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Riverside, Victoria, July 23, 2005

'Richo' Rules

By Peter Winton

Before we get into the Sunraysia cycling scene a few words in memory of the Australian women killed and seriously injured in Germany. Club Vice President, Richard Hale, addressed club riders in regards to the tragedy in Germany and used this most tragic incident as a timely reminder for all cyclists to be aware of the dangers facing us out there. Sincere condolences to the families of those young women involved, not to mention the anguish faced by the driver of the vehicle involved.

Sunraysia was true to it's district name today with cloudless skies and warming sunshine. You could almost hear the buds bursting on the grapevines. I wouldn't have been surprised to have seen a lazy brown snake slither across the road today (I didn't thank goodness, but they are there, lurking, I know it!).

The day was for Adrian Richardson, and his fellow limit riders, all of whom must be subsidising the mortgage of the handicapper based on the seven minute gap they received from the nearest chasing group today. 'Richo' has not taken too long to revel in the glory of racing's accolades as the 'winner'. Kev Gregory, that old fox, slipped into second place ahead of Peter Sargent. Winners time was 1:45:26.

Limit enjoyed a healthy buffer today, in total 16 minutes from scratch. The riders from the mark of honour had to round these guys up twice if they were to win, too formidable a task today.

For Jeff Mitchell, (six minutes) his race was shot within the first kilo, suffering a tyre blow-out. Some riders thought they were the target of extremists such was the ferocity of the blow-out. No casualties reported and no ambulances needed, just some time in the washing machine for bib knicks.

Every bunch chasing today went like the proverbial cut cats (they can go fast you know) but not fast enough, unfortunately, as the scratchmen were hungry today. They even 'ate' some of their own as Richard Hale was dropped on lap four. Ian Beruldsen catapulted out the back on lap five from chopping block and rested up for another day. Meanwhile, Joe Monteleone and Gary Pitt (both Limit) had been cast aside by former 'friends' in their bunch. The nine minute riders of Steph Frawley, Harry Robbins, Adrian Lloyd and Peter Winton were tapping out a steady beat at 38km/h average by the 40km mark. This took a toll without much reward as no sighting of the lead group had been made. It appeared the Kev Gregory stealth-bomber covering was working! Seeing the approaching six minute riders at the end of lap six triggered the 'sit-up' response within the second limit bunch as their hopes of a lone capture of the limit group disappeared.

The pace was now significantly higher (turns at 43km/h and not 37) as a charge was mounted to drag the front runners back (or was that to avoid tougher times from the scratch group?). Scratch were not spotted at this juncture. But, as we all know, they jump out of the bushes when you least expect them and 'wham', George Michael, they got ya. They did, and there we were then, 6km from home and fearful of a repeat dose of the previous week when Michael Murdoch displayed his acceleration He was kind, the greater bunch stormed home, just hoping we would find a fatigued limit group around the next corner.

Well 'coached' by that wily veteran in Kev Gregory, the limit riders would escape the tentacles of 'scratch' and take out the podium placings. An all-up bunch sprint for fourth ensued, with Dion Bassi-Anstee making a last ditch effort 450 metres out. He faltered into the headwind about 150 metres to go for seventh. Mick Murdoch claimed fourth and fastest time in a scratch tussle, with Scott Giles fifth and the big engine Kevin Tankard in sixth. All other riders in the collective chase pack were only a few bike lengths apart in what was the best bunch finish for the winter season so far.

Bemused riders had the last laugh on the winner when they witnessed extremely poor clipping-in skills upon his departure and he fell, albeit softly. 'Richo' now joins the halls of shame, along with notables such as Dave Digby, in demonstrating such exquisite skills.

Youngster Kyle Mitchell went around with the limit bunch as best he could and completed three laps (24km). Well done Kyle, stick with it.

Next week is a one lap (52kms) handicap of the Fletchers Lake circuit at Dareton. Regular start time of 1:30pm applies. A number of riders are venturing across the continent to the west and into South Australia to sample an 80km Open handicap event at Milang, a little town on the shores of Lake Alexandrina where the wind does blow.


1 A Richardson      
2 K Gregory         
3 P Sargent         
4 M Murdoch         
5 S Giles           
6 K Tankard         
7 D Bassi-Anstee    
8 J Lokan           
9 S Gallagher       
10 M Shipsides      
11 G Scott          

Local results 2004