Pete Harris took his second win of the season in emphatic style on the Long Swamp course yesterday. Harris pulled clear of the bunch on the final ascent of Dump Hill to cross the line with several seconds in hand over Alex Thomas who moves to the top of the Road Race League table.
Chris Stace’s form was finally recognised by officials after a start-line protest following his initial very generous 2-minute handicap. The whingers got their way when Chris was put back to the 8-minute group but it didn’t seem to phase him too much and he still managed to finish in the top five, securing 3 extra RROTY bonus points.
Elsewhere, Derek Shirlaw self-handicapped himself 13s on the start line. Dave Harris was another one who was clearly unsure if he should go in Scratch or Block, eventually settling for somewhere in-between that saw him reeled in by the Scratch trio at the top of Imbota on the first outward leg.
Despite his slower start, Derek was going well by mid-race and turned 1m:27s ahead of Captain Creagan who’d dropped the comeback king San Remo, on the Imbota ascent. PC was going all out and had 2m:15s on the 7-minute group at this point. The chasers were joined just after half-way by the 8 and 9-minute groups making a useful dozen-strong bunch who were effectively holding off Scratch by one minute. Having worked really well with Spartacus to make contact with the riders ahead, Hammy Williams unleashed another watt bomb and sheared a pedal on the climb signaling the end of his race.
At the last turn with 7.5km remaining, Scratch were making steady inroads and the gap was down to 35s. They continued to claw back the bunch ahead but were running out of time. Kirky put a big effort in on the long flat before the final climb of Dump Hill but the chasers still had 25s to make up at the bottom.
Up ahead, Pete Harris hit the bunch hard on the lower slopes, for a while Chris, Bill, Alex, Wilf and Richard Wilko stayed with him but he hit them again on the final incline to pull out a comfortable lead and freewheel over the line for a well-earned victory. Alex held off Bill for second spot with Wilf and Chris grabbing the last bonus points. Rob Hale just made contact with the back of the main bunch on the line taking fastest time.
Congratulations Pete Harris and many thanks to Andy Robb for running the race, doing the signs and also compiling some video footage of the day which we’ve posted on our Facebook site.
At the top of the Road Race League things are really getting interesting, while all the attention was on Chris Stace, Alex ‘Dark Horse’ Thomas has quietly crept up on the rail and now sits proudly atop the table on 42 points with Chris just one point behind on 41. Pete ‘Barnstorming’ Harris has charged from ninth to third place although the lead pair are still a dozen points clear and could take some catching. Next weekend, with roadwork still taking place on Dangarsleigh, we’re back on Boorolong and back with a 40km race once again due to popular demand, see you all then!
|HALE Rob||10||0:10:00||0:23:39||0:04:56||0:23:43||0:00:31||0:47:22 FT||38.38|