“The Jones Boy” – a notorious Victorian-era scoundrel who was known for sneaking into Buckingham Palace, has a modern day counter-part. Chris Jones has pulled out a well deserved victory in the years first foray onto Long Swamp Road, encouraged by a fast fading Wilko and Col Maciver.
Dewald “Hungries” Burger was given the task of running the race and expressed some concern that he wouldn’t know who crossed the line, being new to the club and unfamiliar with the riders. Once re-assured that everybody would be assertive enough to make sure they weren’t missed he still seemed uneasy about the rather casual nature of the advice he was given. I guess now he knows why some of the results can be a little…surprising sometimes.
Newcomer Jo Waugh, fresh from tearing the legs off the local Bike Users Group, has graduated to road racing with a bang. Given a scant 1 minute advantage over Jacky Weston, Jo still managed to finish within sight of the C grade stragglers in her first race.
The 3 minute bunch (Geoff “Dave” Allen, Dave Rubie, Jacketless Mick Sozou, Mark “Mother” Jones, Phil Bookalil and Mark Haydon) started well but gradually shed riders as the wind started to take it’s toll. Phil and Geoff formed up a groupetto for a short time but eventually split, Dave Rubie was dropped at the end of the first lap and never recovered despite grabbing the back of at least two faster groups as they rolled through. Mark Jones finished easily the best of the 3 minute bunch at 58’18”, having dropped his erstwhile compadres with some canny drafting in the faster groups.
The 6 minute bunch (Peter Creagan, Chicka Russell, Dene Bourke, Dave Boundy, Bob Murison, Ice Cold Billy Mara, Dave Jenner and Wilf Keller) looked to have the best handicap of the lot, the unbeatable cycling brain of Meat Hammer Murison and the experienced speed of Creago and Chicka should have been nearly unbeatable, but they lost their brain somewhere during the second lap as Murison dropped back, becoming easy meat for the following group.
Lachie “Nanny” McPhie, Peter Wilkinson, Andrew Kirk, Phil Thomas, Chris Jones, Rob Tindale, Col Maciver, Andrew Swan and Bob Weston were set at 8 minutes and worked in a disciplined fashion to put Chris into a winning position, although none had the legs to stay with him as the race ended. The A graders (John Scott-Hamilton, Pat McMillan, Brent Weston and Mick Hoult) were handed their fairest handicap for the year but just failed to capitalise on it, with “The Indian Giver” Mick Hoult clearly giving everything he had, only to be unable to take it back in the latter part of the race.
Fastest time of the day goes (again) to an ever hungry John Scott-Cannibal with Brent “Best” Weston closely behind, finding his legs again this weekend.
While the original “man in black” Nick Myhill wasn’t present, his fashion sense seems to have caught on with Dave Boundy and Ice Cold Billy Mara, both sporting black outfits. It remains to be seen whether Jacketless Mick Sozou will succumb to the trend, which would be a pity as we’re all eagerly awaiting the first appearance of his fine white jacket this year. Keep the faith Mick!
Cruelest nickname must go to Wilf “Helen” Keller – clearly struggling with a combination of contact lenses and prescription sunnies as he held sheets of paper at arms length in an attempt to read them. Sorry Wilf, but it’s gonna stick.