Rain, hail and sunshine greeted the 33 riders at Paraparap on Sunday April 19 for a 48 kilometre handicap race. The cold southerly wind increased in intensity as the riders made their way out and back on Blackgate and Forest roads to the finish in Larcombes road.
The handicapper had a difficult task this week as many new riders entered the race. To compensate for this two experienced riders, Joe Gulino and Paul Bird were assigned to the fifteen minute group to assist in showing the new riders the finer points of working together in a group. New riders Craig McSwain, Warren McDonald and Paul Bubb were in this group with James Stuart. Limit riders Don Stuart and Ian Sumner were sent out half an hour before the scratch group of Rick Buckwell, Andrew Baker and Dave Warren. Sent out between these two groups were the two, four, nine, fifteen and twenty minutes groups. On a day tailor made for the strong backmarkers the out markers put in a great performance with Jamie Robinson and John Bell not being caught by the leaders until Grays road and finishing ahead of the scratch group. Most groups held together until the return trip along Forest road where the strong wind and punctures took toll. The scratch men had gathered up the three groups ahead of them approaching the finish but the fifteen minute group were too far ahead and easily took out the race. The new riders in the fifteen minute group took some time to get the hang of road racing, but by Forest road were working smoothly together and proving too fast for the chasers.
1.C. McSwain 1:27:46, 2.J. Stuart, 3.J. Bell, 4.J. Robinson, 5.R. Buckwell, 6.D. Warren, 7.K. Airey, 8.A. Goldstaw, 9.J. Williams, 10.E. Ziedatis.
Fastest time R. Buckwell 1:15:42