With several riders racing out of town and a clash with the popular 12 Hours in the Piney MTB race, we didn’t expect great numbers for the opening round of the 2015 Road Racer competition on Saturday. It was therefore a pleasant surprise when 18 riders appeared at the top of Long Swamp Rd to race two laps of the 15K course in warm and dry conditions.
A wide spread of rider grades resulted in handicaps ranging up to 16 minutes and with Kirky back in the pack you can imagine the comments that were flying around when Chris Stace and Ray Phillips made the first turn before they were underway. Chris and Ray had a well devised plan to work together until the 10-minute bunch of four riders caught them. Unfortunately Chris dropped Ray at the bottom of the first hill and after a quick chat they amended the strategy to every man for himself!
With a welcome return to racing for Freya Weston and Gareth Kelly, the 7-minute quartet (including Wilf and Wilko) was a bit of an unknown, but by the half-way point they’d made good inroads into the pair ahead and were still together (just) at the top of the hill.
There was some hard riding being done by the 12-minute trio of the Bourke Sisters and Jeff Flatt who punched well under 25 minutes for the first lap – Jeff managing a 24:33 at the turn which was only a minute off the pace of scratch two bunches back. The scratch bunch wasn’t firing today and the enormity of the task ahead seemed to cause a few heads to drop. Although they took 5 minutes out of the leaders on the first lap, they weren’t going to make up the deficit with Chris looking settled and strong out on the road ahead.
In the end, Chris powered home with a comfortable margin of 23 seconds from a strong-finishing Gareth Kelly who’d managed to open up a half minute on Freya who in turn claimed a well-deserved third place. Wilf and Jeff rounded off the RROTY bonus point places. Sam Munday and Mick Sherwood took some consolation in a sprint up Dump Hill on the last lap leaving Kirky and Paul Williams to lament their ages, or legs, or something on an afternoon where chasing was the order of the day for most riders.
The keen-eyed amongst you will spot Phil Thomas in the results as a DNF which was really a DNS following an extremely complicated puncture which took most of the first lap to sort. All that effort was not in vain however Phil, you still qualify for 3 RROTY points.
And so to the RROTY Round 1 standings – you can reach these from links on our menus or directly off the icon on the home page. Chris Stace is sitting proudly at the top of the league with Gareth Kelly and Freya Weston just behind.
Well done to all the riders this week and thanks to Dave Munday for putting the signs out and running the race. Next week with the long Easter weekend we’re back at the track for a criterium and then the following weekend we switch to Winter Time with a 2pm start on Boorolong Road for RROTY Round 2.
Note, there will be no juniors at the TEC over the Easter weekend – senior racing only at 4pm.
|MUNDAY Sam||11||0:16:00||0:23:23||0:23:37||0:04:49||0:47:00||38.68 FT|