Friendly conditions favoured the 48 riders who lined up for the running of this week's 53km Quest Apartment Hotels Central Pirates to Winton handicap race.
Seven groups of riders left Wilson's Crossing with a tail wind advantage, separated by a 22min gap from Limit to Scratch.
For the first 15km the racing was coming as expected with all the groups slowly gaining ground on the lead limit riders Colin Horton, Ciara Kelly, Shirlene Rollo, Natalie Green and Jaz McLeod. Around the 20km mark things started to come together in the middle with 2nd Limit and 2nd Mid working hard to stay away from the MId, 2nd Break and Break groups that had joined together as well.
Turning at Hedgehope corner with 10km to go, the seven groups had become four groups with Limit holding a three minute gap to the next chasing group, then another minute to the next group and two more minutes to the hard-working Break and 2nd Break riders - Gene Marsh, Steve Rhodes, Hayden Rankin, Mike White and Red Burnett.
4km out from the finish all the groups were in sight of each other doing their best to catch the tiring Limit riders, then Josh Miller found another gear and attacked across from his Mid bunch to catch Limit inside the last km. Behind Limit the race had formed into one big group that was chasing hard and only falling short by seconds. Scratch group, who had been chasing hard all day averaging 43kph for the 53km race, finished closely behind with all the field finishing within 90sec.
A great day out for all concerned and big thanks to all those who helped on the day, especially our sponsor Quest Apartment Hotels.
1st Josh Miller
2nd Ciara Kelly (first female)
3rd Jaz McLeod
4th Natalie Green
5th Colin Horton
Fastest time: Hamish Keast
Report courtesy of race manager Waine Harding