With 6 riders up in Queensland for the National Masters Road Championships, numbers were down on Long Swamp today but that didn’t slow the racing one bit with an in-form Mick Hoult in determined mood from the start. The lower numbers also improved prospects for RROTY points and the Go group of Clint, Captain Creagan and Wilf set off, clearly with that in mind. Two minutes behind them was another trio containing President Tindale who is finally getting the opportunity to get some racing in just as the season draws to a close. Keeping Tinny company was current RROTY league leader Dene Bourke and long-distance legend, Billy Mara. A further 3 minutes back was the scratch pair of Houlty and Rob Hale with one of those two just hoping he could hang on to Houlty’s wheel.
The pace was high across the field and the first lap saw all the groups stay together. By the half-way point, the Go group had a 55s gap on the chasers who in turn still had 32s on the Scratch pair but the gaps were closing rapidly and Scratch caught the 2-minute bunch towards the top of Imbota. The pace stayed high and then went higher still as the leaders loomed into sight just at the bottom of the hill. Hitting 70kph on the descent, the group of 5 came charging past the leaders who realised the difference in speed too late and amidst yelling of “pick it up quick” frantically jumped to get on the back of the train. It was probably not the most sporting move (sorry guys) but it was quite entertaining!
By three-quarter distance Scratch had Dene, Billy and Clint in attendance and as Houlty relentlessly drove on up Imbota it was down to four riders. Dene and Billy were gamely hanging on but there was only ever going to be one winner of this race. Bourkey stayed with the lead pair up Dump Hill but as Houlty kicked with 500m to go he just couldn’t stay in contact and had to settle for third. Mick backed off the pace to make Rob’s effort look better than it was and the Scratch pair came across the line together but it had been Mick’s day and at an average speed of over 39kph on the front, it hadn’t been a slow one.
At the top of the RROTY leaderboard, Bourkey is still sitting pretty in pole position, with a 3 point cushion on Rob and a further 2 points on Wilf.
Many thanks to Dave and Hugh Munday who set a new course record for putting the signs out without breaching emissions standards, and who ran a good race with what turned out to be pretty good handicaps despite the low numbers. Next week we are scheduled to race 40K on Dangarsleigh but with roadworks still very much in evidence that is likely to change. Keep an eye on the website for further information and all club members will receive a mid-week SMS with revised details (remember to register for free if you haven’t already done so).
|HOULT Mick||01 (Jt)||0:05:00||0:23:07||0:23:09||0:46:16||39.29|
|HALE Rob||01 (Jt)||0:05:00||0:23:06||0:23:10||0:46:16||39.29|