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Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club
40km handicap, Riverside, December 1, 2002
Young Priest Picks the Pockets for 1st Prize!
By Peter Winton
Mildura's youngest and newest member, Sam Priest, took out the club's 40km handicap road race on Sunday. Sam beat the handicapper by improving up to 40 seconds per lap on his most recent times.
Sam Priest had a 4 lap (32kms) task at hand being hunted down by 2 bunches of hybrid grades having to complete 5 laps. Sam was accompanied by club coach, Barry Pollock, who although feeling the effects of the 'flu made the effort to assist the young rider in his cycling development. Both riders commencing with the B Grade group of Harry Robbins, Jack Lokan, David Priest, Footscray CC visitor Tony Murrell and Peter Winton. Brendan Liddle joined the group by end of lap 1 to make up a handy 6.
The A grade group today included regulars Kevin Tankard and Rob McNally with Ian Beruldsen, Richard Hale, Harvey Dwyer and Arthur Anderson off 5 minutes.
The weather was superb for a change. A south-easterly breeze keeping the temperature down and not too hard on the headwind stage. Tony Murrell soon owned up he was in the wrong bunch and requested he stay at the front for longer turns. Dave Priest didn't need to be asked twice! The B grade group enjoyed the tow at around 42 kliks per hour and I'm sure Tony would have gone much harder if he'd been given our blessing. You're welcome back Tony, any time.
The A grade bunch had their work cut out to make up the time gap with the B's averaging a handy 38. The bigger problem was reeling in the limit duo! No sign of them on lap 3 at all. The A bunch only sighted their quarry on the last lap with a 2 km gap to close. Murrell kept the work rate up in the closing kilometres which played into the hands of the President (thank you Jesus, thank you Lord!).
With the winner of the race established it was crumbs for the remainder, and on the final turn, 300m out, it was Winton who took up the sprint. Liddle (a lap down and out of the race) chased him down and snatched the lead by half a wheel on the line from Lokan, Robbins and Priest senior. Tony Murrell leaving the locals to contest the finish.
Kevin Tankard stormed home over Rob McNally to grab fastest time of 58:04, an average of 41.6 kliks.
Next event, a 16km TT at Riverside, Tuesday, Dec 3.
1 S Priest 2 P Winton 3 J Lokan 4 H Robbins 5 D Priest 6 T Murrell 7 K Tankard 8 R McNally 9 I Beruldsen 10 R Hale 11 H Dwyer 12 A Anderson