Close finish for cyclists

March 15, 2017

Eleven riders turned up for Saturday’s 28km handicap using the Back Barooga Rd course.

Three bunches were established with new club rider Dean Holgate, Tony Crawford, Heath White and Andy Doyle off scratch.

Gifford Crosthwaite, Gary Smith and the in-form Mick Doyle shared the 4.30 minute mark with Steve Hargreaves, Steve Gemmill, Bernie Gillespie and Wayde Foster forming the limit mark of seven minutes.

The limit group started in fine fashion working even turns which would make life difficult for their chasers.

Crosthwaite forced the pace in his bunch, forcing Smith and Doyle to dig deep and the scratch markers led by the very fit new club rider Holgate started taking time back on their rivals.

Andy Doyle was the first rider dropped from the scratch bunch, however, has been suffering from the effects of a cold all week.

After halfway and with the limit bunch working well, Foster lost contact with 10km to go then followed by Gillespie with 5km to go.

This left the two Steves at the front and it was clear that these two would fight it out for the podium.

The block trio was still together but not making enough inroads to the leaders.

With 5km to go the scratch trio of Holgate, White and Crawford splintered leaving Holgate in pursuit on his own.

It was a great sprint to the line seeing Steve Hargreaves prevail over his companion Steve Gemmill who settled for second. Their time was a slick 46.39 minutes.

It is Hargreaves’ second victory since re-joining the club after some time away and he is improving every week.

After being dropped on the final climb Gillespie held on for third place in a time of 47.38.

Next riders home were Crosthwaite and M. Doyle with a time of 45.26 rounding out the top five.

Fastest time went to Yarrawonga’s Dean Holgate in 41.44 who crossed the line in eighth place.

●Holgate’s 10-year-old son Max won the D-grade criterium at Wodonga last Wednesday after going solo with 2.6km to go catching the other riders unaware.

He was racing against his more senior competitors and is clearly learning some race craft from his father.

●Next Saturday has the club holding a 15km time trial with all entry money being donated to the local 321 Ride. It is a great cause to raise social awareness and acceptance of people living with Down’s syndrome and all people living with special needs.

It will be a 1.30pm start from the MON factory, Hughes St, Barooga.

Entry is $5 with additional donations welcome.

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