Katherine Hosking decimated the field yesterday in a club handicap race on Boorolong Road coming home almost three minutes ahead of a big bunch that had gathered on the homeward leg of the 30K race. She went off at a high pace, paired with sister Isabella in the Go group, and if the sprint she put in at the end was anything to go by, Katherine judged the race very well.
Back up the road, 2 groups of five riders (the ten and twelve minute groups) were sitting mid-field and proving that having more legs really does make a difference as they successfully held off the scratch pair of Mick Hoult and Mick Sherwood until after the turn. The two Mick’s had made rapid inroads on the Block pair of Swanny and Rob until Houlty threw a chain (and himself) just at the top of the main climb before Dumaresq Rd. Mick lived up to his Iron Man reputation by remounting and pushing on when others would have rolled back home, but the incident had lost them a good minute.
Race organiser San Remo had been foxing the riders a little at the start suggesting the turn may be a little further up the road than normal and perhaps this caused those ahead to moderate their pace as they neared the regular mid-point mark. It had looked like Block and the remnants of the mid-field bunches could forge a good relationship and potentially stay away from Scratch on the downhill homeward leg, but the Mick’s knew where the turn was and hit the Twisties hard getting on top of the group within a couple of hundred metres of the half-way point.
It took a while for the bigger bunch to get organised on the homeward leg with much of the work initially being left to the Scratch pair. Isabella was caught half-way up the long drag to Claremont Road, dug deep and came impressively close to hanging on to the back of the bunch which was starting to motor at this point. The 10-minute group was then picked up with around 10K to go but still ahead were David Cook and Katherine. David was collected shortly after as the pace kicked once again on the climb up Black’s Hill. As the group crested the top it shelled more riders and at this point those remaining started working together to chase down the lone leader on the road. Magpie Alley was safely navigated without incident but Katherine was long gone by the time the home straight came into sight.
With Mick Sherwood making the early running, it was left to Houlty to launch an attack with around 300 metres to go. Col went with him and the pair held off a number of late surges from those around to successfully claim 2nd and 3rd spots.
Congratulations to Katherine on a strong ride and fine victory with special mention also to Houlty for battling through misfortune and still managing to win the bunch sprint. Mention should also be made of David Cook’s ride – with no Junior racing at the TEC this weekend, David was mixing it up on the road and gaining some valuable bunch racing experience. A strong ride with some solo work but enough left to be there at the end – well done David.
Finally, a very big thank you to Luke and Nena for putting the signs out, running the race and donating a very welcome esky of ice-cold drinks at the end – much appreciated by everyone!