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February 9, 2003
Masters Athlete (Mildura) of the Year McNally Routs Riders
By Peter Winton
Rob McNally returned from his fire fighting duties on Wednesday night, rode with the bunch on Saturday morning, his first ride for over a week, belatedly fronted the handicapper on Sunday and jagged the summer championship points on offer.
Unbeknownst to him, the Club had nominated Rob McNally to the Mallee Sports Assembly as a candidate for "Masters Athlete of the Year" given his swag of cycling achievements over the past 12 months or so. On Friday evening at a special dinner function a host of well performed athletes were recognised for their achievements in our rural locality and one of our leading riders was duly acknowledged.
Onto the day's wrap up. What a prickly affair! You wouldn't reckon such a great stretch of hot mix bitumen could produce so many prickles that just happen to find a home in the soft rubber of bike tyres. Fair dinkum, one rider had a flat before he'd even signed on and that was after the course was swept.
The Club's A grade leader, Kevin Tankard, was showing some menacing pace early in the crit only to be struck down by one of these little prick(le)s. President Winton thought he'd try yet another tactic to drain the steam out of Brendan Liddle with a start like he'd been offered free beer by being first into the corner. Alas, there was no free beer and there was still plenty of Brendan Liddle! The big engine drove to the front stoutly supported by Ian Brade. With limit enjoying a 2 lap start on the remainder of the field it was urgency all round.
I don't recall the race time when we brought limit back by 1 lap but I was still on and then Kev T felt the air leave his tyres. Jack Lokan, Barry Pollock, Adrian Lloyd and Dion Basse-Anstee were working smoothly and keeping themselves in a tight bunch. Lloyd soon found one of those prick(le)s I spoke of earlier and he was out of the picture (he didn't bother returning).
From that moment it was the McNally road show with Brade as his fall guy. The chasing pack had already been separated, helped apart by the intervention of a large tip-truck. Anderson, Hale, Welsh and Winton had views of the rear of the rampant lead pack (and some very threadbare knicks by the way fellas, not a good sight). Somewhere about this time Richard Hale ran over a "witches hat" and scared the crap out of his bunch, no damage done to the De Rosa.
Liddle, Geoff Marshall and Ian Beruldsen managing to stick, prick(le) like to their stronger colleagues and they all joined in the frivolity of the sprint. I often wonder what that's like, you know?
Attentive riders witnessed the cornering delights exhibited by the rider of a light blue cannondale, a one Arthur Anderson, and he, Dr. Anderson, duly crossed the line beside his bike and not on it due to another prick(le).
Tuesday evening is a time trial at Riverside, 6:30pm To the tune of jingle bells:
"Oh what joy it is to ride
Stop that clock, stop that clock,
Results, 40 minutes + 2 laps (23km)
1 R McNally 2 I Brade 3 I Beruldsen 4 B Liddle 5 G Marshall (visitor) 6 J Lokan 7 D Basse-Anstee 8 B Pollock 9 R Hale 10 N Welsh 11 P Winton 12 A Anderson DNF K Tankard (Flat) DNF A Lloyd (Flat)