10 November - Handicap - Benalla Rd.

Maiden handicap win for Dorothy!

Round six of the Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club Summer Road Series saw a field of 38 entrants greet the starter on Benalla Road for the second Handicap race of the series. Thirty three regulars were joined by five newcomers.

The first of these was Foley Lachal, a regular at Dirt Crits on Monday night but turning to the road for the first time. Welcome aboard Foley!

The other four first timers to an MMBCC road race were Wes Cordingly, Mark Guirgus, Michael Brown and Sam Watson, four members of the St Kilda Cycling Club. Visiting Bright for a week of training in the mountains in preparation for next month’s Tour of Bright, they decided to come over to Mansfield, just for the race. Being young fast and A-grade racers from Melbourne, they were sent off last as the Scratch group.

This meant all our usual groups moved out one; the usual Scratch group became Block, the usual Block moved out to 2nd Block, etc. And with a bit of a breeze around, Scratch was definitely favoured to win.

(In case you were wondering, the second last group to start a Handicap race is called Block, short for Chopping Block; because that’s what they’re usually on!)

However, the local lads were keen to impress; in particular, the usual Scratch group who weren’t used to being chased by others. Block road very strongly; Mauro Brega, Tom Macmunn, Andrew Gerrans, Josh Hopwood and Bruce Halket made up the minute to the next group by halfway. Conversely, Scratch had hardly made up any time on them at all.

Then Rob Greenway, Laurie Harding, Steffan Vaivars and Tim Ross joined in and upped the tempo. Witnesses recall hearing Stefan murmuring “Toto, we’re not in Block anymore...” This larger group then rounded up the rest of the field before Carlisle Hill and a huge bunch of riders lined up for a bunch sprint.

Mauro and Bruce tried to keep the pace high towards the finish... and then it was on for young and old! Rob started the sprint, then a flash of black with red highlights came storming through the centre! It was Steffan, resplendent in his red cycling shoes, finally fulfilling his potential and sprinting to great a win ahead of the consistent Andrew. Then came Bruce, Josh and Tim.

After the finish, Steffan let the world know he was pretty pleased with his win. Unnamed sources claim he was seen tapping his red shoes together and chanting “There’s no place like first! There’s no place like first!”

Rob held on for sixth ahead of Mark Calvert-Jones, Tom, Laurie and Steve Silver rounded out the top ten.

Fastest time was ridden by Mark Guirgus from Scratch. In a great ride, he nearly caught the  main field.

Many thanks to our volunteers and officials: Euan, Louise, Jenny, Allan, George, Helen and any others I’ve forgotten; and to the Hotel Delatite for their sponsorship.

Next road race will be Graded Scratch Races, held on the Buller Road on Thursday 17 November. Entries via SMS to 0438 513 355 by 8pm Wednesday please.

It will be followed by dinner at The Produce Store with The Paceliners - a group of cyclists riding from Canberra to Melbourne to raise money for Heart Arrhythmia research. All welcome!


1st - Steffan Vaivars.
2nd - Andrew Garrans.
3rd - Bruce Halket.

All the results - CLICK HERE.