First away on the Whitfield/ Graves Rd course on Thursday night was Geoff Jones who stayed out front on his own until about three quarter distance. Ultimately he hung on to take 7th place.
He was followed from the start by Dave Clarke, David Jagger and ‘Lady Di’ Condie all looking to recover some form.
The ‘smart money’ for the night was the next bunch of ‘Grey Nomads’ who left 6 minutes after the first rider. Principal Tim Hall organised the bunch as a team which included Alan Gerrans, ‘Wil’ Wilson, David Bock, Rod Manning and Tony Williams. Tim called the turns and the group set off as if they were teenagers. Bock went to the front and shut the pace down but, unfortunately, Manning was harassed by three Border Collies opposite Kareen Hills Estate and lost his momentum. Perhaps they remembered him from his Veterinary days!
Three minutes latter Jason Parker, Will MacDonald and Gus Muscara set off with the Nomads in their sights. Muscara looked the goods having been training for the 7 Peaks Challenge and rode strongly. Parker was trying so hard he nearly set his back tyre on fire breaking for the turn around. MacDonald resolved that the handicapper should have put him with the Nomads but the colour and quantity of his hair was no match! They made little impression by the finish.
Block was led was by that feisty Italian Mauro Brega adding some international flavor to the event. He rode with Darren Bakker, Cam McGann (back from a few years off the bike) and talented newcomer Jess Douglas. Jess had won last week’s event and was justifiably moved back in the order by the handicapper. ‘The road was dead’ they said. According to Brega his bunch ‘got caught and caught no one’.
The catchers were the Scratch trio of Josh Hopwood, Foley Lachal and Kian Lerch–Mackinnan. The latter two are real teenagers. They carved their way through the field just making the top ten. Kian was adjudged to take fastest time by the width of a tyre over Josh who called for a photo but there was no camera.
Never the less, Scratch couldn’t quite catch the Nomads who proved that grey hair is no bar to cycle racing and that the group that stays together working as a team can prevail. They were aided by Jagger when he and Condie were caught but the blonde just couldn’t hang onto the greys! Once over ‘Coombsey’s Hill ‘, Alan Gerrans led the remaining four home after Hall and Jagger faded on the hill. He towed his next door neighbor, Williams, in for 2nd. Wilson elected not to contest the final sprint in deference to favors afforded to him on route … so he said! Bock, the ring in Jagger and then Hall filled the next 3 places making it a full house for the team.
It was fitting that Allan Gerran’s take first place as back at the Delatite Hotel post-race, the Tour de France Yellow jersey presented to the club by his son Simon was displayed to the members. It is to hang in the cycling bar.
Next week’s race is the Four-Up 1km Sprint on Graves Road. Please SMS your entry to 0438 513 355 by 8pm Wednesday. With the extra set-up work involved in the draw for the Four-Up, no late entries will be accepted.