Mansfield Courier

Handicappe­r wins in cycle race


IN a feat of mathematic­al genius, race handicappe­r Di Condie won the acclamatio­n of the field when she brought over half of Wednesday night’s field to the finish line within a minute of each other despite a staggered start over 11 minutes.

The only two to escape her calculator were Rod Manning and Peter Ellett.

Rumor has it that the two retirees spend more time with their cycles than their wives in a quest to gain points for the club championsh­ip.

With a number of good placings this season Manning deserves to be well up the ladder as the love affair with his Italian bred cycle gets stronger every day.

The field flew out along the Tolmie Road with the cool south wind behind them.

By the turn around at Long Lane all groups were still spread as the handicappe­r had released them.

After the turn the strong cool head wind began to close the gaps.

The biggest group of Wilson, Williams, Conrick, Bock, Flew and Kat McKean kept together for a while but were erratic in their turn taking.

Flew backed his strong legs and tried to ride off the front and the group collapsed.

He may have been better advised to continue swapping turns and preserve his energy.

The groups behind him easily caught him on Coombsey’s Hill and he had nothing left to hang on.

Kian Lerch-Mackinnon was the standout on the night; riding from scratch, he got well in front of the converging bunches as he went over the hill to ride into third place with fastest time.

Fellow scratch rider Josh Hopwood was not in his usual form and had a bad night.

The block group of Brega, Halket and Jess Douglas put in the same well-oiled performanc­e that they had in previous weeks.

When they reached the merging field they took control slowing the pace obviously setting up a sprint finish for Halket.

Their plans nearly came undone when Will McDonald who has been exhibiting some good form recently sped to the front almost edging Halket out of fourth place.

The rest of the big bunch, content with their ride in unpleasant conditions, sat up to leave Dave Moore, Gus Muscara and the three ladies, Jess Douglas, Kat McKean and Christine Hopkins filling the top 10 in that order.

Within one minute of the presentati­ons at the Botanic Park, the majority of the riders were back at the “Club Bar” at the Delatite Hotel swapping stories on the leather lounges under the yellow jersey of Simon Gerrans.

The only thing missing on that chilly evening was a log fire.

This Thursday the race is over the Whitfield Road to Sawpit Gully and back.

Entries to the handicappe­r by 8pm Wednesday on 0438 513355.

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