Wilf had been itching to use the new spray crayons he got for Christmas and on Saturday he finally got the chance. He was up early busily drawing all over the track and by early afternoon we had multi-coloured hieroglyphics around the entire 1.2km circuit at 50m intervals. The precise interpretation of the colour-coding remains a mystery known only to the ancient druids, but there was no question of the underlying masochistic intent, belied by a sadistic grin as he informed the assembled riders of their fate.
All riders would compete in a short (ie painful) wheel race ahead of an even more painful 30min-plus-2-laps criterium. The wheel race involved stationing riders at various points of scientific interest around the circuit to give them a head start (distances shown by Start in table below) to handicap the quicker riders. At the sound of the car horn all riders would tear off to complete just 2 laps of the circuit – essentially a 2.4KM sprint for the riders at the rear, so getting a good start was essential. By the completion of Lap 1, Ray Phillips held an 8 second lead from a quickly-forming group of Dave Jenner, Ben Hutton and Dene and Clint Bourke. Isolated 8 seconds behind them was lone rider Lachie McPhie, with the remaining 4 riders a further 8 seconds back.
Ray dug in and got onto the final climb before being snaffled up by what were now 4 leaders. 16 seconds back with a lap to go, the Hoult-Harris-Hale trio were belting themselves to make the catch putting in a 1m:34s lap and managing to get the leading group in sight at the bottom of the climb, but despite a huge effort from Houlty down the home straight, they couldn’t make the catch. Clint found enough left in his legs to sprint over the line to comfortably win by 3 bike lengths from a smart-riding Dave Jenner with Dene hanging on to just grab third from Ben Hutton before the trio of H’s charged over the line 5s later. Note that Ben Harris had the toughest handicap, a further 50M behind Houlty and averaged over 43kph for the 2 laps from a standing start – impressive early season form indeed!
|Rider||Place||Start (M)||Race Dist (M)||Time||Avg Spd|
With riders still breathing heavily from the first event, Wilf took great delight in commencing the main criterium. Ben Hutton and Dave Jenner received a half-lap advantage and Ray a 2-lap one with the rest starting as a single bunch. After a single lap, a main group of 6 riders was established but by lap 4 we’d lost Lachie whose legs were being tuned for 3-Peaks endurance, not Saturday surging. By lap 5 Tinny had gone the same way, for the same reason, and somehow we’d lost Dene but picked up Clint. Ray continued to time-trial around on his own but was losing ground too quickly to be in with a chance of holding the chasers at bay for long. By lap 8 there were really only 4 riders racing for a potential win. At the front, Houlty and Ben Harris were pounding out an intimidating pace and steadily catching the Bourkes but even with their superior speed it was only on the home straight of the final circuit that they managed to catch and lap them for the first time. Official results from race referee Wilf show that Houlty took victory with Ben Harris second and then Ray third. Special mention should be made of Clint and Dene’s dogged riding however which almost avoided them being lapped.
Thanks to Wilf for his colouring skills and for running two interesting events that certainly gave everyone a workout. Next week we’re back into handicap racing with a 30K event on Dangarsleigh, but following a decision at the Club Meeting last week, this will not signal the start of 2015 Road Racer League just yet – that will commence after the Autumn Festival Criterium in mid-March.