Road races return

Road races return

The Mount Gambier Cycling Club made a welcome return to road racing on the weekend, with 14 riders signing on to participate in the opening race of the Summer Series, a 26km handicap along the familiar Caves Road course at Yahl.

After a long break over the Summer holidays, it was pleasing to see some new faces out racing, especially as riders prepare for the upcoming 100 Mile Classic in mid-May.

After the nominations were made and the handicaps were organised it was time to race.

Martin Farmilo and Jen Buckland were the first riders away, given a one minute advantage over Sandra Parsons and Michael Dethmore.

A further seven minute wait ensued before John Cranwell, John De Pree and Chris Neave were given their orders to begin their race, followed two minutes later by the young guns of Xavier Farmilo, Ethan McKenny and Elmer Buckland.

Two minutes after them Malcolm Tirabassi (celebrating being back on his road bike) and Stephen Jones (making a welcome return to racing) began their chase, followed a further two minutes later by the final pairing of Nick Kidman and Dave Bryant (also making a return to racing after a break).

It was a glorious day for riding, with nary a zephyr of wind and beautiful sunshine, and the riders made the most of the conditions.

Seeing their prey seemingly close up from the beginning, Sandra and Michael caught the front group within the first 6km, with Jen and Martin trying hard to hold on to make a strong group of four, but unfortunately first Martin and then Jen were dropped from the group before the turnaround, leaving Sandra and Michael to ride hard to stay away from the chasers.

At the back of the race, Nick Kidman was putting the power to his pedals to try and catch all ahead of him, but Dave was not able to maintain the pace from the 10km mark, consigned to the lonely race at the back until he could catch riders ahead of him.

Once the riders had made the turnaround and begun their homeward leg each of the groups could see how much had been gained and how much work was still to be done.

Approximately 6km gap still remained between the first and last riders.

As Nick caught the riders ahead of him, he was joined by Stephen and Malcolm then Elmer, with the other riders trying hard to hold the wheels for as long as possible.

With approximately 2km left in the race, Sandra Parsons began her power surge, leaving Michael Dethmore struggling to hold her wheel before eventually succumbing, and held her advantage all the way to the finish line, with Michael arriving 29 seconds later.

In a situation that will be viewed closely by the handicapper, it was daylight third with Nick Kidman sprinting from his bunch to take the third place some four and a half minutes behind Michael.

Nick was closely followed by Stephen Jones and Elmer Buckland, then Chris Neave, John Cranwell and John De Pree.

After being caught by the bunch with less than 900m to race, Jen Buckland sprinted hard to the line to try and hold off any further chasers, only to be thwarted by the fast-finishing Malcolm Tirabassi.

She was followed across the line by Martin Farmilo, Dave Bryant, Ethan McKenny and Xavier Farmilo.

Riders will return to the Caves Road circuit next week for a 30km handicap, with the long-range forecast suggesting similar weather to last week’s racing.

It should be epic.

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