A brave group of 9 riders faced the chilly weather and strong westerly winds to contest the latest round of the club’s “Road Racer of the Year” competition involving two laps of the 15km Long Swamp Road course. It was a good opportunity for these brave few to get some bonus points on the board.
Due to the low numbers, Col (the handicapper) created just three groups to contest the event to give the opportunity for some smart work sharing within the groups.
Off Go we had Jo Waugh and Wilfried Keller, followed 6 minutes later by the main group of 5 consisting of Dene Bourke, Lachie McPhie, Peter Creagan, Phil Thomas and latecomer Clint Bourke who should have started with Jo and Wilfried. They were followed 1 minute later by the scratch markers Holly Harris and John Scott-Hamilton.
On the outward leg of 7.5km there was a good tail wind assisting the riders but the return leg was a different story with very strong head/cross winds to contend with. It was on each of the return legs that most of the time was made up by the back markers. Jo and Wilfried make good use of their start, working well together to keep a good solid pace for the first 15km lap and still had 3m 30s of their 6m start remaining over the first of the chasers at the half way mark. The first chasers were Johnny and Holly as the large middle group had disintegrated into three parts on the first outward 7.5km, reducing their effectiveness to team time trial and stay ahead of the scratch pair. The scratch pair were working extremely well together with Johnny mostly driving it on the flats and downhills and Holly mostly on the uphill sections. As mentioned, by the end of the first lap, Holly and Johnny had caught and passed everyone in the big middle group with just Lachie and Dene able to hang on until half way up the climb to the top of Imbota Hill on the outward leg of the last lap. With just 7.5km still to go at the last turn around, Jo and Wilfried still had over 2 minutes in hand and it was going to be touch and go as to whether they would be caught or not. With some strong riding and work sharing into the wind, Johnny and Holly caught and passed the tiring Jo and Wilfried just as they started the last climb to the finish line and the scratch markers were left to fight it out between them to the finish. Holly was really impressive, and I’m sure Johnny will not mind me saying that, to match him all the way to the line with Johnny just winning by half a bike on the line. Jo put in a gallant effort up the last hill for third, leaving an exhausted Wilfried (her engine) well behind in fourth place. Lachie took out his battle with Dene for fifth and sixth respectively and rouleurs PC and PT shared 7th place. Unfortunately Clint turned up late after racing over from the wrong venue Dangarsleigh Road and came in ninth after starting with the 6 minute group.
Thanks to Col for stepping in at short notice due to a scheduling mix-up to put out the signs, run the race, record the results and write the above story – surely deserving of more than 4 miserly RROTY points for all his troubles – thanks Col!
And in that RROTY competition, the weekend results see Jo climb up just one place to 2nd but critically close the gap on San Remo to 7 points. Wilf moves up from 8th to 4th spot, Phil Thomas from 16th to 13th and Holly from 22nd to 15th. Incredibly, we are still not half-way through the RROTY season so there is plenty to race for in the coming months. Next weekend we’re back on Long Swamp but this time for a 15K ITT, see you all then.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||Finish Time||Race Time|
|CREAGAN Peter||07 (Jt)||00:06:00||01:04:30.0||00:58:30.0|
|THOMAS Phil||07 (Jt)||00:06:00||01:04:30.0||00:58:30.0|