By Rob Monk
Race one of the Bulk Transport Equipment Friday Night Lights series ended in close finish. Handicapper Finlayson threw some groups together when small numbers meant the planned scratch races would be less than interesting. All groups finished with 200 meters of each other after 40km of racing which is about as close as it gets in a handicap.
First away with 9 minutes on scratch were John Davine and Rob Waddel. Two minutes later Alan McColloch, Graeme Patrick and Dave Armour set off in pursuit. McColloch a recent winner of the Morwell to Glenmaggie handicap and Dave Armour, fresh from victory in the Tim McArdle Handicap are in good form and would prove hard to catch. McColloch and Armour don’t look like tour riders but they are getting faster every week. Looks can be deceiving.
With four minutes start on scratch Rob Monk, Geoff Thompson and Col Brown made the decision to sit up and wait for the two minute group of Glen Marriott, Stuart Battley and Matt Parkinson. This proved to be a good idea as Battley and Parkinson were on a tear, and Thommo and Monk found it much easier sitting on them than chasing.
Pete Finlayson and Graeme Parker started one minute in front of scratch. Finlayson had a mechanical mishap on lap one and Parker was forced to wait for the scratch pair of Jayden Manintveld and Leigh Haxwell. Starting with scratch but just doing four laps were Dave Jordan, Robyn Baker and Kristen Theile. It was great to see Kristen back racing after a long layoff caused by a serious leg injury.
On lap three the heavens opened and the race turned unpleasant for all. McColloch, Patrick and Armour had caught Rob Waddel and John Davine. Davine could not keep with them but Waddel was strong enough to help them keep the pace on.
By the bell lap it was clear the finish would be close. Battley and Parkinson finally got some help from the othe four in the group meaning the gap came down quickly. On the turn off Sturs Rd for the last time they had McColloch’s group in sight but it would take a big effort to bridge the gap. Battley gave it everything but didn’t get much assistance from the others.
Rounding the home corner Alan headed for home with a 200 meter gap on the chasers. Parkinson led out the sprint but the four riders up the road proved just too strong. Alan McColloch was first with Rob Waddel second, Dave Armour third and Graeme Patrick fourth. He was just meters in front of the fast finishing Geoff Thompson, Rob Monk, Matt Parkinson, Glen Marriott, Stuart Battley and Col Brown rounded out the top 10. Finishing a further 50 meters back was Jayden Manintveld who took out the fastest time.
The BTE Friday Night Lights Series continues next Friday night at Cloverlea. Racing will start at 6.15 to allow you more time to get there after work. Riders must have rear lights and front lights are recommended if it is overcast. Points after round 1 can be viewed here.
In other news
Shell Scurr came 9th in the Victorian Open Road Championships in the individual time trial on the 8th of Nov.
Brenton Jones won the final stage of the Tour of Southland in New Zealand on the 9th of Nov.
Kane Walker announced he is moving teams and will be riding for Satalyst Giant Racing in 2014.
Next weekend sees the running of the re-branded Metro and Country Track Championships, “The Victorian Track GP” at DISC. We have the following riders on the provisional start list:
- Michell Scurr (individual pursuit, time trial)
- Paul Yeatman (individual pursuit, time trial, sprint)