Colac, Geelong & Warrnambool Vets combined today to race at Cororooke, Colac in the Red Rock Classic. Riders were greeted with beautiful sunshine and warm but slightly windy conditions, on the start line.

A good turnout for what is known to be a tough race, with the finish line perched at the top of the Red Rock look-out, a challenge after racing 4 laps of the 53 km course which also includes two hills each lap.

A good size entry list of 62 riders made for a challenging job for the handicapper, Ralph Iselt. Seven bunches of approximately 9 riders per bunch were formed, with the exception of scratch, which had 6 strong men. Prizes were awarded to the first three in each group as well as the first ten overall.

Bunches worked well in the early stages of the race, but as the race progressed, the wind picked up to make the Alvie climb in the headwind a chore.

The 14 minute bunch was making good ground with Jess Douglas (C), Gary Legg (C) and Gerard Hickey (C) strongly driving on the front. The 11.5 minute bunch, which saw Jim Knott (G), Paul Allen (C), Barry Webster (C ), Noel Symons (C), Paul Bird (G), Len Murfitt (C) and Co. put in some solid turns, were swamped at the top of Alvie on the forth lap by the combined 8 & 5 min bunches, which included the tenacious Heather Hamling (C) as well as Eddy Ziedaitis (G), Simon Williams (G), Nick Brown (C), Carl Leahy (G), Carl Judd (G,) Neil Maurer (G), Vic Mason (G) and more.

Riders trying to hang on found the going tough in the side winds; popping off the back to make the solitary ride to Red Rock look-out alone. A large second scratch bunch passed (me) Mandy Hosking (G) from the 11.5 min bunch, at a pace that made me feel like I was standing still at Lineen’s Hill on the last lap, but they failed to keep away from the scratch boys, who were powering along, on a mission to deliver a winner for the coveted Red Rock Trophy.

Di Howden, photographer extraordinaire, was on hand at the finish line to capture a much deserved win by Nick Kennedy, who praised Brian McNamara in his winner’s speech, for ‘turning himself inside out’ in the early stages of the race (pics to come). Second Place went to Geelong’s Scratch rider, Matt McDonough who put in a strong fight to the line against Nick… Third place was collected by Paul Beard.

Geelong’s Neil Maurer picked up the ‘First in Bunch’ dollars. Other riders representing the Geelong Vets…

Ian Sumner 20 mins
John Bell 20 mins
Darryl Tonkin 20 mins
Tony Spark 14 mins
Jim Knott 11.5 mins
Paul Bird 11.5 mins
Darren Williams 11.5 mins
Mandy Hosking 11.5 mins
Vic Mason 8 mins
Neil Maurer 8 mins
Carl Judd 8 mins
Eddy Ziedaitis 5.5 mins
Carl Leahy 5.5 mins
Nick Oakley 5.5 mind
Barry Howden 2.5 mins
Andrew Baker 2.5 mins
Andrew Goodwin 2.5 mins
Richard Lyle 2.5 mins
Matthew McDonough Scratch

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