Peter Howard Takes First and Fastest in Eureka Open.

 

It was a race that certainly had everything. Sleet, rain, high winds and even sunshine. 105 riders entered and about 70 hardy riders finished the event. The numbers were affected initially by a no show of 17 riders whom were concerned about the weather, and another similar amount were part of the attrition due to punctures and fierce riding of the bunches.

The race was a handicapping masterpiece by state handicapper, Col Hooper, who was thrilled as the bunches came together virtually in the last kilometre.

The scratch bunch was minimised early when Glen Scouller punctured early and local lad Scott Townsend found the going tough and was gone before Quarry Hill.

Being a light rider is normally an advantage, but Andrew Pascoe’s low body weight, coupled with deep dish wheelset, saw him literally blown off the road and out of contention. This should have made the task virtually untenable but they caught local hardman Doug Garley who chipped in and didn’t miss a turn.

So with the eventual winner assisted by murderous turns by Andrew “Bam Bam” Weightman, and help from Gary Parsons, Roy Clark and Justin Mollinson set about reeling in the field.

Further out the 10.30 bunch was pumping along with Warrick Bott, Kane Airey, Darren Terry, Dean Hayward and Craig Halliday sharing the load. They rode through the two bunches in front and added Bob Morley, Gail Oliver and Ian Ravenscroft to their midst. This bunch narrowed further to 5 or so and they sighted the leading bunch and were giving chase.

The leading bunch turned into the wind after the hairpin turn. Terry O’Brien was on the front into the strong head wind, doing most of the heavy lifting with Bernie Greally chipping in as well. Anne Gourley, Amanda Hosking, and Jacinta Welch were still there and were eying off the placings. Better co-operation would have seen this bunch get up. Just as the Kane Airey, Warrick Bott led bunch were looking good to make the capture, they were enveloped by the scratch bunch and anyone else that survived the onslaught. The field came together with a bunch of 20 or more riders. Gail Oliver jumped in an attempt to shake things up and the riders came to life.

Peter Howard took a well deserved first and fastest with Neville Laffy and Garry parsons filling the minor placings. Jeff McLean was fifth, Barry Jane rode well to take sixth place. Kane Airy sprinted well for 7th place with local legends Doug Garley and Peter Kiel 8th and 9th. Rounding out 10th place was time trialling specialist Andrew Weightman.

The wining bunch only averaged 37.5 which is indicative of the difficult conditions.

A great race that was supported by excellent facilities and food after the race. The marshals were out in force and did an excellent job.

See you all at the Geelong Open in a few weeks time and we will do it all again.

 

Winner and Fastest-           Peter Howard

2 -Neville Laffey

3-Gary Parsons

4-Roy Clark

5-Jeff McLean

6-Barry jane

7-Kane Airey

8-Doug Garley

9-Peter Kiel

10-Andrew Weightman

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