There have been some itchy wheels within the club this season due to races needing to be cancelled or postpone because of adverse weather conditions. So, it was a relief that this evening proved dry enough, albeit chilly and breezy, for some itches to be scratched.
Forty-five riders presented themselves to the starter to be divided into A and B Grade, with two junior riders contesting the short course. All grades began in Watson’s Road, heading East up and over, before returning to finish at the top of Limeworks hill.
I heard this course described by one rider as ‘brutal’, which is especially true when you add in a reasonably healthy westerly wind. This particular course is always ‘testing’ with riders trying to hold the wheel in front of them whilst their heart and lungs complain bitterly about the effort required to do so. That is, unless you are among the strongest and one of those who is ‘putting the hurt’ on your competitors. In the end it was a race of attrition with riders being spread out over the course in small groups with the strongest rider finishing solo. For riders who succeed in staying within a group until the bottom of the final climb up Limeworks the end result was then decided on climbing ability.
On the short course congratulations go to Ryan McNaughton for a win in his very first race, followed not far behind by Annabelle Smith, our only junior girl tonight. In B-Grade congratulations go to Duncan Cameron who finished over four minutes in front of the next group of riders, with both Caleb and Finn Roberts demonstrating high quality climbing ability to finish second and third. Congratulations to Laura Cockroft who was first woman home. Once again In A-Grade congratulations go to Mark Langlands finishing solo nearly a minute in front of Dominic Green, followed shortly after that by Erik D’Arbois. First and fastest woman on the night was Emily Lutyens.
Many thanks to all our race officials who kept us safe and also to David and Lyn Howden for hosting the after-match barbecue.
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Next week: is the first handicapped road race of the season, which means that everyone will be racing for the John Chesmar Memorial Trophy to contested around one lap of the Millers Road circuit, starting and finishing at Gladstone Church.