Cartledge Crushes Field in Emphatic Win

Phil Cartledge di his growing reputation no harm with a comfortable victory on Sunday at Learmonth.
The field was noticeably smaller because riders took too much notice of the forecast.
The riders that did turn up were rewarded with fine but crisp conditions.

Cartledge started off the scratch position and was joined by master handicapper Rod Hetherington. They had 45 seconds to make up on second scratch that consisted or Peter Livi, RivhardTaylor and Rick Calvert.

Hetherington led off for the first turn and Cartledge took over to attempt to close down the gap as quickly as possible. He twitched his elbow and waited , looked behind and Hetherington was 100 metres behind. Decision time. He took off on a solo chase with the likely hood that he was no chance. He did however catch the trio in front at the top of quarry hill in an exhibition of power riding.

Further out, the five minute bunch of Bob Morley and Kevin Lee fancied their chances as they quickly reeled in Ian Wallis and Terry Collie.

As they started the second lap and turned the first corner they were deflated to see riders coming quickly from behind. The backmarkers enveloped the bunch of four and only had to round up the brave Greg Curnow and the bunch was up. This was completed on quarry hill and Curnow was out the back.

Cartledge led them left after quarry hill and slowly increased the pace and put it down the road as well. Those that were hoping to be carted along were disappointed and Collie, Wallis and Lee found the going too hard and their race was over.

Cartledge continued on the front and swung off to give the also rans a chance to feel some wind. He must have been bored with the pedestrian pace as he got on the front and proceeded to ride every one off his wheel. Only the powerful Richard Taylor had enough juice to get across.

Morley, Livitsanis and Calvert were making ground when Cartledge went off the front again to burst everyone’s bubble.

The only option for the chasers to work turns behind him. They were making good pace, or so they thought, but Cartledge treated their combined efforts with distain and disappeared into the distance to score a very impressive victory.

The only interest was in the placings. Rick Calvert fancied his chances and went from a long way out. The others jumped, and it was Richard Taylor, pushing an inhuman gear, claimed second place. Peter Livitsanis rode well to claim third and Calvert tired but held fourth place.

Neil Walters Takes first and Fastest.

In pretty much in unprecedented circumstances Neil Walters signalled his good form by winning the handicap race off third scratch off 7 minutes.

The scratch bunch and the second scratch bunch were sent into disarray right from the outset. Matt Albiston was late and then got lost and hence missed the start. He was to help Peter Kiel and Rob Phillips off scratch. Jason Haire missed the start of his second scratch bunch and chased to get on, then punctured and then went the wrong way in a comedy of errors. This left Peter Livistanis and Richard Taylor in no man’s land

It was the third scratch bunch led by Ken Heres who is returning from injury dominated the race. He was ably supported by Neil Walters and Bob Morley and they immediately started to take time out of the bunch in front. They caught Brian Lee Alan Barnett new rider Phil Cartledge and the inexperienced but powerful Darren Terry. Heres organised the new group and set off after the bunch in front. They caught them as well and added some workers. The writing was on the wall for the riders behind. Gail Oliver and Albie Govan didn’t miss a beat and only added to the momentum they rode through the rest of the field shredding each  group on capture. With the final five kilometre to be ridden, only the strong had survived. New rider Phil Cartledge was looking likely as was Neil Walters. Cartledge went 500 out with a strong turn of speed with the five surviving riders lined up behind him. He had them in the gutter so he wasn’t disadvantaged. Neil Walters rolled to the front with 300 to go and then surprised everyone with an attack off the front with 150 to go. He pulled a gap of 20 metres and was never headed. Cartledge held on for second with Gale Oliver holding third. Just when you think Oliver won’t get any better she does. Ken heres, coming back from injury rode a strong race for fourth and Albie Govan fifith.

Peter Kiel sprinted well to hold off Richard Taylor for what he thought was fastest time but Walters had taken that honour as well.

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