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Riverland Cycling Club
Glossop, 50km handicap, Sunday, December 9, 2007
Glen O'Brien received an early Christmas present on Sunday when a generous handicap, combined with assistance from young rider Kade Boase helped him win the 50 kilometer Glossop road race.
Needing to complete 5 laps of the 10 kilometer course, Angelo Ylia, John Eshman and Glen O'Brien were the first group to head off first into the wet conditions. They were followed 12 minutes later by John Dalzeil, Simon Woods, Peter Weston and Peter Evans. In a change of format Gordon Lawton and Kade Boase left at the fifteen minute mark, but they only had to complete four laps, essentially giving them half a lap lead over the rest of the field. New rider Craig Wilson was set a real challenge in only his second race heading off at 16 minutes with seasoned campaigners Mick Gray and Angus Boase. The group determined to chase them all down, Lee Stevens, Matthew Benson and John Danvers set off last, 21 minutes behind the front markers.
The generous handicap gave O'Brien a sniff of victory from the start and he pushed his group to its limit dropping Eshman at the five kilometer mark and surprisingly losing the dogged Ylia at 15 kilometers. In what later proved to be the turning point of the race O'Brien was joined by the youngest member of the club, Kade Boase, when he passed Lawton and Boase at the 20 kilometers mark. Boase decided to leave Lawton to fend for himself and combined with O'Brien to form a team that stayed together for the remainder of the race.
The chasing groups soon started to come together with chopping block riders Grey, Wilson and Angus Boase catching Dalzeil, Weston, Woods and Evans at the start of the third lap. They combined well to hold off the scratch riders until Stevens, Danvers and Benson half way round 4th lap. The three groups stayed together until the start of the final lap when the fast pace started to take its toll on the slower riders.
Dazeil was the first to pay the price, dropping off the group at the start of the last lap. He was shortly followed by Evans and two kilometers later Weston was spat out the back. The tenacious Simon Woods seized his opportunity and kept with the stronger riders until his legs finally succumbed 3 kilometers from the finish.
After combining to hold off the stronger riders for the previous 3 laps, O'Brien and Kade Boase turned into the final straight armed with a gentleman's agreement that there would be no drafting. Side by side the two riders competed in a straight line sprint which saw O'Brien pull away from Boase in the last 200 meters to post his first victory of the year.
Less than 2 minutes behind, the chasing group turned the final corner with newcomer Wilson the first to make a break for the line closely followed by Gray. Unfortunately the sprint was to long for them and Stevens, Danvers and Benson used them as a wind break coming up to the line. Stevens was the first to ride past only to be overtaken by Benson and Danvers. Both riders then put their heads down and at the line it was Danvers who crossed half a bike length in front of his younger competitor.
A number of riders can be congratulated for their efforts on the day including Simon Woods who showed great strength to ride with a stronger group and Craig Wilson who did a great job in only his second ride with the club. The young Kade Boase is also to be congratulated riding much faster than his handicap predicted he would and showing mature team riding skills to thoroughly earn his second placing.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Riverland CC
1 Glen O'Brien 2 Kade Boase 3 John Danvers 4 Matthew Benson 5 Lee Stevens 6 Chris Wilson 7 Mick Gray 8 Simon Woods 9 John Eshman 10 Peter Weston 11 Peter Evans 12 John Dalzeil 13 Angus Boase 14 Angelo Ylia 15 Gordon Lawton