Everyone clearly welcomed the return to road racing yesterday with a great roll-up for the 30k handicap on Dangarsleigh Road. 28 riders contested a fast and furious race with plenty of welcome new faces in attendance.
Jacqui King got things underway, followed by a two-minute trio, a five-minute quintet and a seven-minute octet, all riding just about in harmony as they powered up the road in warm conditions with a variable wind that seemed to come from all angles. The Block group were then at nine minutes with Scratch at twelve, clearly with some chasing to do.
Perhaps acutely aware of the task ahead, Scratch took a while to settle into a rhythm that all riders could sustain but by the half-way mark they had made good inroads into the time gaps and as they approached the turn, had closed to around 30s from the tail of what was now a large bunch ahead. With Dave and Sam Munday relentlessly driving things along, riders were soon being caught but also rapidly shelled and it was more a case of hanging on than contributing for most.
The bunch numbered around 14 as the war memorial was passed and the pace up the long straight climb was quick but manageable with few riders willing to risk burning whatever they had left at that point, leaving Sam and Dave at the helm. Mick Harris, choosing to ride in the gutter, made sure those behind him had little to work with thanks to the cross-wind that picked up on the exposed ridge. Then 50m from the top of the climb he attacked causing the bunch to immediately split and then split again just before the summit with Kirky and Hugh Munday toughing it out and staying with the lead trio.
Up ahead, the leaders were making a wild dash for the line, Wilf was about to be caught, followed a few minutes later by Richard Wilkinson but Peter Wilko was out front with hopes to stay away. He was almost over the final hill at Peterson’s when the furious five came screaming past, dashing what would have been a great solo victory for the two-minute rider. From there on in it was a rapid charge to the finish with Sam Munday making the decisive move, jumping away with a powerful burst that put him 5s clear from Mick Harris as he crossed the line, Dave Munday taking third and Hugh Munday comfortably tucked in behind Kirky claimed fifth spot with another impressive ride.
Mention should also be made of excellent rides from newcomers to Senior Racing, David Cook and Josh Denham who were unlucky not to stay with the leaders when the attacks were made but who still finished strongly, David in particular working hard all the way to the end.
Sam also collected Fastest Time on the day, completing the course in 43m:44s at an average of just over 41kph. Interestingly this was the 2nd fastest time for that course recorded since the club race results database was started two years ago. The rider clocking 43m:32s on February 15th 2014 was none other than Harrison Munday!
Congratulations to Sam and many thanks to Dene Bourke for setting out the signs and cones and running a good race with pretty good handicaps courtesy of Col who commented afterwards how he was planning on picking up speed to tag onto the back of Scratch when they came through, but by the time he’d finished thinking about it they were already gone!