Conditions were decidedly rough on Long Swamp for Round 17 of the Road Racer of the Year competition, a 30km handicap taking place in single figure temperatures with a strong gusting westerly. As if that wasn’t enough to contend with, Sam Jenner was back from a successful summer of racing in Europe and looking ridiculously strong. All in all, Pat McMillan could have chosen a better day to re-establish his race credentials.
Some challenging handicapping had put a strong Scratch group together including Inverell’s Peter Horwood some 4 minutes behind a Block trio who in turn had to make a minute up on the 6-strong group ahead. They just about had this done by the first turn and the larger group then worked together into the wind to close off the first lap.
At the halfway point Bourkey, Wilko and Lachie were still out in front but only just. Block were making rapid inroads with the help of Swanny, Holly and Josh Denham. David Cook was going well but hampered by his junior gearing on the wind-assisted downhill sections, his cadence became a blur just to hang in with those enjoying a 53×11.
When the final turn was made with just 7.5km remaining, it was apparent that Sam Jenner was not just out for a training ride. Dave Munday was the only rider able to stay with him and the pair were making dangerous inroads but still just under two minutes behind what was now the lead group on the road. By the top of Imbota, only Holly was still in contact with the Block trio of Kirky, Cookie and Rob Hale. This group then worked tirelessly into the wind driving the pace with ever-fading legs and by the foot of the final climb looked to have it in the bag. Cookie went hard at the bottom of dump hill (desperate to get away from Kirky’s constant chatter) and quickly pulled out a good lead and crossed the line with room to spare for another excellent RROTY victory. It was 31 seconds before Holly topped another trademark gutsy ride to claim second place ahead of Rob and Kirky. Just 18s later Sam Jenner came charging through for 5th spot and fastest time having launched a hard burst up the hill which finally unhinged Dave Munday.
The tough conditions had decimated the groups behind with riders coming home in dribs and drabs over the next six minutes not including 3 DNFs.
Congratulations to David Cook on a fine win, that’s 3 victories out of the last 3 in handicap racing plus an ITT win last weekend – impressive riding. Well done to all riders for competing well in challenging conditions. Thanks also to Wilf for stepping in and running the race and chasing the signs around over the windswept tablelands.
At the top of the RROTY League, Dave Munday has snuck into second place but Richard Wilkinson still has a healthy 13 point lead. Kirky is up to sixth and watch out for David Cook back in 17th position, from only 5 RROTY races this season, currently averaging 7.8 points per race.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||Lap 1||Lap 2||Time||Adjusted||Avg|
|JENNER Sam||05||0:07:30||0:23:19||0:23:33||0:54:22||0:46:52 FT||38.66|