By Rob Monk
On Saturday the Warragul Cycling Club honoured the passing of the Late Dr Tim McCardle, who passed away as a result of a collision with a car. The Annual “Tim McCardle Handicap” is one of the Club’s signature events. Held at the Darnum Circuit it celebrates Tim’s life and his contributions to our community. This race is an annual reminder about the need to be safe when riding as well as our chance to send a positive message to the wider community about the need for respect for all forms of cyclists on the road.
Thirty riders started the handicap. The race distance was increased to 6 laps given the championship status of the race. First away with 14 mins head start on scratch were Macca Parkinson, Adele Whelan, John Talor, John Van Heuven and Kerryn Milner. They stayed together for the first 3 laps but were caught by Mark Oakley Brown and Michelle Scurr on lap 4. They were also chased down by the 8 minute group consisting of Clancy McColl, Nicole Summerfield, Graeme Partrick and Rob Wadell. Clancy and Nicole joined in with the 6 minute bunch of Geoff Thompson, Jayman Prestidge, Jason Dastey, Jason Tubnor and Simon Baxter when they came past and added to the pace making as well.
The 6 minute group looked to be handicapped to win but it was always going to be difficult to stop Col “Captain Surge” Brown ripping them to pieces. When Simon Baxter punctured on lap two their chances of staying away diminished. They still rode well catching all before them by the bell for the final lap. Dastey, Tubs and Thommo were consistent contributors, Prestidge was next to useless and all spent most of the race trying to avoid being on Captain Surge’s wheel.
The Chopping block group with 3 minutes head start on scratch rode their first lap in a time that would have seen them likely to win the race. Pete Finlayson, Rob Monk, George Tambassis, Paul Yeatman, Roland Elsdon and Pete Whelan were teaming well until George was forced to retire with mechanical issues. They lost a little drive and were caught at the bell for the final lap by scratch.
Scratch rode superbly clocking consistent lap times. Reigning Champion Matt Parkinson was licking his lips when they caught the chopping block group at the bell and had the rest of the field in sight. He had used the combined efforts of Shane Stiles, Graeme Parker, Brett Rollinson, Glenn Marriott and Brett Kennedy to deliver him to a winning position.
When the field came together before Sturs Rd on the final lap it looked like a group of 20 would try and round the home turn together. Graeme Parker had other ideas. He put it in the gutter in the cross wind going past the butter factory and strung out the field. The bunch of 20 was quickly reduced to a bunch of 10 as riders were spat out the back.
Parkinson, Stiles and Kennedy went past the tiring Parker. Then, in what was an obvious act of collusion, Stiles stopped peddling and blocked to allow Kennedy and Parkinson to ride away. Parkinson played Kennedy like a banjo and encouraged him to lead him out. The gullible Kennedy obliged. Parkinson’s only real opposition, Stiles and Kennedy, had been duped into setting him up for victory. Only one name goes on championship Trophy though and that name is Matt Parkinson who became the first two time winner of the McArdle Trophy. His rubes, Kennedy and Stiles filled the minor placings but these will be quickly forgotten. Then followed Paul Yeatman, Glen Marriott and Rob Monk.
Next week is the club championship. Race starts at 2pm at Darnum.