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Riverland Cycling Club
450km Handicap Lyrup, Sunday, August 19, 2007
Gray solos to win
Lyrup hosted this weeks cycling race with a 45km (4 lap) road race staged from Pike Creek Road. To make the race more interesting and competitive for the riders, they entered into a handicap event rather than scratch races due to the limited number of riders contesting each grade.
Nominations for Sundays event started well with nine eager to take up the Lyrup challenge, however as the race began to get interesting so did the rate of casualties. Lee Stevens may have won the Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club invitational but by the end of the first lap he again had knee troubles and appeared from the Lyrup Main Road just minutes after entering lap two. A cheer squad was now developing on the side lines as Lawton rolled over the line to complete his second and what was to be his final lap for the day. The Riverland Cycling Club veteran was still out in front after starting off-limit but the back-to-back cycling weekend had taken its toll, there was nothing left to give. Glen O'Brien made his return to the racing scene only to be blown away in the second lap. The remaining field now had five spectators to keep their spirits up and hopefully push them home to victory.
John Eshman and Angelo Ylia started 13.5 minutes from Lawton, both suffering from the previous days racing and both determined to finish the race at Lyrup. Ruth Strout and Glen O'Brien followed 1.5 minutes later, followed by Peter Weston and Simon Woods. Mick Gray started from chopping block; 19minutes from Lawton but had a buffer of 3.5 minutes to Stevens.
Just 10 seconds separated the three main bunches; Eshman and Ylia were still holding on but were about to be swept up by Strout and O'Brien. Weston and Woods were just as hungry; like a carrot on a string they would have to chase the four up Lyrup Main Road. Gray put the pedal down and reduced his gap by 30 seconds with no let up in sight. Claiming 10th at Werrimul was obviously his warm up for this weeks club ride as he continued to set the pace at Lyrup.
The contenders may have been sore and tired but their determination capped it off. Eshman took hold of the race, giving Gray the opportunity of a lead out after attacking up the finishing straight. Gray claimed line honours with a convincing win over second placed Woods and third placed Weston. Eshman claimed fourth ahead of Ylia and Strout with the three remaining nominees cheering from the sidelines.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Janelle Stevens
1 Mick Gray 1.19.16 2 Simon Woods 2.34 3 Peter Weston 2.35 4 John Eshman 5.37 5 Angelo Ylia 6.15 6 Ruth Strout 18.20 DNF Lee Stevens DNF Gordon Lawton DNF Glen O'Brien
Local results 2007