The final RROTY round for 2019 saw 20 riders line up on the Dangarsleigh course; due to the John “Eagle” Scott-Hamilton’s absence, Richard Wilkinson could start secure in his newfound glory as RROTY Champion! We welcomed the return of Aly and Greg Flynn, as well as two new members: Gemma Jonson and Melita Roache. Westerly winds between 35 – 40 kph (gusting to 54kph) made for challenging conditions, especially on the outward leg. The handicap aimed to bring all groups together on the return leg – and this nearly worked out.
First to head off were the trio of Aly, Melita and Gemma with a handy 10 minute lead in front of the usual Pete Wilko and Captain Creagen pairing; this time joined by Greg and (with a very generous handicap) the unpredictable Hugh “Trackstand” McKellar. Five minutes late, Carl Hooton and Emily Meehan were given the unenviable task of trying to bridge this gap and stay ahead of the larger groups. The RROTY Champion group of Richard Wilko, Phil Thomas, Andrew May and Billy Mara set off at 17:30, followed by the block group on 20 minutes of Brent (slowly working his way back to scratch), Holly, Pat and Shaun. Another minute later, the scratch group of the two Michael’s and Olly departed – having to make up 21 minutes on GO.
The excellent timing job by Col at the turn tells the story of the first half of the race. Hugh had attacked early and dragged Greg with him – the pair turned at 39:20, a minute and a half ahead of their erstwhile companions. Another 65 seconds later, the Go trio turned still two minutes ahead of Emily and Carl. A mere 5 seconds later, the combined scratch and block of Olly, Shaun, Pat, Holly and Mick Harris turned, having dropped Houlty and Brent and also passing the Richard Wilko group. They had made up nearly 19 minutes of their time deficit into the wind. Col stayed at the turn, waiting for Billy, who had decided to turn at Dangarsleigh Hall.
Wilfried’s timing at the finish was no match to Col’s sterling effort, so only some times are listed. Hugh had pulled away from Greg and crossed first in 1:05:40 (real time of 55:40) taking the final 10 RROTY points for 2019. 30 seconds later, Olly, Pat and Mick Harris crossed the line, with Olly taking an impressive fastest time of 45:20. Holly came in another minute later, taking the last RROTY bonus points. Richard Wilko (following a “hand of god’ experience on Knobs Hill) outsprinted Brent and Andrew just for show.
Great riding by all on a very demanding afternoon; thanks to Col for timing. – the next two races will be a TT and the spring Gravel Race
Pleaese note we have our club AGM on Wednesday.