Despite a packed competing regional events calendar including the Grafton to Inverell NRS race, 17 riders rolled up to the start line on Dangarsleigh Rd yesterday for Round 4 of the Road Racer League. Conditions were just about perfect although a light headwind on the outward leg definitely tested the riders and played into the hands of the larger groups on the 30k out-and-back handicap.
Jacqui King got things underway followed at four minutes by Haydo. Then came the pair of Dave Jenner and Richard Wilkinson a further minute behind, chased by larger groups at seven, ten and twelve minutes with the leaders well advanced on the course before the scratch pair of Houlty and Rob Hale were finally released at thirteen and a half minutes (thanks Wilf!)
The outward leg was fast and furious with all riders going hard realising that any kind of advantage would be harder for the chasing groups to close down once the turn was made and the wind was in their favour. Scratch managed to make contact with Block just before the half-way mark but the leaders were still way up the road and going well. Sam King, Clint and Ben Livings were taking up the chase and managing to make good inroads into the leading trio of Haydo, Wilko and Dave Jenner while still managing to hold off the 5-strong 10-minute group who had now collected Clint on the ascent of the Monument. Behind them an in-form Holly was now working well with Scratch and the trio were successfully reeling in these six riders ahead. A hard charge over the top of Monument closed the gap still further and thanks to a massive effort from Houlty, the catch was made just after Peterson’s.
By now the leaders had the finish line in sight with enough left in Wilko’s tank to outsprint Haydo for first place, his first since November 2014. Dave Jenner finished 9 seconds later to comfortably take third place a minute ahead of Sam King and Ben Livings who claimed the last RROTY bonus points. A further minute back was the chasing pack which had now swelled to 9 riders, Houlty crossing the line in 7th place and a hard-earned Fastest Time at an average speed of just over 40kph.
It’s still very tight at the top of the Road Race League but we have a new leader in Dave Jenner who tops the table because his surname comes before Richard Wilkinson’s alphabetically. We may have to find a more scientific, results-based method if this continues for too much longer but in the meantime, congratulations to Wilko, winner on the day and to both Dave and Wilko for leading the league after Round 4.
Many thanks to Wilf for stepping in and running the race after realising that Luke Milan was rostered on again having just been on sign duty and driven the broom wagon for the Yarrowyck 100K last weekend – thanks again guys.
Next Sunday is Tamworth’s Nemingha to Nundle Return race so get your entries in for that if you can make it. As a good warm up for that we have a 30K handicap on Long Swamp on Saturday.
|HOULT Mick||07||0:13:30||0:58:31||0:45:01||40.25 FT|