The WCC members contested the Tim McArdle handicap around the Fonterra circuit at Darnum on Saturday. The handicap is raced in Honour of former WCC member Dr Tim McArdle who was tragically killed while on a training ride. In the Handicap races the pressure is always on the Handicappers to get it right so everyone has a chance of winning. This week Handicappers Graeme Fricke, Chris Beales and Wilf Tampoline did a great job for the majority of the field. If it wasn’t for two rapidly improving junior riders they would have timed it so the whole field would finish within 30 seconds of each other.
First to start were Pam Benstead and Tammy Patrick off 15 minutes. These two were faced with a tough job to stay away from the chasers for the full 49km journey.
Next away were the threesome of Steve Muggeridge, Callan Barker and Karen Munro. They worked well together and stayed away from the chasing bunches for 4 of the 6 laps. The four minute bunch consisted of Rob Monk, Ross Henry, Paul Yeatman and Dave Bailey. This quartet worked well together sharing the workload evenly and averaged just over 37km/hr for their first 4 laps. If they could maintain this pace they would be hard to catch.
Off 3 minutes were the experienced trio of Pete Finlayson, Brett Rollinson, Scott Keeble and Chris Beales. They stayed away from the scratch riders right up until the end of the fifth lap. The hard chasing scratch riders were Shane Stiles, Dave Salton and James Henry.
Last to start were junior riders Cy Monk, Renee Patrick and James Lalor. They started behind scratch but would only have to complete 4 of the 6 laps.
Ross, Rob, Dave and Paul tried to pass the two juniors for the first time but were shocked when the young guys managed to hang on the back for a 42km/h ride down Sthurs Road. They also hung on for most of the Darnum Park road. With only 3 laps to pass them again the chasers knew the junior riders were the ones to beat.
Dave Bailey, who had looked strong, punctured which meant the lead group on the road was down to 3 riders. Yeatman, Monk and Ross caught Muggeride, Barker and Munro passing the Darnum Footy Ground with two laps to go. Muggeride and Barker were able to stay with the group.
Meanwhile the scratch bunch and 2 minute bunch had combined and with 6 strong riders working together started to take huge chunks of time out of the lead bunch that were still three kilometres up the road. With a lap to go it was clear the juniors would not be caught but the first senior rider home was still wide open.
The junior riders worked together well for most of the last lap until Darnum park road when they started getting ready for the final sprint. At the bottom of the last rise James started sprinting for the line and was too strong for Cy who was happy with a well earned 2nd place.
In the battle for third and first senior rider to finish, Rob Monk decided he’d attack the bunch that had worked well together. Steve Muggeridge was the only rider who was able to go with Rob and these two headed for home alone. Rob did the lion’s share of the work while Steve kept his efforts in reserve for the final run to the line. Steve was first home in the seniors, third overall, while Paul Yeatman flew past Rob in sight of the line to take forth. The scratch bunch together with second scratch arrived less than second 30 seconds later with Dave Salton taking the sprint to record the fastest time of the day.
James Lalor 1st, Cy Monk 2nd, Steve Muggeridge 3rd, Paul Yeatman 4th and Rob Monk 5th.
All members of the Warragul Cycling Club would like to thank Wilf Tampoline of Drouin Cycles for this financial sponsorship of the Club Road Championships as well as his ongoing support in helping with weekly club racing.