By Rob Monk
Adele Whelan turns up to race most weeks. She hasn’t won a race for a long time but she keeps on trying. On Saturday here perseverance finally paid off. Starting with 16 minutes head start on scratch Adele, Paul Kennedy and Andrew Gordon held off all the chasers.
Scratch had only two riders, Jayden Manintveld and Graeme Parker were in for tough day when the 2 minute bunch of Rob Monk, Geoff Thompson and Shane Stiles made the tactical decision to “sit up” and wait for the 1 minute group of Col Brown, Pete Whelan and Hayden Johnson. This meant early on lap 1 a group of two was chasing a group of 6 and with a strong headwind along Parker’s Rd the scratch pair were in trouble.
Ahead with 4 minutes on scratch were Bruce Staben, Zvonko Maric and Greame Patrick. They were caught on lap 2 but Zvonko and Bruce did as many turns from there to the finish as anyone else.
The 6 minute group of Roger Bell, Colin Manintveld and Andrew Jackson survived for 3 laps before being engulfed by the large chase pack. Rob Waddel, Glen Ogilvy and Terry Kelly had ridden well with 9 minutes headstart on scratch. The too were absorbed into the chasing pack by the bell and it was only the limit riders left to be caught.
Jayden Manitveld had put in a robust individual time trial effort to get onto the large group. He sat on them for half a lap while they soft peddled, awaiting his obvious attack going up to the top corner. When the attack came he was allowed to dangle off the front to tire himself out. While this side show was going on in the bunch, the main event was still up the road.
Adele Whelan was not going to let this race slip. Her husband was conspicuously absent from the front of the chasers. His response to urges to do some work was batted away with, “I have a team mate up the road.” Team mate indeed! Manintveld and Monk chased hard on Parker’s Rd but some others were shy getting to the front. Pete Whelan’s moving road block encouraged them to stay at the rear as well.
Adele put in a surge at the end of Parker’s Rd dropping Paul Kennedy. Rounding the home turn she could see that the race was hers to be won. The smiling assassin looked back at Andrew Gordon and saw a hint of weakness in his pedal stroke. She put the pressure on with 400 meters to go and he was dropped. Adele Powered to victory riding the last 100 meters with her hands in the air in an animated victory salute. Gordo was second. Paul Kennedy hung on for third just in front of the finishing pack. Kennedy nearly fainted after crossing the line, so spent was he from the punishment Adele had subjected him to. Fittingly Jayden Manintveld took the sprint for fourth place and fastest time; a meritorious ride from the young man. Those behind him that had energy to sprint would be well advised to use their reserves in the chase in future handicaps. There is no glory in coming 5th in a handicap.
The prize goes to the winner and Adele Whelan fittingly and finally stood on the top step of the podium.
In other news:
The Victorian Omnium Championships were held over the weekend at DISC. Paul Yeatman took out bronze in the male masters division. This is his first ever state medal.
On Sunday, Blackburn Cycling Club hosted the second round of the ABOC Sprint Series. Paul Yeatman rode well to win all of his heats, and the C grade final. Michelle Scurr did the same in D grade. Paul also won the aggregate on the day, with the most wins and fastest adjusted flying 200.