Geelong and Surfcoast Cycling Club Handicap Race, 3- Laps, Out & Back Nobles Rd (49kms) Sunday, 15th February

The race was well attended with forty two riders in the field. The weather was warm, but not too hot and we had an unusual wind direction coming mostly from the North-east. The first group Ian started with chose to do track turns up the road as did the second group Ian rode with. Why the two groups in a handicap I hear you ask? Well, Ian saw Jimmy Knot in the group (who usually beats him in the end), heard the name Ian called out and thought no more of it until Dave Spence was leaning out the window of the marshalling car on the wrong side of the road telling Ian to stop and wait for the following group just before the turn off to Larcombe Rd from misery lane. On the third attempt by Dave to get my attention, the penny dropped and he stopped.

There were seven riders in the 6:30 group Peter Ladd, Ian Amsten, Chris Fenech, Darren William, Mark Langham (ACT), Paul Ogilvie (new rider) and Peter McDonough, riding strongly and put in equal efforts and they had the group in front caught on the top of the Forrest Rd Hill by the second – lap. After catching the group ahead, several of their riders came to the front and continued to do turns including Ian Flannery (CV). The combined group caught first sight of the remaining groups by the straight section of Hendy Main Rd approaching the club house and we finally reeled them in by mid climb on Larcombes Rd when the whole bunch sat up to recover and plot.

Meanwhile the three fast groups had all started well, especially the scratch group of Daryl burns, Richard Lyle, Dave Warren, Nick Oakley, Tony French and Jeff Miller making a fast catch to second scratch on the second lap. With help for the second scratch group it took till the end of Larcombe Rd to catch the large and strong third scratch group.

The leading 6:30 group planned to deny the combined scratch riders who had not arrived by this stage, so Ian attacked the field up the Larcombes Rd rise and had two riders follow, being Chris Fennech and Mark Langham, Mark pulled away and then Ian Amsten was shocked by a vicious turn of speed by Chris as we approached what they thought was the finish line.

Both riders sat up after crossing the finish line and the field had not chased by this stage, so Ian rode up to Chris first and asked the obvious question: “Did you know we still have to get to the end of Nobles and back mate?” A look of disappointment came over Chris’s face as we set off to inform the ‘winner’ up ahead, who was equally dejected to hear of this reality. The field soon came back together after rounding the corner onto Nobles and then the hard work began to keep the fast men at bay. With a lot of motivational chatter the pace was quickened. Peter Ladd being up the front and working in addition to Jimmy Knot, Mark, and a couple of others who were busy discussing when to set sail and attack on the way out to the turn around.

The combined scratch group hit the Larcombes / Noble Rd corner hard, but the pace slowed a little on the first rise up Nobles Road which could have ended their chance to make the catch.

The lead group kept a good pace up until the turn around and could see the scratch field closing fast once around with what looked like less than a minute’s gap. Many thanks again goes to the marshal on the turn around for the their much appreciated encouragement at that point of the race. The front of the group on the way back to the Larcombes corner was small with Jim Knott, Ian and Mark doing the work to stay away. The pace was still high after rounding the corner and the group waited for someone to bolt, which took place when Peter Ladd went early about 350m out followed by Ian who came around and held his line for the sprint in front. It was a very close as the riders neared the line and Ian gave a final burst to hold them off by a very small margin but did not know this at the time. Well done Ian (1st) and Barry Clay (2nd), Jim Knott (3rd) The 6:30 group had a great and exciting race. It sounds like there were a few riders that sat on during the last few kilometres to finish well in the sprint.

Thanks again to the course marshals, the handicapper and fellow markers who put in a big effort to keep away today.

The scratch group chased hard till the finish, passing dropped riders, finishing less than one minute behind with Daryl Burns taking fastest time.

1st Ian Amsden,(1:19:13) 2nd Barry Clay, 3rd Jim Knott, 4th Darren Williams, 5th Lance Rogers, 6th Johnny Parrello, 7th Peter Ladd, 8th & FT Daryl Burns,(1:13:24) 9th David Warren, 10th Richard Lyle.


Comments by Ian Amsden and Darren Williams.

Thursday night crit racing 6pm, Next Saturday the 21st is the second last Income Solutions Criterium Race at Belmont 9.30 start, no club race next Sunday due to the Open race at Dookie. 9am race starts Sunday mornings.