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Results and Reports for July 6-12, 2002
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Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club Handicap
Fletchers Lake, July 6, 2002
Baudry battles wind to win
By Peter Winton
Tough windy conditions faced 12 Mildura riders on Saturday. With the freshening west to sou'westerly wind in riders' faces for 40km of the 53km race it was only a day for the die-hards. The small field was due to notable absentees in Pollock (in Spain), Anderson (Dr's. duties), Mills, Dwyer (fatherhood), Brade and Liddle.
Handicapper Kev Gregory saw fit to sent out 3 groups of 4 with 3 minute time gaps between each. Limit consisted of recent 'Ned Kelly' trophy winner Ian Beruldsen, B Grade points leader Mark Phillips, Berri Open placegetter Kevin Gregory and Harry Robbins, resident wine expert and keen cyclist enjoying every minute.
'Chopping bloc' riders Michael Shipsides, Geoff Marshall, Jack Lokan and Peter Winton were followed by the scratch bunch of Chris Baudry, Rob McNally, Nathan Welsh and Adam Wightwick.
How Mark Phillips continues to receive generous handicaps is a mystery of the modern world. Free airline tickets perhaps?
With the tough veteran Marshall slapping on the 45km/hr pace in the early sheltered section of the race 'chopping bloc' were out to chew into the 3 minute gap enjoyed by limit. His early rush sent Winton out the back within 5 kms with only a sympathetic Shipsides ordering the bunch to ease. The Lyndoch Classic race was not far enough distant for tired legs to recover I'm afraid ! The bunch regrouped and at the Pooncarie-Wentworth road intersection (19kms out) limit were 1:50 ahead, but a quick look behind found that scratch were a mere 50 secs off the chasers. McNally and Baudry tireless in their strong riding.
Limit had worked extremely well with no rider shirking the issue across the exposed plains of the Fletchers Lake surrounds. With scratch climbing aboard the 'chopping bloc' at about the 23km mark it appeared that limit would be caught well within sights of the Wentworth township. A Baudry surge saw an end to Winton's involvement in the bunch, Lokan and Marshall also failing to get the wheel of a determined Shipsides as he (Shipsides) stuck like glue to McNally's Cannondale.
Needless to say, the 3 man power group claimed the limit bunch as they turned slightly windward and all riders in limit joined in with Lokan and Marshall valiantly riding to keep dwindling re-formation hopes alive. Winton meanwhile was hoping for Welsh and Wightwick to catch on as he picked up his pace to enjoy the wind at his back for a while.
It wasn't until the vineyards of Curlwaa that the 7 rider group out the front began to show signs of wear. The Dept of Ag. Research Station hill had legs wilting after the 50km/hr speeds along the smooth highway surface. The ensuing chase to the line had Baudry claiming victory over McNally by the depth of a rim with Shipsides in 3rd position.
With vengeance on the mind of some 'wounded' riders, next week's race is an 8 lap handicap event at the tough Merbein cemetery circuit. Bring on those 'Sunraysia' type climbs!
1 C Baudry 1.26.00 2 R McNally 3 M Shipsides 4 M Phillips 5 K Gregory 6 H Robbins 7 J Lokan 8 I Beruldsen 9 G Marshall 10 P Winton 7.44 11 A Wightwick 12 N Welsh