Alain Guerin Memorial Handicap

It’s two years since Alain Guerin was taken from us in an incident on the Buller Road. In Alain’s name, we now hold a memorial race each November to remember our friend and celebrate his life. Last year, on the first anniversary, we had to cancel due to a thunderstorm. So this year it was great to finally put a name on the Alain Guerin Memorial Race trophy… and more than just a little fitting that it was one of Alain’s sons!
Bella Macmunn was first away from Dead Horse Lane. On her own as the Limit group, she was chased by another 30 riders, culminating in Josh Hopwood as the lone Scratch rider, starting 17 minutes later. They would all head out along the Midland Highway, almost to the ‘Link’ before returning to the finish line at the Racecourse front gate.
At about one-quarter distance, a peloton formed when the 1.15 group comprising Laurent Guerin, Mauro Brega, Darren Bakker, Ross Hopkins, James Black and Bruce Halket caught the 1.45 group of Jean-Daniel Guerin, Damon de Angelis and Tom Macmunn.
As this large group plowed its way through the field, the only ones able to hang on were Dave Moore from the 3.30 group and Belinda Cipa from the 4.30 group. Even Hopwood off Scratch and Dan Purcell off Block couldn’t get on the train.
As the leaders accelerated down Carlisle Hill it was the Hometec boys who’s strategy proved strongest. Jean-Daniel kicked at the perfect time and despite the best efforts of Bakker, Halket and Macmunn, Guerin was the clear winner, in a time of 55.30 (corrected to 40.15).
Fourth home was de Angelis ahead of Brega, Hopkins, Moore and Laurent Guerin. The top ten was rounded out, just 20 seconds later, by Josh Hopwood with the fastest time of 38.50. Belinda Cipa finished next and was awarded first unplaced female.
The race was followed by a ride out along the Buller Road to Alain’s ‘ghost bike’ to pay homage… a beautiful sunset made the evening even more special.
Presentations were held at the Delatite ‘clubrooms’ once we all got back and the newly engraved trophy will take its new position on the clubroom wall.
Many, many thanks from the club to all the drivers along the Midland Highway and the Buller Road on Thursday night who showed great patience while being slightly delayed by our groups of bike riders. We really appreciate that Mansfield drivers are so respectful of other road users. On such a poignant evening as Alain’s race, it was a great relief to feel safe on our local roads.
Many thanks also to our officials and volunteers including Jenni, Leonie, Tilly, Margaretanne, Allan, Alex, Gus and Tony amongst others.
Here are the results, which include a current list of the series leaders.
The MMBCC’s Summer Series continues on Thursday 17 November with a Handicap Race along Whitfield Road, starting at the Botanic Park, but finishing on top of the dreaded Coombesberg! Please don’t forget that entries need to be registered via SMS on 0428 503 437 by 8pm Wednesday.