It was a cold but calm afternoon that saw 42 riders sign on for the Riverton-Fairfax handicap race on Saturday 24 August. The six handicap bunches raced down the main highway from the Riverton Racecourse start to Thornbury, completed one full lap of the Thornbury - Isla Bank - Fairfax return circuit and then covered the same route before turning off at Gropers Bush to finish outside the Riverton Cemetery.
The 8 limit riders had a 27 minute advantage over the four scratch riders of Cam Karwowski, Luke Macpherson, Robert Huisman and Matt Zenovich.
These four raced hard out from the start to gather in the six break riders of Derek Tan, Mike White, Garry Smith, Brendan Akeroyd, Andrew Lienert and Geoff van Dam (2 minutes) and the 2nd break bunch of Neil Familton, Aaron Sinclair, Logan Havenaar, Sier Vermunt, Blake Tait-Jones and Kylie Young (5 minutes) two kilometres before the return to Thornbury and had reduced the deficit to the limit riders by 16 minutes.
The nine mid-markers (11 minutes) were working well together but the 8 riders of 2nd limit (19 minutes) had set a solid pace and with good team work looked to be the bunch to be giving the scratch men their biggest challenge. This group had worked their way to the front by the 2nd time to the Isla Bank T intersection and by the top of the Fairfax hill they (Grant Toomey, Tony Raggett, Marty Lohrey, Shirlene Rollo, Craig Sadlier, Sam Kopae and Ian Ballam) held a five minute advantage over the main body of the field. At this point the combined three rear bunches, less riders caught and passed on the way or dispatched off the back, caught the mid-markers (11 mins) of Garry Steedman, Laura Heywood, Wally Kopae, Tim Maynard, Neil Jamieson, Daryl Haggerty, David Simpson and Allan Milne, and blasted passed them over the top with only seven riders making up the final selection to chase down the 19 minute bunch over the final 10 kms left to the finish.
This bunch of Karwowski, Macpherson, Huisman, White, Akeroyd, Tait-Jones and Havenaar sat on 50kph for most of that 10kms but fell 1.48 short. Over the brow of the hill Grant Toomey worked his way to the outside and out-lasted Tony Raggett and Marty Lohrey into 2nd and 3rd respectfully in a race time of 1.39.26.
Shirlene Rollo finished fifth and was the first woman home in a credible effort.
Cam Karwowski took fastest time in 1.22.15 to beat the remaining fast finishing six home and carries on his good form gained from hard overseas racing.
All in all a good day's racing and some good performances were demonstrated.
Thanks to Robin Criglington, Mark Day, Andrew Holden and Maree Haggerty along with Waine Harding and Bruce Ross for their help on the day.
Race Manager for the day, Ray Robinson.