With the Nemingah-Nundle race taking the headlines this weekend, and roadworks on Dangarsleigh Road, the planned graded scratch races were mothballed in favour of a criterium race at the TEC. Some light rain at the start no doubt contributed to the low roll-up but 8 riders still set off for a 30 minutes plus 3-laps race, ably commissaired by Alex Thomas. Within a couple of laps we lost Mick Sherwood which was no mean feat as he’d been sporting some blindingly bright fluorescent gloves that Oleg Tinkoff would have been proud of. Fortunately the glowing gloves reappeared at the start line with Mick deciding that he’d be better off on straight roads compared to the greasy corners of the track. Wilf also shot off the back of the bunch at this point to don his rain jacket, rejoined the next lap only to disappear once more – presumably heading for home and some Giro highlights. That left 6 riders on the track with the rain picking up but a promising break in the sky not far away. Two laps later Rob punctured on the uphill section and we were down to 5.
Then the skies cleared, the sun came out and the pace picked up. Kirky clearly fancied his chances but the long woolen orange hiking socks he’d chosen to wear had absorbed about 15 litres of water during the earlier showers and the extra weight was proving something of a problem. Renowned for his quick-thinking he decided to jettison his drinking supplies by squirting the officials at the start-finish line which certainly won’t help his handicap next weekend although he clearly has some significant skills in this area too – is there anything this guy can’t do?
Col, Peter Hosking and the Bourke boys continued to lap at a good pace with Kirky sitting on the back for most of the race trying to wring his socks out which were now flapping about and in danger of getting caught in his chain ring. Peter momentarily forgot he was on his road bike at one point and ventured off-road onto the gravel with everyone following much to the disgust of Kirky who of course had a few choice words to share on the topic, but aside from that it was a largely uneventful half-hour of consistent-paced racing.
All too soon the signal was given for three, then two laps remaining but no one made a move until the final up-hill section before the home straight when sock man made his move. It looks like he would hold off the chasers to the line but with socks now dangerously flapping around and full of gravel as well as water, he couldn’t quite hold off Col and Clint who took the honours just ahead of him, with Dene and Peter not far behind.
Thanks to Alex for running the race and keeping everyone in order and well done to Col and to everyone who raced on the day. Next week we’re back on Boorolong for Round 5 of the RROTY (note there are roadworks on this course too so we may not manage the planned full 40K circuit).