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Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club
60km graded handicap Inter-Club The "Theological Retreat", Werrimull, Victoria, July 24, 2004
Great Scot, it's Greg Scott!
by Peter Winton
Greg Scott may well not be a Scot but he was great in Saturday's limit markers triumph over the 60km out-and-back course at Werrimull set out by David Priest (hence the reference to "theology"). Limit went 1, 2 & 3 over the finish line.
26 riders, including 4 from SA's Riverland Club, Hamish "the terminator" MacKirdy, John and Casey Danvers along with veteran John Eshman, braved the wintery conditions. Mildura's "Wintersun" went into hiding and the districts skies bore more resemblance to something out of New Zealand, you know, the land of the dull grey cloud?
4 grades were conjured up, let's see, 11 riders in A grade, 9 in B grade, 3 in C grade and 4 in D grade, alphabetically consecutive, and a 6 minute gap between each. Now that means 18 minutes between A and D but unfortunately only 6 minutes between A and B (where I was residing). So what you say, well that meant B was only 90 seconds in advance of A at the 30km turn around and THAT means tragedy. Our bunch, no thanks to me but more to Mills, Anderson, Hale and Robbins, had worked as hard as it collectively positively could, and to almost be engulfed by the 11 rider A grade unit at that distance was soul destroying. Right on our heels was the sag wagon and sagging in behind the sag wagon were Pete Mulhearn and Rob Akkermans. There may have been another rider tucked away in there as well but I wasn't able to see clearly.
Peter Mills then burst away to grab the mythical mid-race points at the Millewa resort town of Meringur, where a huge throng of people (had not) gathered. I believe we were even spat on, but I couldn't make out the person who did such a thing. Some said his name was "Road Slop", so if you ever see him, kick his a..e will ya.
Anyway, at about the 40km mark (who's counting?) we were captured, ("we" includes, Peter Mills, Arthur Anderson, Dion Bassi-Anstee, Harry Robbins, Harvey Dwyer, Michael Shipsides, Richard Hale and miselph, Rob Akkermans had been gravitationally attracted to the sag wagon).
From that moment on it was a great race, albeit for 4th place. The C grade trio, Eshman, Frawley and Priest, were somehow enveloped by the 19 rider A-B outfit and they either got on or went bye-bye's. I do recall however, Stephanie Frawley edging her bike into spaces and the "Mayor" of Werrimull, Dave Priest, well really he's the school Principal, being in there as well. Errol Schmidt was the first A grade rider to swoop on us, a bit like a forward scout or perhaps a soldier ant. You know how they are, you see one of them and not the dozens of others that are just waiting to bite you while your pre-occupied. Then they came round, one by one, MacKirdy, Tankard, Brade, Busch, McNally, Danvers and son, Giles and Floramo. Does it ever end?
The serious attacks never came, although they were much anticipated from the likes of MacKirdy and Schmidt. Though the pace was a cracker (closer to my actual age in kms/hr than the age I'd prefer to be), big Errol Schmidt forget that not all the front groups had been reeled in and he started playing ducks and drakes on the front. MacKirdy went for a burst but the Mildura-Riverland peloton did not panic. Casey Danvers thought he'd crank up the chase with a solo burst off the front as well but still the wily heads back in the 'ton didn't flinch (geez was I glad for that!).
The omni-present grain silo appeared from the mist which indicated we were approaching the outer limits of a limitless (er, if you see what I mean…) grain-growing rural domain of farmers and one Pub. The concentration level began to waver, causing a few riders to swerve violently to avoid the carnal act of touching wheels at somewhere approaching 50 kliks (yes Ok 48 then). This suspected political plot to de-rail sneaky B grade riders worked well and Robbins, Hale, Winton and a few others decided beer is best at this stage coz racing for 4th place was a matter for the quicks. The froth from a coldie was in reach and we had survived, beaten but not battered to death to rise up again another day and do it some more. You bloody idiots.
Well done to Greg Scott, holding off an up and coming junior in Samuel Priest and Ian Japp in third, minus one road shoe, but keeping his body on his bike for the entire journey today.
1 G Scott (M-C) 2 S Priest (M-C) 3 I Japp (M-C) 4 H MacKirdy (Riverland) and fastest
Local results 2004