The first memorial in honour of longest serving CCCC past president Jack McGowan was run in what became atrocious conditions at Modella today. Riders signed on under clear skies, with a strong breeze blowing, and no sign of the heavy rain that had been forecast. Most, however, had no idea that they were headed straight into hellish conditions.
The opening leg to Longwarry was straight into the head wind, before the left turn into the long cross wind straight that gave the first glimpse of black skies. By the second turn at Tynong, the rain was pelting down. The tail wind towards Bayles put riders back onto dry roads, but early in the second lap the storm clouds had swept further across the course making for wet roads for most of the second lap.
Surprisingly, the finish stayed dry until just after the first rider crossed the line, but no-one was able to pack their cars quickly enough to escape the downpour!
91 riders were split into seven bunches, with the strong scratch bunch giving up 30 minutes to the outmarkers. The back five bunches were separated by just 13 minutes, showing the depth of the field assembled. Two thirds of the way around the opening lap, only the front two bunches had amalgamated, while further back each bunch had made up roughly half of their deficit to the group in front.
As expected, the tough conditions favoured the back markers, and the time gaps pointed to the scratchies getting up half way round the second lap. In the end, the outmarkers dug deep and stayed out front past the Tynong turn, with Marco Rando the last off limit to succumb. Around 50 riders headed towards Bayles together, with the tail wind preventing the scratch men causing too much carnage.
The big group fragmented with the surge over the long bridge at Bayles, with the strong men welcoming the crosswind that came with the left turn. Surprisingly, the first big attack came not from the scratch men, but from 16 year old Jordan Stannus (Jones Cycles). He was joined soon after by fellow 5 minute bunch rider Wade Edwards (Melbourne Designer Floors), and the pair combined to maintain a 10 second advantage for the next five kilometres.
Counter attacks came from the Cycling-Inform squad, with handicap specialist Brendan Rowbotham to the fore, but the winning move came from Northern Combine 3 Day tour winner Vaughan Bowman (Hometech). Only David Tozer (Fenton Green) could follow Bowman’s attack, and the pair passed the two leaders then held a slim lead all the way to the line, before Bowman’s final surge saw him cross the line alone, to take out the coveted first and fastest double from the Scratch mark. Bowman’s winning time of 2:10:38 represented an average speed of 44kmh.
Alex Smyth (Plan B Racing) cleaned up the sprint for third, coming home just head of Edwards and Stannus. Marc Wilson (Croydon Cycleworks) led the rest of the top 10 home ahead of Dean Johnstone (O’Mara Cycles), Nick Youngs (Zoom Video Racing), Tyler Spurrell (Croydon Cycleworks) and Rick Jones (Burnley Finance), with Trent ‘Angry’ Brown (Fitzroy Cycles) and Mick Thomas (Burnley( just missing out on the cash.
Steph Ives (Holden Women’s Racing Team) rode strongly to take out the first women’s prize, with local star Shannon McCurley also showing good form to stay with the front group until the final few attacks.
In the junior support races Trey Freeman (Cycling-Inform) took out the 49km scratch event ahead of Ryan Koroknai, Riley Hart and Sam McCabe, while the 24km handicap saw Cian Rennie too good for Ethan Height, Bill Simpson and Frank Hutton.
Thanks to all the volunteers for braving the nasty conditions to make the race safe and successful. Led by Doug Moody and Graham Prosser on course signage, Ann Johnstone and Monika Imberger with registrations, judges Wendy Height and Liam Hill, course marshals Mick Hollingworth, Ned Efe, Zach Alexakos, Brenton McRae, Mike Goldie, Irene Vlahos and Jason Kruger, and support car drivers Mel Nicholls, Jim Morey, Ian Walkerden, Daryl Snibson, Graham Fryer, Jim Smyth and Phil Randall;the efforts of the whole crew made the afternoon go off without a hitch.
Racing next weekend is at Casey Fields on Sunday July 8th at 10am, followed by a return to Phillip Island on Saturday July 12. Get your entries for the morning’s Individual Time Trial in with Cycling Victoria asap: entries for the club racing kicking off at 2pm for A to E Grades will be taken at the circuit on the day. Check the CCCC calendar for full details.
Thanks to James McPherson from Team Wynns for his shots today. Chris from Still Waters also has lots of shot on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.432167383490768.97407.100000925295217&type=1
|Jack McGowan Memorial Handicap|
|Saturday June 30, 2012|
|11||Trent||Brown||Southern Masters||7 mins|
|17||Kurt||Jensen||Chelsea & Peninsula||10 mins|
|29||Heath||Jackson||St Kilda||7 mins|
|33||Colin||Aitken||Latrobe City||13 mins|
|41||Zvonko||Siklic||St Kilda||16 mins|
|E Grade 24km Handicap|