Wilson Crossing to Winton via Grove Bush & Hedgehope
Thirty two riders faced the starter in the 53km Handicap Race in fine conditions with a light NE wind in their faces until they turned with that advantage at Hedgehope.
The six scratch riders were giving away 24 minutes to the two limit riders and 8.5 minutes to the six break riders. Seventeen riders in three groups of five to six riders were spaced in between break and limit.
By Mabel Bush all bunches were making headway on the groups that started in front of them with starting gaps of 2.5 to 3.5 minutes between each of the five bunches. Scratch had made up 3.07 minutes on the six break riders who had by then collected the five, 2nd break riders. In doing so the Scratch riders had gapped two of their number and the remaining four had a deficit of 5.23 minutes on the now combined break riders.
By the turn at Hedgehope all bunches had amalgamated with the exception of the hard-working scratch riders and this large group had the first collective use of the light tail wind with a noticeable increase in pace.
By Springhills the main peleton were travelling at 45 to 50 kph and scratch had reduced the gap to 3.35 minutes. As the lightly reduced front group swung into the last long straight to the Winton finish some fresh attacks were made with Derek Tan prominent.
With the finish line flags in sight Andy McIntyre put in a strong attack only to be pulled back in by the hungry bunch whereupon Red Burnett made a valiant effort to cross the line first only to be outpaced by a well judged sprint by Garry Smith who was a close but clear winner. Neil Familton finished third two lengths back followed by Hayden Rankin who took out fourth place.
A strong finish by Matt Zenovich saw him attack his fellow scratch riders to make a decisive break with 1.5 kms to ride and saw him take out fastest time only 2.20 behind the winner. He was followed in 39 seconds later by Mike White and Luke Macpherson together.
There were a number of impressive rides on the day but no more so than that put in by 14-year old-Navarh Brotherston off break.
My thanks to those who assisted with the event namely Robin Criglington, Grant Colbran, Keith Wilson, Caroline Robinson and of course our hard working Lindsay Jones.
Results. 1st Garry Smith (8.5 minutes/Break) 1.21.04
2nd Red Burnett (11 minutes/2nd Break)
3rd Neil Familton (8.5 minutes)
Fastest Time. Matt Zenovich (Scratch) 1.14.54
Report courtesy of Ray Robinson, Race Manager.