Jo Wauch rode a classic solo race to secure victory on the 30K Dangarsleigh course yesterday in Round 19 of ACC’s Road Racer competition. In sunny and dry conditions, light-to-medium winds and springtime temperatures nudging 16 degrees Jo repeated her Round 1 victory on the same course back in February, this time riding the entire race on her own and time-trialling home at an impressive 32.09kph average. Second over the line yesterday was the big gear powerhouse of John Scott-Hamilton who outsprinted a large bunch in a close finish, followed by Luke Milan, Col Maciver, and Billy Mara.
The handicapping was near perfect and for a long time the 6, 8, 11 and 12-minute groups that started, held their respective positions intact on the road. The outward leg attracted most of the head winds although they seemed to be coming from all angles on a course renowned for it’s variable conditions as it criss-crosses the country heading south. At the turn, Jo was looking good and holding a solid advantage over the chasing groups. The 6-minute group by now only had around a 30s advantage over the chasing 8-minute group who in turn had around 1 minute on block with scratch just under a minute behind them.
Block had been boosted on the start line by the arrival of Holly Harris back from the Mountain Biking world championships in Europe and although now 7 in number, it was touch and go whether they could hold off the 5-strong scratch group which included a very lean looking Mick Sherwood gearing up for Grafton-Inverell next month along with in-form Ben Harris and Mick Hoult.
The wind-assisted return leg saw speeds notably rise. The margins between the groups were closing on the road but the gaps remained and along the 2K straight Monument Climb, all groups were visible to each other with the exception of Jo Wauch who must have had a smile on her face at this point. The gaps were dramatically shortened on the climb and a few riders were shed as the pace picked up. Every time the 6-minute group seemed within range, of PC, Billy, Bourkey and Lachie, they somehow pulled away again and must have felt they would collect the remaining RROTY placings as they crested Peterson’s and started the final downhill run with a decent gap. Block were charging along at this point however and Johnny had his sights firmly set on some big points as the 8-minute group were swallowed up on the flat section before the railway-line corner. That just left Jo and our 4 heroes who were now within range of the chasing pack which got organised enough to cruelly despatch them 500 metres from the line opening up a perfect bunch sprint which Johnny won by 2 bike lengths from San Remo just shading out Col for 3rd. Ice Cold Billy coolly held onto 5th spot by a couple of tyre widths from Sam Munday who is hitting great form, and rode strongly on his dads heavy old bike.
In the end scratch couldn’t quite close the gap and crossed the line 34s after the main bunch with Ben Harris grabbing fastest time of the day at a shade over 40kph. With the entire field coming over the line within 57 seconds of each other, full marks go to Col for some first-class handicapping and well done to Chris Stace for not only doing the signs and running the race, but snapping a perfect set of finish-line photos to give us an accurate set of results.
Interestingly, back in February in Round 1 when Jo scored her first RROTY victory, one Luke Milan was second having started with Jo in the 3 minute group on a day when scratch started with a 13 minute handicap. How times have changed…
At the top of the RROTY league, not much has happened position-wise although Wilf dropped a couple of places and Houlty and Clint have climbed one each. San Remo cracked the ton although his gap over Jo has dropped slightly to 18 points, Johnny looks comfortable in third place with Col and Billy fighting out fourth. Next week we’re back on Boorolong for RROTY Round 20, see you all then.
|Place||Handicap||Start Time||Finish Time||Race Time||Avg|
|HARRIS Ben||17||12:00||14:49:47||15:34:46||0:44:59||40.01 FT|