Graded Scratch 12/01/12 – Tolmie Road
A grade competitors led out for the first of Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club’s races following the Christmas break. The ride out to Bridge Creek was aided by a stiff tail wind, but no-one was interested in pushing the pace until just before the turnaround when Bruce Halket dashed clear. Bruce is too smart to waste energy on hopeless causes, and he was happy to be quickly swallowed up once the bunch turned for home.
With a nasty headwind competitors were even less interested in pushing the pace and visitor Stewart Morton was left to do much of the work on the front. And so the ride back into Mansfield progressed, at pedestrian pace on the flat punctuated by short sharp sprints on the uphills, none of which managed to shake anyone loose. It was only at Deadhorse Lane that things became serious with the sprinters lining up for the finish.
Andrew Gerrans completed a good week for the family with a convincing win. Stefan Vaivars was sufficiently rested after spending the race at the back of the field to take second, narrowly over Darren Bakker who again showed his finishing ability with a hard fought third. Rob Greenway and Mauro Brega made up the top five, while Josh Hopwood and Bruce Halket found themselves caught behind slow-moving traffic and were never in the hunt.