Lee Wins Misery

Kevin Lee made a bold bid off the front a long way out and “died it in the hole” to win the Mt Misery handicap, Peter Livitsanis and Malcolm Rock charging home for second and third only a bike length or two between the three of them.

A large field of 29 riders enjoyed fine conditions, and those softies that pulled out late on Sunday morning may feel aggrieved at missing a great days racing with little more than a minute covering the whole field at the end.

First away were Ray Hodgson and Steve Akinson, both rode well and it wasn’t unitl very late in the race that the field swept them up, Ray having plenty left and jumped on the back.

Graeme Parker, his dodgey knee, Mandy Rhook and Gary Blood made big inroads on limit, with Gary making a bold showing, he was the last rider to get caught by the field only 5kms from the finish, but by then the lights were out and he was pedalling in squares.

But the race was on behind them. From the gun the 10 minute bunch of Bob Morley, Kevin Lee , Brenton Keats and Peter Livitsanis attacked, determined to catch the bunch in front before being caught themselves. The start was so aggressive they dropped the eventual winner on the first hill and sat up to wait for him to rejoin. Up the Avenue they had the 13 minute bunch of Brett Caddy, Terry Constable, Matt Ritchie and Malcolm Rock in the gun sights, the catch coming after 16kms.

This large group was quickly organised by Bob and started working turns. Keats and Livitsanis working hard up Mt Misery, about half way up they rolled up the 15 minute bunch of Terry Collie, Ron Larkin, Alan Bennet, Jacinta Welch. This increased the bunch to peleton dimensions, all riders contributing where they could to get off Mt Misery as quickly as possible. Brett, Malcolm and Bob all putting in big turns to keep the pace high.

At the bottom there was still no sign of the backmarkers and a cross tailwind, but there were some tired legs and some idle minds (some members of the group turning to composing limericks and weather forecasts). Livitsanis attacked off the front to try to reduce the bunch, Keats working hard to bring the bunch back to him. After rounding up the Parker and Hodgson groups near Ercildoune, the field expected to be leading the race, but were surprised to see a lone rider a kilometre up the road – Gary Blood. Chasing down Gary kept things rolling along and kept the backmarkers at bay.

The 7 minute bunch of Alby Govan, Ken Heres and Darren Terry had a “difference of opinion”. Darren decided to go it alone up Mt Misery, Ken and Alby taking the wiser course and jumped on the back of the powerful second scratch bunch. Peter Kiel had second scratch humming, Richard Taylor, Dean Wells, Rob Phillips and Bob Braszell all working smoothly and despite only a 2.5minute gap they managed to keep scratch away all day. They managed to roll up an exhausted Terry but didn’t have quite enough to bridge to the winning bunch, but there was only about 30 seconds in it.

Rounding the final corner into Weatherboard Road it was Livitsanis, Keats and Lee on the front. Keats was keen not to see a sprint finish and went early on the rise up to Weatherboard, Lee worked hard to bring him back. Then with a km to go Lee dug in and got a 30m gap, which he held to 500m. Graeme Parker put in a viscous spurt in an attempt to get across, with Livitsanis and Rock grabbing his wheel. Parker couldn’t continue, Livitsanis and Rock went full tilt to chase down Lee, but Lee had just enough to hold off Livitsanis by half a bike length. Malcolm holding out fast finishing Bob Morley and Alan Bennet.

Scratch rode with intent, John Rhook and Tony Mirrabella both riding well putting in some big turns. John Rhook in particular was intent on the chase, exhausting himself, and sacrificed his chances in the sprint Phil Cartledge and Shane Cody both insisting that they were struggling and missed a fair few turns. They managed to stay together to just before the turn and were little more than 100m off the large group in front. Tony attacked nearing the top of Weatherboard & only Shane was able to go with him. Tony’s attack took the edge off his sprint and Shane managing to come around him to take fastest time.

 

Results

1st                  Kevin Lee

2nd                  Peter Livitsanis

3rd                  Malcolm Rock

4th                  Bob Morley

5th                  Alan Bennet

Fastest Time:                  Shane Cody

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