After a month-long break, the 2015 Road Racer of the Year competition was back in action on Saturday with a 30K handicap on Long Swamp. Dave Jenner and Peter Wilkinson got things underway in near perfect conditions with a 4-minute advantage on the chasers featuring Billy Mara and a steadily improving Pete Harris who keeps gamely coming back for more road pain.
Last time out, fellow mountain bikers Dave Harris and Peter Hosking finished in the top 3 along with Rhys Williams. The trio were together again in the 5-minute group, this time joined by an in-form Holly Harris and there were grins all round in their 6-strong bunch as they set off with a monster six minute advantage on a combined scratch/block group. Last time out scratch had only managed to peg back around two and a half minutes on them so the odds were stacked strongly against the quicks from the start.
Setting off eleven minutes after Go, the seven-strong scratch bunch weren’t going to hand it to anyone on a plate and on the back of his TEC-monstering the previous week Mick Hoult led the assault, strongly supported by Mick Sherwood and Harrison Munday. Such was the pace however, averaging 44.2kph on the outward leg, two riders had been shelled from the group by quarter distance and 7 were down to 5 which wasn’t going to help.
By the end of the first lap, Dave Jenner and Wilko turned with a full minute on the chasers but by this point father and daughter Harris had snaffled up Wilf and Billy and along with Rhys and Peter Hosking had established a good group that still had 4m:37s on scratch. Pete Harris was just about hanging on at this point having punished himself up dump hill to stay in contention.
Richard Wilko, Clint and Lachie were still a good couple of minutes ahead of scratch who were out of it by now (post-race figures showed they would need to average just under 47kph for lap 2 to catch the leaders). Clint hung on gamely when the train went by at three-quarter distance and stayed with the chasers until the bottom of the final climb.
Up front Wilf was determined to keep his position as leader in the RROTY competition but hard-charging Holly belted him and everyone else into submission on the final run up Imbota going clear with only Dad and Peter Hosking able to stay with her. Not known for his chivalry, Dad sat in and then outsprinted Holly on the line to take his 2nd RROTY win in a row (note to handicapper). Pete Hosking rounded off the top 3 with Rhys and Wilf (just) getting the last of the bonus points.
When scratch came home over three minutes later, it was Harrison who won the sprint and fastest time on the day from Mick Sherwood with Houlty a couple of seconds further back.
Thanks to Bourkey for running the race and putting the signs out and congratulations to Dave Harris and the MTB crew who yet again made it look easy – Col mentioned that while Scratch rode in focused silence throughout, the winning bunch were chatting as they came on home!
At the top of the RROTY League, Wilf has retained his spot, in fact he has extended his lead somewhat from a notably absent Kirky (it’s been so quiet recently) and now leads by 8 points but watch out for Peter Hosking, Dave Harris and Rhys Williams.
Next week we’re back in the land of pain with a 15K Individual Time Trial – also on Long Swamp.
|MUNDAY Harrison||09||11:00||0:22:56||0:23:35||0:57:31||0:03:15||0:46:31||39.21 FT`|