Dave Jenner secured a fine victory on the Boorolong roller coaster on Saturday afternoon in the Armidale Cycling Club 40k handicap race, coming home 5 seconds clear of Jo Wauch in 2nd place and Jeff Flatt, making a welcome return to club racing, in 3rd. A big bunch followed in 45s later led by Harrison Munday out-sprinting Ben Harris who secured the last RROTY bonus points.
The race started with some impressive looking handicaps on what was a largely unknown and hilly extension to the usual 30k race route. Dave Jenner was one of 3 Go riders along with Jo Wauch and Bob Murison who looked to have a good rhythm established as they rolled out past Dumaresq Dam. Jeff Flatt, Brendon Cole and Richard Wilkinson made up the 8-minute group that followed, and 2 minutes behind them was a 5-strong bunch including in-form riders Holly Harris and Billy Mara. The four riders departing 3 minutes later really were on the chopping block ahead of an ominously strong-looking scratch bunch of 8 which included NRS riders Harrison Munday and Sam Jenner.
The problems for block were compounded within 2 kilometres when Rob Tindale had a mechanical issue that conveniently brought him to a halt at the foot of the first climb. A support vehicle got him up the hill and back onto his group but the problem resurfaced straight away and he spent the rest of the race as a spectator. And there was plenty to see as the early hills caused splintering in all of the front groups. Jo and Dave J were looking good up front however and seemed to be coping well with the hills. Behind them Jeff Flatt had dropped his group and was attempting to ride across the gap although he still had around 4 minutes to bridge when the race entered uncharted territory.
More splintering occurred as the main bunch climbed back out of Toms Creek with unrelenting pace at the front. Scratch had averaged under 35kph for the outward leg but this rose to just under 43kph for the homeward journey although that tail wind didn’t ever seem to materialise. With solid work from the ever-reliable Swanny, Mick Hoult and the Munday’s, the front-runners were gradually collected on the way home and the bunch swelled and shrunk accordingly as riders grimly hung on and then were dropped as the pace picked up to the point where only 3 riders remained ahead of the pack.
Jeff Flatt had by now successfully time-trialed himself across to the leading pair of Dave Jenner and Jo and as they commenced the last climb before the Dumaresq Dam turn-off they had a good lead, well out of sight of the peloton and working well. Back in the bunch, Dave Munday was testing the mettle of those around him with a few digs, the first of which was reeled in by H who brought the whole field back with him at which point Sam Jenner launched a counter-attack. Dave went again and this time Ben Harris chased with Sam Munday in close attendance to ensure a final show-down at the line but could they catch the trio up ahead in time?
As the clouds and crowds gathered at the finish, 3 lonely riders came into view with just under 1k to go. No sign of the bunch meant it would be fought out between them and Dave Jenner took it on by jumping ahead 100 metres from the line. Jo and Jeff didn’t respond and Dave sealed a comfortable victory by 5 seconds. When the bunch arrived 45s later it was led over the line by H who claimed fastest time on the day and briefly considered a two-armed salute but wisely chose a thumbs-up with commissaire Ray Phillips looking on. Thanks to Ray for helping with the race and especially to Wilf who not only provided the high quality winners medallion, but also clocked up 120km in his car putting the signs up, marshaling the turn and taking the signs back down again. Race photos are up on our Gallery Pages so check them out when you get a chance.
In the RROTY league the top-10 positions remain identical to last week with the exception of Dave Jenner who catapults himself from 12th to 8th spot courtesy of his win. Jo closes the gap on Luke to 17 points with four rounds remaining. Next week is the postponed Stage 2 of the Club Championships with scratch road races being held on Dangarsleigh Road.
|MUNDAY Harrison||04||0:16:00||16:23:11||16:58:23||17:27:01||0:35:12||0:28:38||1:03:50 FT||38.44|
|WILKINSON Richard||20||0:08:00||16:15:11||No Data||17:33:32||No Data||No Data||1:18:21||31.32|