A big field turned out for a Handicap race on Saturday on the Cloverlea circuit.
A late arriving riders made the handicapper’s job difficult and in the end the last two riders to enter turned out to be the winners. A reminder in future to all riders. Register before 1.45pm or you will be riding off scratch.
Riders were sent away in groups of 5 or 6. First away doing 5 laps was a group led by Greame Patrick and Trev Rollinson. They were ably assisted by Paul Yeatman with Danny Dilger acting as the tactical adviser and bus driver. Kate Prestidge was forced to try to hang on as the boys set a cracking pace.
Three minutes later the group comprising Col Brown, Any Nichols, Jason Dastey, Jayden Manintveld, Glen Marriot and Jack Walk took off at a tempo that was never going to be sustainable over five laps. They completed lap 1 in just over 18 minutes but were 50 seconds slower on lap 2. By this stage they had shelled Walk and Nichols and were bound to be caught. One day Col will learn how to pace a handicap.
Pacing was no problem for the second scratch group. Thommo called anyone who tried to go too hard too early a “peanut” and all six riders stayed together for the whole race. Rob and Cy Monk, Steve Twining, Greame Parker and Roland Elstrom worked smoothly and steadily and eventually hauled in the flotsam and jetsam cast off the groups in front.
The scratch group also took off at an untenable speed. Jayman Prestidge was strong on lap one but gone by the end of lap two. He seemed more interested in the numbers on his new power meter than holding the wheel of the others in his group. Jimmy Lalor’s abysmal handicap form continued as he was also spat on lap two. Shane Stiles has lost all form after a long injury layoff. He was also dropped leaving only Pete Finlayson and the super strong Justin Gravett left when they caught the second scratch group.
Starting behind scratch but doing four laps, not five were the limit group comprising Ray York, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Gordon, Michael Blackwood, Colin Manintveld and Greg Horbowitz. These guys stayed together for lap one but then Blackwood and Jackson decided they could go quicker on their own. York tried to go with them but was gapped and Gordon and Manintveld worked together to try to catch up. This ended badly when Colin clipped Andrew’s wheel and hit the deck.
Doing three laps were juniors Caelin and Riley Dastey and Elliot Kennedy. The youngsters rode well swapping turns into the strong head wind along Parkers Rd. When the limit men went past them on Parkers Rd on their last lap Riley Dastey went with them.
Blackwood and Jackson worked together all the way to the finish winning by just under 2 minutes. Blackwood first with Jackson second again.
By the end of lap 4. The scratch and second scratch group had picked up the all the third scratch group and had the Dilger lead group in sight. Danny managed his group well though and they still held a 300 meter advantage at the finish line. Trev Rollinson won the bunch sprint for third.
Next week is a scratch race at Shady Creek at 2.00pm.