts and it was a group of 4 that gave chase, now with 20K remaining.
The order remained intact at the half-way point and Jo and Wilko were clearly in determined mood with a healthy gap on the chasers. By now the bunch had swelled with the addition of Col, and Dene and once Clint and Wilf were snaffled up it just left 2 solo riders out on the road to catch. Wilko made it over Imbota and still had something in the tank, rolling a few turns when he was eventually caught. Jo was now in sight, giving it everything but on the run-in before the final climb she succumbed to the chasers and it was left to the bunch to fight it out up Dump Hill.
As the pace began to ramp up on the lower half of the hill, San Remo went on the attack but couldn’t shake Rob and Houlty who were right on his wheel up the hill. He looked to be positioned well to force the chasers to come round on the windward side but with about 200M to go, Houlty made room and burst through from the back. He looked to have timed his move perfectly but somehow San Remo, mustering one final effort, came back at him and grabbed a fine win with fastest time as well as 10 more RROTY points to cement his position at the top of the league. Col grabbed 4th spot and in a great battle for 5th, Wilko just beat Jo by a second.
Holly had been in the mix for the places but in a great sporting gesture and repaying the earlier favour, she turned before the line and went back down the hill to tow her lead-out man Johnny home.
At the top the RROTY League, San Remo now has 78 points and a 14 point lead on Jo Wauch in second place. The top 5 positions are unchanged but Col (+1), Richard Wilko (+1) and Houlty (+3) all move up. Thanks to Haydo for putting the signs out in the midst of a storm, running the race and capturing the result. Next week we have another 30K handicap, this time we’re back on the rolling undulations of Dangarsleigh Road.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||Clock Start||Lap 1||Lap 2||Clock End||Race Time||Avg Spd|
|MILAN Luke||1||10:00||2:57:31 PM||0:24:56||0:25:20||3:47:47 PM||0:50:16 FT||37.24|
|HOULT Mick||2||10:00||2:57:31 PM||0:24:54||0:25:25||3:47:50 PM||0:50:19||37.20|
|HALE Rob||3||10:00||2:57:31 PM||0:24:55||0:25:33||3:47:59 PM||0:50:28||37.09|
|MACIVER Col||4||08:00||2:55:23 PM||0:27:05||0:25:35||3:48:03 PM||0:52:40||35.54|
|WILKINSON Richard||5||03:00||2:50:21 PM||0:29:35||0:28:34||3:48:30 PM||0:58:09||32.19|
|WAUCH Jo||6||00:00||2:47:21 PM||0:30:52||0:30:18||3:48:31 PM||1:01:10||30.60|
|BOURKE Dene||7||07:00||2:54:24 PM||0:27:40||0:27:52||3:49:56 PM||0:55:32||33.71|
|BOURKE Clint||8||05:00||2:52:24 PM||0:29:03||0:30:27||3:51:54 PM||0:59:30||31.46|
|KELLER Wilf||9||05:00||2:52:24 PM||0:29:04||0:31:15||3:52:43 PM||1:00:19||31.04|
|SCOTT-HAMILTON John||10||10:00||2:58:53 PM||No Data||No Data||3:54:13 PM||0:55:20 *||33.83|
|HARRIS Holly||11||08:00||2:58:53 PM||No Data||No Data||3:54:13 PM||0:55:20 *||33.83|
|COLE Brendon||DNF||07:00||2:54:24 PM||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF||DNF|
* Started late, turned early, rode like the clappers and did an extra ride up Dump Hill just for good measure