Another weekend, another stampeding herd of Captain Creagan, Chicka and Haydos.
Although the finishing order was somewhat different, which Chicka sprinting to victory.
A smaller than usual (but enthusiastic) crowd showed up at 2:00pm, with Andrew Kirk making a re-appearance after his whirlwind world tour and Geoff “Dave” Allen taking a break from his renovations. In the absence of Swannie, Bob Murison took on handicapping duties.
Off Go, Jo Waugh, Jackie Weston, Geoff Allen and an incredibly grateful Dave Rubie (I think largely out of sympathy, Bob’s compassion for Dave’s suffering the previous weekend clearly winning out). At 5 minutesWilf Keller, Chicka “Charles” Russell, Mark Haydon, Bob Murison and Harrison Munday. When it was announced that Pete “Captain” Creagan was also to join this bunch the collective groan and incredulity approached new lows.
Off 8 minutes: Andrew Kirk, Ice Cold Billy Mara, Lachie Mcphie, Phil Thomas, Sam and Dave Jenner. At 11 minutes Peter Wilkinson, Col Maciver and Jason “Knobbies” Blanch. The scratchies off 14 minutes were again set mission impossible: John Scott-Hamilton, Dave Munday, Brent Weston and Chris Jones contemplated a hard 30km of fruitless chasing but set off anyway.
The go group stayed together at a solid pace until Geoff Allen popped his tyre just before the impromptu cobbled section around the bridge. With a hearty “keep going”, Dave, Jackie and Jo swapped turns right to the turn around without being caught. This was a huge effort from Jo, who has rarely been sent off with a group in a handicap.
Both Wilf and Bob Murison had dropped off the 5 minute bunch before the turnaround (flat tire Bob?) – the other groups were still struggling to make ground against legs that must have hurt from the previous weekend.
As the Gilligans Island crew headed by Captain Creagan steamed past, the three go riders latched on like limpets. Dave and Jackie hoped that the pace would slacken and it did, although to no avail for first Jo and then Jackie as they dropped behind. Dave hung on grimly but refused to take a turn which clearly irked in the hard working bunch.
Captain Creagan was keeping a close eye on Harrison Munday, hoping to deliver him to the line but the tactics merely served to keep Chicka in the hunt for the sprint finish. The group crawled over the monument expecting a faster group to come through at any minute but riders never appeared. The race to the line only picked up after the winery where it was apparent that Harrison would struggle with his junior restricted gearing.
The sprint started early – before the final hump, as Creagan and Haydos took off, detaching Dene Bourke and Dave Rubie. In the end, Chicka beat Haydos over the line, with Harrison a whirling, bouncing 3rd and the Captain in 4th. Winning time was 54’06” (corrected to an elapsed time of 49’06” for the 5 minute riders).
Fastest time of the day went to the entire scratch group on 46’37”, who rode across the line together.