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Port Fairy Cycling Club

Handicap, July 24, 2004

Why ride when you've got Carr?

Port Fairy Cycling Club racing resumed at the Showgrounds circuit last Saturday. Around 20 protagonists listened with interest as club handicapper, Nick Lee, read out the all-important groupings and time gaps. The usual mixture of sighs of despair and excited chatter followed as the riders conceptualised their own chances and the possible scenarios that could occur.

Darryl Rae was sent out in the familiar role of 'forward scout'. Rae was utilising some new, very impressive hardware, which he hoped would allow for a memorable wire-to-wire victory.

The groups behind Darryl Rae had other ideas about likely outcomes. Next group of the start line was lead by Lou McLaren and Jill Edwards. At 12 minutes ahead of scratch, the group would have to work well to achieve their two goals; catch the limit marker and stay in front of the scratch groups.

At eight minutes was the group containing Darryl Edwards and Phillip O'Toole, they were followed by Barry Webster, Neil Duncan and co. off six minutes. The group that most of the riders thought would be the most dangerous was the three and a half minute group of Mark Hyland, Josh Cook, Nick Lee, Phil Morris, John Blair and Chris Carr. This group had heaps of good form; Hyland and Lee had put in tremendous rides at the difficult Mount Gambier 100 while Chris Carr and John Blair had taken wins at a recent Port Fairy Club races.

Chasing at the rear were Brian McNamara and David Tozer. It's lucky that these two are good friends as they weren't likely to have anyone else to talk to until after the finish of the race.

At the risk of sounding like Lennox Walker, the prevailing North Westerly breeze was once again causing riders a fair amount of angst on the journey out to the turnaround marker. As predicted, the Hyland group had made short work of catching the two groups in front of them. Similarly, The Edwards group was looking good for the capture of the Kysirium powered Darryl Rae.

The ride home was a fast and furious affair. Phil Morris and Nick Lee were creating enough 'green energy' at the front of the main pack, to keep a small town alight. Riders who had been picked up along the way were finding the pace almost intolerable. The power riding also ensured that the limit riders would be caught. It also lay to rest any hope that the scratch duo had of catching the peleton.

In the finale, it was John Blair who decided to fire the first shot. His sprint was started some 500 metres from the line. In hindsight John realised that he had acted too soon. Blair's attack was the perfect foil for Chris Carr who timed his run to ensure that his wheel would be the first to cross the line.

Apart from the initial joy of victory, Chris would be excited about the fact that he will now get to race off the scratch mark in future races. Racing off the mark of honour is the obvious goal of all riders.

Riders will return to the Port Fairy Showgrounds this Saturday, to contest for the holy spoon. Racing begins at 2.00pm. The monthly Club meeting will be held after the completion of Saturday's race.

The Warrnambool Cycling Club is hosting the Greg Gleeson Memorial Race, this Sunday 01st August at 11.00am at the Wangoom reserve. Day licences are available prior to the race for those riders not currently licensed.

Another event beginning on Sunday, will allow cycling club members to flex their cerebral muscles for a change. The cycling club's resident artist, Kate Winnen, will be exhibiting some of her favourite 'Images of Tower Hill' at the Whale Bone Gallery. The exhibition is opening at 2.00pm on Sunday and will be on view for the next few weeks. Kate has long been a 'closet landscape impressionist' and her debut in to the public domain will no doubt be appreciated by all that view it.

Results

1 Chris Carr (3.30)
2 Mark Hyland (3.30)
3 John Blair (3.30)
4 Barry Webster (6.00)
5 Josh Cook (3.30)
6 Phil O'Toole (8.00)
7 Phil Morris (3.30)
8 Nick Lee (3.30)
9 Neil Duncan (6.00)
10 Darryl Edwards (8.00)
  
Fastest Brian McNamara (Scratch) 

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