Wayde Foster and Rene Mol were the first riders off the blocks in the 11-rider field in Saturday’s 28km handicap.
Riding from the 10.30 mark they reached the turnaround point in 26.57 minutes, leading from the 4.45 min group who turned in 24.14 mins. Five riders made up this group with brothers Mark and Simon Crawford, Robert and Dermot Nichols and Heath White.
Dermot Nichols, who won the recent Raymond Jarratt Handicap, was dislodged at the turnaround, leaving just four riders to fight it out.
The scratch bunch consisted of Travis Lindhe, Dean Holgate, Nick Torney and visiting rider 27-year-old Julian Spiller, a former Cobram resident now living in Melbourne.
Torney was very keen to show his mettle but unfortunately a bout of flu had hampered his preparation and he couldn’t match the pace and was dropped at the 3km point.
They turned in 20.11 mins and with a following wind a good time would be set.
Limit led until Stillard’s Hill where the 4.45 min group merged with them. It was at this point Foster found the pace a little too hot and dropped from contention.
Simon Crawford and Robert Nichols picked up the pace and they rode away from their co-markers and the result would be dependent on their sprinting prowess.
Scratch were still a long way back at this point and would not figure in the finish.
These two riders were neck and neck until the finish line with Crawford prevailing. Murray Crawford was not far back in another excellent ride to finish third, with Rene Mol in fourth.
Lindhe gave the lead out to Spiller and Holgate to determine fastest time with Holgate narrowly taking out the award in a time of 38.38 mins.
Robert Nichols set a new personal best with a time of 42.44 in another strong ride against Simon Crawford, a seasoned veteran of the sport, and has not reached the peak of his potential yet.
The club record over the 28km course stood at 40.04 mins for many years, but with the advancement in technology and heavier training programs, this record has been relegated to the scrapheap.
The course has now been covered in 36.11 mins by Matt Clark in a club time trial.
Spiller is a novice in road racing, as his main interest is cyclocross. He is a man of immense talent and, should he make the transition into road, could post some interesting results.
Wayde Foster, who has been with the club for about seven years, is a policeman who has been stationed at Barooga for 11 years. At 51 years of age he shows some good form but is restricted by his working hours and will show improved form in the warmer months.
Good news for the club during the week, with Raymond Jarratt, who had to retire from racing about 10 months ago because of health problems, being restored to full health and could return to racing if he so desires.
●A 28km handicap will be held on Saturday, July 8 starting at 1.30pm. All suitably licensed riders are invited to attend, with a $5 entry.