It was looking to be a great day for road racing. Over one hundred riders arrived in Paraparap for this years edition of the Geelong and Surfcoast Cycling Club Layard Park Investments 61kmVVCC Open Handicap.
Today’s race being the last race of the state aggregate series and with the state individual aggregate pretty much won, today was about who would finish second and third in the individual aggregate and which club would win the club aggregate with Geelong only one point behind Northern Cycling.
The one hundred riders were spread over 39 minutes from the limit group to the five riders off scratch. The earlier limit groups were well on their way with light winds and overcast conditions. The lighter winds earlier on had provided an easier start and the 39, 31 and 24 minute groups had already done well over a full lap before the third, second and scratch groups had started. After the first lap of 5 the second limit group were making good time on the limit group of 4 even after two of their group had punctured at similar times along Forest Road for the first time. The third limit group weren’t able to really get going and weren’t making up much time at all on the leaders and were looking more likely to be caught by the faster chasing bunches.
There were riders being dropped from their respective groups all around the course as the going was obviously to tough for some and with the westerly wind increasing making the efforts harder each time up misery lane. Second limit took control of the lead of the race with two and a half laps to go and with scratch still needing to make up a full lap (11km) and they still had a very sizable lead over the next bunches.. Meanwhile the 7min group had caught the already combined 9 and eleven minute groups making this a very large group. Only if they could have worked better they might have made up the big gap required to the leaders.
The second and third scratch bunches were riding well but both the groups were a bit haphazard doing turns and by the end of first lap only half the bunches were doing regular turns. The scratch bunch of 5 were down to four and these four fast men were riding with great determination and making up good time and caught the second scratch bunch at the start of the 3rd lap and these combined bunches worked well and proceeded to catch 3rd scratch before the rollers on forest rd.
A surge was put on by scratch riders and by the time we got over both rises only handful of 3rd scratch and 2nd scratch riders made it over. by the time we started the 4th lap only the 4 scratch riders Darren Roberts, Trent Stevenson, Michael Borowski and Neville Laffy plus Dave warren, Kevin Laffy and Rick Buckwell had survived the attrition. Scratch continued on with riders doing a lot of work for Darren Roberts who was looking for fastest time.
With a lap to go the remaining leading riders of the 31 minute group of John Bell, David Drew, Vince Sinni, Tamara Riddell, Ray Hodgen plus Ian Sumner from the 39 minute group were still more than 4 minutes in front of the next bunch, the 24 minute group who were still battling away on there own, now hoping to just finish in the top 10 and to take some prize money home. Then there was the big chasing scratch group who had caught all the other groups were another 5 minutes behind.
The leaders started getting a bit cagey the last time up misery lane with John Bell from the GSCC stuck on the front into the now strong head wind. John Bell said he tried to ride away from the other riders a couple of times to no avail and he also stated he didn’t realise till after the race he was riding against four other Northern riders. Team tactics had now taken over with four Northern club riders in the front group of seven. John led them all to Larcombes Road then Ray Hodgson started the sprint strongly but was pipped at the line by Vince Sinni to take a great win and David Drew claimed second and Ray held onto third.
The third limit group hit Larcombes Road only a couple of hundred metres in front of the fast finishing scratch riders. Chris Shay won the sprint for 7th and Darren Roberts past all the others riders to finish 10th and take Fastest Time.
A big thank you to the GSCC committee for all their hard work to make this open race another great day out. Thankyou to all the marshals and helpers throughout the day.
Well done to all riders who competed in the tough conditions today. Congratulations to Northern Cycling for having very good day taking the win and 5 of the top ten placing’s, the state individual and club aggregates for 2015. All the Geelong and Surfcoast riders rode extremely well today placing well in the top 10 and throughout the rest of the placing’s.
1st Vince Sinni (31min N) (1:54:59 31.82km/h) , 2nd David Drew (21min N) 3rd Ray Hodgson (31min Eur) 4th Tamara Riddell (31min N) 5th John Bell (31min GSCC) 6th Ian Sumner (39min GSCC) 7th Chris Shay (24min GSCC) 8th Ray Clifford (24min GSCC) 9th Tony Bramucci (31min N) 10th and fastest time Darren Roberts (scr N) (1:26:51 42.1km/h)
Up an Coming events: Tuesday 3rd November Melbourne Cup on Wheels. Thursday night 5th November round one of the ‘Clearwater Property Care’ Criterium series at Belmont.