Scott Townsend was the inaugural winner of the Charlie Braszell memorial race indifficult conditions on Sunday. Charlie was prominent in the cycling industry for many years involved in many aspects of the sport.
It was an emotional victory for Scott considering the late Charlie Braszell coached Scott’s father the late Peter Townsend.
The race was set by the handicapper with 46 participants making the start line.Marilyn Morley was first away and she rode by herself and was caught well into the race at the 45 kilometre mark. The back end of the field was pumping with Doug Garley Tony Mirrabella Peter Kieland eventual winner Townsend cutting a swathe through the field picking up the occasional helper and shedding riders to obscurity.The middle bunch was making great time with Alby Govan and Gail Oliver quickly taking time out of the bunch in front. Bob Morley fell off the pace and Alan Barnett just fell off.
There was plenty of interest in the out markers as Shirley Hetherington and big Nick Verhagen had caught Marilyn Morley and Steve Atkinson. Shirley Hetherington could sense Nick should go ahead because she was holding him back. Verhagen took off and was making great pace on his new Shogun and looked a likely winner. The scratch bunch had not faltered their pace and had picked up Dave Peters, Peter Livitsanis, Gail Oliver and Alby Govan. They still had not sighted the Flying Dutchman and it looked like he was home. He turned left into the final stretch of Weatherboard road. It was uphill and into the wind. It was only a kilometre to go but it was like someone had dumped a bag of wheat on his shoulders.Scratch hit him on the final rise with the race being on for line honours.
Townsend broke clear with hard man Doug Garley not far off him wrestling a bike with a brokenderailleur. The mercurial Mirrabella was third. Peter Kiel who never misses a turnwas fourth. Gail Oliver rode a tremendous race to be easily the first woman home.Nick Verhagen held on for tenth after winning the intermediate sprint at Erclidourne.
Rod Hetherington did a masterful job with the handicapping and the day was a great tribute to a man that was, and always will be, held in the highest of regard in the cycling community.