Today we raced for the GSCC Club Aggregate in a 48 kilometre handicap race. There were six club mates in contention, all within a handful of points of each other. John Bell, having had a great start to the year, remained consistent all year round, started the day leading by 1 point, on 30. Shane Korth, on 29, stood aside to do marshalling duty due to illness. Darren Williams, who fort strongly; having battled with his health this year, showed good form and stood a good chance of spoiling the day for John… sitting on 27 points. David Warren on 26 points after a brilliant year of racing, had his work cut out for him; riding off Scratch. James Stuart, on 25, had family commitments, so was a no show. Last in contention and in for the chase for the third year running was the great finisher Jimmy Knot on 23 points.

Having partied the night before at Super Vet Johnny Randall’s Surprise 85th birthday party at John Bells’ place, I didn’t start the day with any great expectations. I knew Johnny Bell was vying for the aggregate win, so when I saw that I was in his bunch, along with Paul ‘Bubby’ Bubb and Gordon Spargo, (all mates, who’d also helped with the previous night’s festivities), I knew what my job for the day was … to ride all in for John. Our bunch had some pretty great riders in it too, with Jamie Robinson, Col Hooper and Andrew Booth; together we were pretty evenly matched in strength. The limit riders were sent of 22 minutes before us, scratch were set to take off 19 minutes after us, so they had their work cut out for them. Weather couldn’t have more perfect, with a nice temperature and a light south easterly, we were sure we could bring home the bacon for John. The course for the day had us ride in a slight headwind out Blackgate then turn, head back towards the club, out Forest Road and back, then turn into Grays, then Hendy main Road and up the chicane to the first finish in Larcombes. Initially, we all worked liked clockwork, rolling even turns until the turn-around, where I found the pace a little hot so I just tucked in ‘til the boys settled themselves. We picked up Chris Colley not long after and encouraged him to roll turns “for Johnny”. It wasn’t long before we picked up the bunch in front containing Neil Maurer, Richard Buckwell, Jenny Denouden, Ian Sumner, Daryl Peterson and that little guy Gavin Gamble. They too jumped in to help, making our job easier along Forest Road. Speed average for out Forest Road was 36kph, back was 39kph, and hitting the high 40’s once we hit the downhills towards Grays. Consistent workers for the race were Gordon, Bubby, me, Neil Maurer, Jamie, Andrew and Col ‘Hoops’ Hooper. Hoops, as expected wore the race directors cap for the day, not to be outshone, I took it upon myself to don the assistant directors jersey and had plenty to say (including up the road, down the road, fill the gaps, keep it smooth, well done) especially when some riders decided to rest their legs when it came to the pointy end of the race. Credit goes to the bunch we collected though; they were under no obligation at all to do turns. Great help by Richard and Gav, a special mention goes to Jenny, who is still learning race etiquette, for rolling through…well done! Johnny Bell was sitting pretty with 10 kays to go. The pace was so high, the back markers weren’t anywhere to be seen; we were confident he had the aggregate in the bag for John by then. All we had to do was keep the pace high, but cracks started to form and an overly enthusiastic Hoops started hurting us with his strong turns. Words were exchanged, when he grumbled,” Come on Mandy!” after I chose; along with half the rest of us, to take a break. Daryl Peterson, quipped, “It’s no fun when Mum and Dad fight!” … I thought that was funny. Anyway, Hoops got his way and everyone started to roll through again, we flew down Grays Road and up the chicane with Jamie doing a massive turn up towards Larcombes. I sat behind Hoops, knowing he had the experience to shake us all; having ridden off scratch many, many times…many, many years ago. We had the race sewn up as we ventured around the corner into Larcombes and towards the finish line… All there was left to do was to contest the sprint. Paul Bubb took off way too early, saying later,”I can’t sprint”. Hoops was straight onto him, that’s where my ‘white line fever’ hit and I just went into auto pilot. I got onto Hoops, who had picked up Bubby’s wheel, but Hoops having done the lion’s share of the work, ran out of legs. Bubby rode like the Energizer Bunny; he just kept going and going and going, for 600 metres! 300 from the line I kicked and before long I was racing neck and neck with Paul. Hearing me moan must’ve thrown him off cause I swear he sat up in the end… thanks Bubby!

Congrats to Johnny Bell… 2015 Geelong Surfcoast Cycling Club’s Aggregate Winner. You did it!


1st ~ Mandy Hosking

2nd ~ Paul Bubb

3rd ~ Colin Hooper

4th ~ Jamie Robinson

5th ~ Andrew Booth

6th ~ John Bell

7th ~Richard Buckwell

8th ~ Jenny Denouden

9th ~ Gordon Spargo

10th ~ Neil Maurer

Fastest Time ~ Daryl Burns

By Mandy Hosking

Photo Gallery

Thanks to Di & Kay for the photo’s

Full Results