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Results and Reports from Australia
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Saturday July 12, 2003.
By Peter Winton
Good numbers again fronted the starter on Saturday for the "once-a-year" turn out at Werrimull. In keeping with the expected weather out there it was a gusty westerly which played into the hands of the back-markers.
The front markers, out at 15 minutes, included Sam Priest, Craig Lawn, Kristan Cerini, Robyn Doyle, Jeff Mitchell and Riverland CC visitor Ruth Strout. At 10 minutes were Dave Priest, Richard Hale, Anthony Connell and John Eshman (Riverland). By the time the 3rd group, off at 5 minutes, spotted these riders at the Meringur turn-around they were breaking up with a core of 5 sticking together. The middle bunch of Barry Pollock, Jack Lokan, Sean Gallagher, Harry Robbins, Arthur Anderson and Peter Winton had maintained a steady rhythm ever conscious of the threat rumbling on from behind.
A quick time check at the thriving metropolis of Meringur showed 26m:48s had elapsed but within a few seconds of regaining our stride the combined chopping block and scratch bunches were passing on the opposite side of the road! The gap, about 1:10.
Chopping block consisted of Peter Mills, Mark Busch,, Ian Brade, Michael Shipsides, Ian Beruldsen and Brendan Liddle. The mere 1:30 handicap had been eroded within 10 kms of the start by the power of Chris Baudry, Rob McNally, Peter Mulhearn and Riverland's trump rider, Hamish MacKirdy.
Mr Mills had done it again today, rode out from Mildura (75kms into the wind) and then raced. Who knows, he probably ran for 2 hours before breakfast?
At about 15kms to go the "black hole" had sucked us all in and the tailwind speed hovered around the 55km mark. Slowly but surely the front markers were being captured and dropped out the back. The hungry pack charged on, looking for more cyclists.
Dave Priest had stolen a break on his fellow bunch members and could be seen about a kilometre off in the distance with about 8kms to go. It was no time to catch your breath for fear of being jettisoned by a Mulhearn surge or a Baudry-MacKirdy attack on the lesser beings. Hanging on meant being on the front rather than risking life and limb on the comfort of the easy draught (there'd be a Carlton later thanks!).
With Priest snared within 2kms to go to closing metres rushed by. Brade and Winton became the unfortunate bunnies on the last rise as "positioning" occurred. Anderson summonsed some inner strength and overtook the pack in regular fashion only to be rolled back as quickly as he arrived.
Some bumping occurred with no unfortunate results, although that's debatable as some riders lost out. In the end the mass charge to the line by 15 riders saw Hamish MacKirdy grab the cash by 0:71secs from Mark Busch.
Results, 50 km handicap
1 H MacKirdy 1.12.36 2 M Busch 3 C Baudry 4 M Shipsides 5 R McNally 6 B Pollock 7 J Lokan 8 B Liddle 9 S Gallagher 10 P Mulhearn 11 I Beruldsen 12 I Brade 13 H Robbins 14 P Mills 15 A Anderson 16 P Winton 17 D Priest 18 A Connell 19 R Hale 20 J Mitchell 21 S Priest 22 J Eshman 23 C Lawn 24 R Doyle 25 R Strout 26 K Cerini Fastest time: H MacKirdy