Road Racer of the Year (RROTY) returned for Round 3 on Saturday, with our first race on Boorolong for 2020 taking place in really tough conditions – wet, cold & windy! It was especially tough going on the way out, as riders pushed into a strong blustery headwind. Reflecting the conditions, a premium would be placed on groups who worked well together, as the large time gaps would melt away for solo riders.
Wilf was the GO rider, with Jacqui King starting solo at 4 minutes back. At 7 minutes Captain Creagan was marshalling Olive Tutt, Pete Wilko, and Rod Christie, while at 9mins a deadly duo of Gareth Kelly and Carl Hooten could make hay if they worked well together.
Behind them at 11 & 12 mins were two groups of 5 riders, and if they could stay together and combine forces on the return leg they would also be a force to reckon with. It was then a further 2mins back at 14mins to a quartet of Johnny, Holly, Pat, and Phil Hess, while the Block quartet was another 2mins back at 16mins. The lone Scratch rider Mick Harris would have it all to do, and an early puncture meant the missiles race was over before it began!
The story of the outbound leg was the weather – gusting winds and squally showers wreaked havoc on the forward groups, as the tough Boorolong parcours left riders strewn over the course as they desperately tried to make the turn to catch the tailwind for a helping hand home. Meanwhile Block was powering along with the trio of Jason, Houlty, and Sean Brenno making light of the conditions, and by the turn they were closing in on the 14min group and the front of the race.
The return leg was hectic with some cross winds to be catered for. Large groups formed intermittently, with some stories of rubbing shoulders and “nearly went off the road” to be heard in the post-race chat; all good natured and fortunately no incidents.
As Block combined with the 14min group ahead, they turned on the power and reeled in the riders ahead one by on – the last pair to be caught by the charging bunch was Toby and Hugh as they were swallowed up just after the Dumaresq Dam junction. Kirky and Swanny were dangling at the back at that point, to be swiftly dropped going up the next rise.
As the front group hit the finishing straight, Houlty led out the uphill sprint from a fair way out – it looked like he was doing a service for the remaining riders, except nobody could get past him and he took out an impressive win – well done Houlty! Jason was second with Pat a close third.
Thanks to Bryn for doing the signs and Col for running the race, especially given the challenging conditions!
Next week we take a break from RROTY and return to social distancing with a 20km ITT on Dangarsleigh.
|HOULT Michael||2020-08-08||1||0:16:00||0:44:22||0:19:43||1:04:05||0:48:05 FT||30||37.500|