Thursday 15 November 2012

MMBCC race report


A new course brought out a big field for the Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club for the Handicap race on Howes Creek Road on Thursday 15 November. 33 riders were on the start list for the first new course in years - however only 32 actually raced. (More of that later!)

There were also a few new faces in the peloton; Tony Hausknecht was in for his first race after months of procrastination; Chris Munro and James Black visited from Melbourne, on their way to Jamieson for the weekend’s ‘Tour de Jamieson.’

With Dick Forrest a last moment withdrawal, Dave Clark and Chris Washusen led the field away as Limit. They were followed out over the next 9 minutes 15 seconds by six more groups, culminating in a large, 7-strong Scratch group looking to take its first win of the season.

A blend of smooth, even turns and shared workload saw Scratch start very quickly and catch Block before half-way. But this combined group of 12 didn’t work so well together; it was left mainly to Munro, Mitch Greenway, Mauro Brega and Darren Bakker to do most of the work to the turnaround.

Munro and Greenway reinforced their strength after the turnaround. As the slower groups were caught, they opened a small break to the rest of Scratch and Block within a couple of kilometres of the finish and were never caught. Greenway managed to take the win, and fastest time (of 44.39), just ahead of Munro.

In a sprint for the minor placings, Bruce Halket snatched third from Tim Ross and Ross Hopkins. Brega, Bakker, Hausknecht, Steve Plummer and Uschi Steedman rounded out the top ten.

Special mention has to be made of this week’s 33rd entrant; Dick Forrest. He drove in from Barjarg, jumped out of his ute in all his cycling gear, put his helmet and shoes on - ready to ride. The only problem is... he forgot the bike!

The ‘gutsy’ award from Alpine Butchery was awarded to Clark for hanging on grimly to the finish. The Mansfield Zoo voucher was almost awarded to Dick Forrest for being a ‘goose!’ But it eventually went to Munro; that should keep the kids entertained while he’s out riding the Tour de Jamieson.

After consecutive wins to Block on previous weeks, the ‘natural order’ was restored this week with Scratch holding sway. This and other slightly less-controversial topics were discussed in great depth at Hotel Delatite afterwards over dinner, many thanks to them and their patient maitre’d, Nick Popovic.

Many thanks to our volunteers and officials: Mick, Tony, Julie, Lachie, Mark, Helen, Leonie and Tom. Thanks also to the residents and motorists along Howes Creek Road; seeing bunches of bike riders in their ‘patch’ was an unfamiliar sight and we appreciate their patient and courtesy and hope you found the same from MMBCC members.

Next week’s race will be a Graded Scratch race on the Buller Road. Entries via SMS to 0438 513 355 by 8pm Wednesday please, no late entries will be accepted.

Bruce Halket