A powerful second-half solo effort secured victory on Dangarsleigh yesterday for relative newcomer Andy Robb on a day where numbers were up and female riders represented almost 20% of the field. Competing in his first ACC handicap race, Robb had Michael Wooster, Jacqui King and a strong tail wind for company until the turn when he broke free having noted the chasers were only 20s behind. Incredibly, he held them off solo and actually took time out of them to comfortably win by 51s.
Josh Denham was on duty and he excelled in the role, creating what was arguably the best marked course in club history with clear signage throughout, especially at the start/finish and turn which was placed with pinpoint accuracy at precisely 15.0km. We’ll forgive him for his start timing therefore which saw some interesting intervals revealed by the GoPro footage after Go rider Jacqui Munday got matters underway.
The three minute-ish pairing of Emily Wooster and Katherine Hosking were picked up by the four minute-ish group of Jason Simmons, Alex Thomas and Chris Stace early on and this larger group then combined really well to start to reel-in the leaders on the road. They got within 20s and upped the ante which saw half the riders drop off leaving the trio of Jason, Alex and Chris to power on in pursuit of lone rider Andy Robb.
Behind them another well-formed group of Clint, Bourkey, Wilko and Angus Apps (who found a much better group to ride with this week) were steadily making ground indicating a potential close finish. Further back however there was another race within the race, the ten-ish minute nine-strong group was also going well but not well enough for Pete “Spartacus” Harris who forced the pace and rode off the front at the turn, holding a 20s lead for over 4km, a move he repeated again just over the top of the monument in the closing kilometres.
At the very back, the Scratch pair of Dave Munday and Mick Hoult had caught Block at the top of the Dangarsleigh Hall climb, the combined 6 riders then took a while to settle into any kind of rhythm and at the turn were still just over six minutes in arrears of the lone leader. They collected Phil Thomas who, dropped by his own group, found some inner strength and delivered a number of impressive turns on the homeward leg to help keep the pace high before imploding on the Monument climb along with everyone else who’d been trying to stay with the Scratch duo.
As the fragmented race rose over the final crest at Peterson’s, several groups were closing in on each other and some last minute desperate solo efforts resulted in riders strung-out along the road on the final run-in. Jason just held on for second place after Clint overhauled his team mates Chris and Alex with 8 riders coming home in the space of 15s. Spartacus charged home at the front of his monster group with Dave Munday, having dropped Houlty in the final charge, just about making the catch with the back of this bunch to record fastest time at an average of a shade under 40kph.
Congratulations go to Andy Robb on a fine victory, to Josh for his gold standard signage effort and to all riders for a well-run, competitive and enjoyable race. It was great to see so many female and younger riders out on the course, hopefully we can continue the trend and attract more in the coming weeks as the road racing season kicks off properly – spread the word!
Next week we host Tamworth and Inverell in an interclub criterium at the TEC. More news on that shortly on this website but all club members are very welcome to participate and even if you’re not racing, come along and cheer on the riders.
|MUNDAY Dave||17||0:13:20||0:58:24||0:45:04||39.94 FT|