by Jason Tubnor
A small field braved windy conditions for Race 2 of the Parkinson’s Refrigerated Transport Series at Darnum on Saturday.
The handicapper decided to up the ante for the scratch group this week. Scratch quartet of Shane Stiles. Rob Monk, Jayman Prestidge and Bryce Edhouse had to chase down a 6 minute gap to get to the next group.
Jason Fritzlaff, Connor Bagot and Ryan McGregor teamed well and within three laps had caught the 9 min group of Zvonko Maric and Jarrod Croxford. Zvonko and Jarrod worked in well with Fritzy, Connor and Ryan meaning the scratch men were chasing a bunch of five.
Bryce Edhouse found the sustained strength of Shane Stiles a little hard to hold and he dropped off halfway through lap 3. The combined 6 and 9 minute bunch blew past Colin Manintveld and Mick Blackwood on their way to the finish.
The scratch group were taking just under a minute a lap out of the the 6 minute bunch but they had already lost one rider and when Jayman Prestidge capitulated at the end of lap 5 Shane Stiles and Rob Monk were still a minute and a half down.
Zvonko Maric lost contact with the lead bunch going past the Darnum footy group the last time. Jarrod Croxford was hanging on but was unable to help with the pace making on Lap 6. Donna Innes Waddel had started 13 minutes in front of scratch and was caught on the final lap.
Approaching the finish it was difficult to pick the winner. McGregor had been strong all race, Bagot was still looking fresh and Fritzlaff was lacking much racing in his preparation. In the finish Fritzy was just too quick. He won easily from Connor with MacGregor in third place. Croxford hung on well to take fourth place. 15 seconds later scratch duo of Shane Stiles and Rob Monk crossed the line in fifth and sixth position. Rounding out the top 10 were Zvonko Maric, Colin Manintveld and Mick Blackwood.
Series top 5 riders are two races are Connor Bagot, Rob Monk, Shane Stiles, Chris Joustra and Jason Fritzlaff.