29 starters fronted the start line today in Paraparap for the 47 kilometre KVAdesign Spring Sash Race. Out & back Forest Rd, plus 2 laps, finish in Larcombes Rd. Today’s race also marked the final race in the annual Ray Aldridge Aggregate, in which points are awarded to Geelong Vets club members for racing and or placing throughout the year. These points are tallied up in the final race of the series and the recipient is awarded the honour of etching their name on this coveted award.
Seven bunches set off from 9:30am, with limit giving scratch 30 mins before takeoff. Brian Long and Don Stuart rode well together but with the wind blowing WSW at 30kph it was a tough ask for the two Super Vets; to their credit they stayed away for the majority of the race and with one lap to go they still had 5 minutes up their sleeve.
Ross West, who trailed Mandy Hosking by a mere point in the Aggregate, was hammering along with the help of Johnny Parrello grinding away on the front. Richard Buckwell and John Bell were out to do their best to help Ross, who was determined to give the final race of the series a red hot go.
Meanwhile Scratch, with the powerful Rick Buckwell, son of the aforementioned Richard, driving his two co-markers Andrew Baker and Dave Warren, managed to finally reel in second scratch on the last lap going up Forest Road. This bunch proved to be a force to be reckoned with in their own right, Shane Korth, Vic Mason, Peter Ladd working hard with Chris Fenech, and Carl Judd doing their bit too.
Mandy Hosking, leading the Aggregate by one solitary point and her 3rd scratch bunch off 6:30 mins, were caught by 2nd scratch before the two lap start on Forest Road… with Phil Tehan from Northern Vets keeping everyone in control, the bunch consisting of new riders Mark Landman (ACT) and trial rider, Andrew Read, Paul Bird and Darren Williams worked beautifully and smooth until the catch.
Fast forward to 3 kilometres to go… Peter Ladd, having sacrificed himself along Hendy Main Road, hitting 50kph took a well earned a breather, leaving Rick Buckwell to take over. Rick, lead the charge up misery lane, with the help of Dave Warren, Andrew Baker, Shane Korth and Vic Mason. Ross West and his 16 min bunch were swamped by Scratch, 2nd & 3rd Scratch at this point, the pace was too great for him to jump on and all he could do watch as the bunch containing Mandy, rode away into the strong South Westerly.
The Sprint to the finish saw Rick use his sheer strength and power to clear a break of 20 metres from the bunch, but a determined Dave Warren had other things in mind and came within a tyre on the finish line to Rick but no cigar. Dave ended up collecting 2nd in the race and 3rd in the Aggregate for his efforts. Andrew Baker won a well deserved 3rd place for the day.
Mandy crossed the line in 9th place, far enough ahead of Ross to win the Aggregate; her second year in succession, with Ross West settling for 2nd overall in the Ray Aldridge Aggregate.