WCC members were out in force on Saturday to contest the annual Time McArdle Handicap Race. The race is run to honour the memory of former WCC member Dr Tim McArdle who was tragically killed while on a training ride. The race is a handicap meaning anyone in the club is a chance to take home the trophy.
First away with a head start of 13 minutes on the scratch bunch were Paul Kennedy and Glen Ogalvie. Next away with 9 minutes on the scratchies were Rob Monk, Matt Kennelly and Neil Walker.
A strong bunch of B graders thought they were a big chance with 5 minutes on scratch. Pete Finlayson, Brett Rollinson, Mark Oakley Browne and Paul Yeatman looked evenly matched and would be very hard to catch.
This did not seem to worry the scratch men though. They to had numbers on their side and some riders in good form. The scratch bunch was led by Kane Walker fresh from completing the tour of Tasmania last week, as well as the in form Shane Stiles, time trial specialist Thomas Sander and evergreen veteran Geoff Thomson.
Cy Monk started with the scratch men but he would only need to complete three laps.
The outmakers completed lap one in a reasonable 20’58” but Neil, Rob and Matt took 2 minutes off them completing lap one in 18’58. The B grade group were looking good completing the first lap in 16’52 but the scratchies were flying taking just 16’28 seconds to complete lap one.
Lap two saw the limit riders caught by Rob and Neil. They completed lap 2 in 19’23 seconds. The B grade group was starting to fade completing lap 2 in 19’16” a full two minutes slower than lap 1. A puncture to Mark Oakley brown cost them a rider.
The scratch men also slowed but they had completed the first 22 km averaging 39 km/h. It was clear they would catch the B graders.
Neil and Rob completed their 3rd lap in 19’44” and still let at the bell. Cy Monk had latched onto them as the crossed the start finish line.
A grade caught B grade at the beginning of the final lap. Kane Walker put in a big attack which saw the combined bunch splinter. Only Thommo and Stiles were able to go with him. When the A grade trio caught Rob and Neil just before the start of Parkers Road there were only 5 left in the lead bunch. Stiles and Kane Walker kept the pace on into the head wind along Parker’s road while Thommo Rob Monk and Neil Walker hitched a ride at the back. Thommo did roll through for a turn when it seemed like the chasing Thomas Sander was making ground.
In the run to the line Stiles was content to lead out the finish. He took the group to within 300 meters of the finish then pulled off taking Rob out with him. This left Kane and Thommo to battle out the sprint. Kane looked to have Thommo’s measure right up to the point where he cramped with 50 meters to go. Thommo just never gives up and got over the top on the line to take out the win. Shane was third with Rob forth and Neil fifth. The winners averaged 38.8 km/h for the race.