Shirley Salutes at Coghills Creek

Shirley Hetherington dug deep into the suitcase of courage to stay clear of the 22 rider field from click-in to flag, just nudging out new rider Geoff Braszell in the final sprint.

The win was even more impressive given that the limit bunch dropped Alby Chapman early and Ray Hodgson broke a spoke, leaving just the winning pair to go it alone with a strong field charging home behind them.

The 16 minute bunch of Allan Barnett, Graeme Parker, Mandy Rhook and Terry Collie worked solidly, and were only rounded up within the last kilometre. Graeme, recovering from knee injury, and Terry rode strongly to keep the bunch clear. However the bunch was pretty spent when the catch came, and even with a lot of yelled encouragement to grab wheels of the passing bunch, there just wasn’t enough left in the tank.

The 12 minute bunch of Mal Rock, Rob Parker, Robbie Kinna, and Terry Constable looked like an impressive bunch on the line, but blew itself to pieces on the first lap. Terry was shucked early, then Rob found the going tough and Robbie slipped off as well. The bunch strung out over nearly a kilometre. Robbie was intent to pursue rather than wait for the next bunch. Head down, bum up he screamed into the Donovans Road / Quarry Road corner far too fast and far too wide, slamming with force into the traffic island and the sign. There he lay on the road, Albie Govan, who was marshalling the corner, was torn between maintaining his post for the chasing riders and going to Robbie’s assistance. Robbie is OK, a few sore ribs and a sore shoulder – the good news is that the fluoro green handlebar tape will have to be replaced.

Tony Mirabella picked out the 8 minute bunch of Ken Heres, Rod Hetherington, John Creek and Peter Livitsanis as the likely winners, and they didn’t disappoint. With all riders coming into a bit of form and contributing to some solid pace setting, they quickly made inroads into the leading bunches. They slowed to make sure Robbie was OK then methodically picked up the rest of his bunch, Rob Parker and Mal Rock having enough to hold on. The original four continued to steam along, but it wasn’t until the last turn onto Donovans Road that the 16 minute bunch came into view. Ken and Peter worked hard up the hill to draw closer, by the top of the hill they could read the riders numbers. It was then that big Rod opened up to get the bunch across, sacrificing his race. Peter finished off the catch and left Ken to take third place honours with spritely Mal Rock nipping in for fourth.

The 2.5 minute bunch of Dave “Steely” Peters, Bob Braszell (cousin of Geoff), and hard-man Rob Phillips were caught early by the scratch bunch of John Rhook, Shane “Jedi” Cody and Phil “Bones” Cartledge. The pace was too much for Peters and Cartledge who were shelled, leaving a small group of four to try to bring back the field. John and Rob rode strongly, with Rob attacking on the last lap to lift the intensity of the chase. The rise up Donovans Road and the headwind finish favoured the strong man Rhook who powered away for an impressive fastest time.

Results

1.     Shirley Hetherington    (limit)

2.     Geoff Braszell   (limit)

3.     Ken Heres   (6 min)

4.     Mal Rock   (12 min)

5.     Peter Livitsanis   (6 min)

Fastest Time: John Rhook

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