By Rob Monk
Twenty three riders assembled for Saturday’s handicap race at Cloverlea.
First away with 16 minutes head start on scratch was Frank Benstead, Michelle Scurr and Adele Whelan.
They worked well together for the first two laps but we soon hauled in by the 10 minute group comprising Xavier Prestcott, Andew Gordon, Danny Dilger, Luke Gallagher, Terry Kelly and Harley Bondini.
Harley’s race was short lived after he punctured on lap one.
The 10 minute group circulated well for 2 laps. They were then caught by the group who started 1.5 minutes behind them. Shane Stiles was appointed rolling coach of the group comprising Zvonko Maric, Justin Prestidge, James Blyth, George Tambassis and Murray Campbell. When they combined with the bunch in front early on lap three they had a bunch of 8 riders who were all rolling though. Only Dilger and Gallagher were not able to go with the combined group.
The Chopping Block group with just 2.5 minutes on scratch and a 6 minute chase to the group in front were always in for a hard day. Geoff Thompson, Rob Monk, Ross Henry and Pete Whelan teamed well but were always going to be caught.
The scratch bunch were piloted by Kane Walker. Kane, has recently competed in the Tour of Borneo and Tour of Malaysia as well as other professional races. Kane was gentle on the other scratch riders Cy Monk, Paul Yeatman and Graeme Parker. Kane dragged these boys around completing lap one in 17 minutes 12 seconds, 17m 11s for lap 2 and 17m05s for lap 3.
By lap 3 he had the chopping block group hanging on as well. Kane could see the others in front on lap four so he picked up the pace. The last lap was completed in 16m 44s, an average speed of 41 km/h.
Coach Stiles was tracking the chasers on his iphone!! His bunch completed lap three in 19m 32s so would be caught unless they picked up the pace. Stiles started cracking the whip.
They completed their last lap in 18m 25s to hold off “The Kane Train” by about 100 meters at the finish.
Strong man Justin Prestidge had done a power of work for his group. He won the grinding sprint from a fast finishing George Tambassis. James Blyth was third. Justin deserved the win as he was the main worker for his bunch. Justin’s younger brother should take note of how to win a race like a hard man!!
Less than 10 seconds later Cy Monk won the bunch sprint for fastest time. Kane Walker had dragged the scratch bunch around at an average of 40km/h but they came up 100 meters short. A great ride Kane.