by Jason Tubnor
Sixteen brave souls turned out for a handicap race at Darnum on Saturday. Cold conditions were exacerbated by rain after the race started. Four bunches contested. The limit group of Geoff Thomson, Peter MacDonald, Sean Donaldson and Colin Manintveld set off with 8 minutes head start on scratch. They were caught after 2 laps by the 4 minute group of Rob Monk, Graeme Parker, Pete Whelan, Jayman Prestidge and Bryce Edhouse.
The limit group of Terry Kelly and Donna Innes Wardel were rounded up early. They started with scratch but were only doing 5 laps. Kelly managed to sit on the back of the 4 minute bunch quite comfortably. Peter MacDonald as the only limit group rider able to contribute to the pace making. Thommo provided guidance and encouragement from the back of the bunch.
With only one lap to go the scratch group of Brett Kennedy, Shane Stiles, Matt Parkinson, Paul Collins, Chris Joustra and Daniel Furmston roared past. Kennedy had a mechanical lung problem on Lap one and needed a lap out to fix it. Joustra, Collins and Furmston upped the tempo past the Darnum Footy ground and managed to drop all the four and eight minute riders with the exception of Monk. He managed to grovel along at the back until the finish. Kennedy and Collins took it in turns to try and break away before the final sprint. Neither got too far up the road before the other one chased them down.
Furmston was first to sprint for home but Stiles and Parkinson were quick to get onto his wheel. Parkinson was too strong for Stiles in the run to the line. Furmston was third with Joustra fourth and Monk fifth.
Next week is the Club Road Championships.
It is a mass start format . Race will consist of 4 Laps of the Shady Creek circuit starting from Darnum, The race will be under control until Sturs road. It will finish at Shady Creek. Race starts at 2.00pm.