Having been in the grip of winter for the last few days it was a pleasant surprise to see sunshine and relatively warmer temperatures on Saturday afternoon. It was about 8 degrees with a brisk southerly breeze on Boorolong which untypically meant a tail-wind on the outward leg of the 30K course and with only 14 riders braving the elements, the groups were smaller than usual.
Dave Jenner did a quick dash back home to collect his road shoes and almost missed starting with Richard Wilko, but the pair set off with a three-minute advantage over Billy, Wilf, Bourkey and Keglegs who looked to be in good form despite wearing at least 6 jerseys plus leg warmers, thermal cap and overshoes. With Tinny returning to the fold this week, Rhys and Holly had company a couple of minutes further with Block (8m) and Scratch (9m) rounding off the field.
Col had managed to set everyone off and get up the road in time to marshall the turn and record timings which proved insightful. The Go pair of Dave and Richard turned, still just in the lead but only by 11s on the quartet behind them who had stayed together for the outward leg. The same couldn’t be said for the next group which had splintered on the hills with Rhys turning first, followed by Holly at 38s and then Tinny whose lack of race fitness was showing, as predicted.
With Mick Sherwood electing to ride 100k earlier in the day, his time in Scratch was brief as Sam Jenner, fresh from his great performance at the U19 Road National Championships in QLD last weekend (great rides Sam), solo’d up the road alone. He made contact with Swanny and Rob H just before The Twisties and made a couple of attacks up to the turn with the two Block riders just about hanging on. A confident shout from Sam to his Dad that he’d “see you soon” wasn’t what Rob and Swanny wanted to hear as the leaders shot by in the opposite direction with a 2m:05s advantage and just 15k of downhill to go.
Sure enough, Holly and Rhys were collected on the homeward leg and for a while there were five riders chasing, with the hard-charging Sam doing the bulk of the work. The group was back to three however as he zeroed in on the leaders who were still out of sight at the Dumaresq Dam turnoff having combined to form a sizable bunch which was working well into the brisk wind. Finally though, with about 1.5k to go the catch was made and Swanny clearly feeling he wasn’t in enough pain already, went to the front and boldly drove the pack home.
Although he’d already comfortably recorded the fastest time, with about 500m to go Sam started to wind things up for the sprint at which point Jenner Senior came tearing through, managing to get his nose in front. It turned out later he was hoping for a tow but Sam didn’t oblige, knocking it up a couple of gears and quickly pulling clear. Unbeknownst to him though, Rob had remained glued to his back wheel and as Sam backed off just before the line, he came around for a cheeky win.
Phil took third and Swanny still had enough left to outsprint Bourkey for fourth spot. Wilf put an impressive sprint in at the end to go around Dave even though all the bonus RROTY points were long gone by then. He does however retain his spot at the top of the RROTY league but his margin is down to just 2 points.
Thanks to Col for putting the signs out and running a great race with handicaps once again on the money. Well done to all the riders for braving the conditions and contributing to some great racing. Next weekend we’re back at the TEC for a criterium and hopefully some slightly warmer weather.
|JENNER Sam||02||0:09:00||0:02:05||0:24:48||0:22:10||0:00:00||0:46:58||38.84 FT|