New Vice-President Ben Livings had his work cut out running the race on Boorolong yesterday. He’d contended with accessing the Fort Knox TEC, made his way through a dozen gates, across six-inch gravel and ankle-deep mud to get to the shipping container. He then hauled the signs over to the race course, set up in windy conditions only to find that while he was marking out the road course, the main metal-framed ‘Cycle Race in Progress’ sign had disappeared from the race start. If anyone happens to see or hear where it might be, please let us know.
The race itself was less eventful but equally challenging for those involved due to that strong westerly which translated to a head-wind on the way out and a very pleasant rapid downhill return home. Houlty is settling into the handicapping role nicely and managed to get everyone allocated to their groups without too much trouble. Emily Wooster and Jo Wauch headed out first with what sounded like a pretty healthy advantage over some of the groups behind, Richard Wilkinson a solo chaser at eight minutes, followed by Billy and the two Phil’s three minutes later. A further trio of trios followed before the final scratch pairing of Dave Munday and welcome visitor Ethan Kelly rolled off the line seventeen minutes in arrears.
Things started to come together at the railway bridge where Scratch caught Block and on the climb up to Claremont Road the 11, 13 and 14-minute groups started to combine with a few casualties dropping off the back, exacerbated as they hit the twisties. Jo and Emily were well on their way home by this time, still 7 minutes ahead of the larger chasing bunch that had now formed. With Ethan and Dave Munday pushing hard, the main bunch was collected just before the half-way mark and a hard drive out of the turn quickly strung out the pack. The Scratch pair briefly got away but were collected on the downhill with some hard chasing from Hugh and some dogged determination being exhibited by Wilko. The pace picked up again on the drag up to Claremont Road with Wilko showing good form to hold Dave’s wheel over the crest.
The big bunch was now splitting up and over the top it fragmented into twos and threes with Dave, Ethan and Hugh going clear by 50m. Behind them Holly, Josh and Rob regrouped and gave chase, as did Swanny and Phil Hess who were then joined by a hard-chasing Houlty. Holly’s group gave it everything to close the gap to the leaders but could only just hold them in their sights and eventually as they started to climb up towards Dumaresq Road, the elastic snapped and the Munday’s, Ethan and Wilko were free, now with just Jo and Emily ahead on the road but with time running out. The Wilko situation was interesting, he was leading the RROTY table by 9 points from Dave Munday so if he could hang in with him he could protect his lead and potentially even extend it if he had anything left at the end.
Despite hanging on grimly, it was only a matter of time before Dave decided to remove that potential and over the climb Wilko was clinically dispatched. He was collected by the Holly trio just by the Dam turnoff where he stuck doggedly to their tail as they continued their own chase, now 30s down on the group ahead.
Up ahead the lead pair of Jo and Emily had the finish line in sight and Emily came around Jo with an impressive fast finish to record her second club victory and her first on Boorolong. It was then over three minutes before the Munday express train came through with Hugh at the front by several bike lengths from Dave with Ethan close behind. The remaining riders came in pretty swiftly thanks to the welcome tailwind and everyone was home within another four minutes although Wilko missed out on any bonus RROTY points.
Many thanks to Ben Livings for battling with signs and challenging conditions to run what turned out to be a really good, competitive race. Congratulations to Emily on a fine victory and hopefully our missing sign finds its way home soon.
At the top of the RROTY league, Richard Wilkinson is still on top but his lead has dropped to just 5 points with 3 rounds remaining.
|MUNDAY Dave||04||0:17:00||1:05:06||0:48:06 FT||37.67|