Summer Series Round 3
Despite the recent wet weather and a forecast of more, a sunny morning greeted riders for round 3 of the summer series last Sunday on Berthong Road. After a rain cancellation and 2 interclub rounds, it was a chance for many to stretch the legs again and for others to see if the hundreds of kilometres per week were paying off.
As promised the handicapper looked after the outer markers the limit group of Charlie Baldry and Ben Phillips were sent off some 11 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of scratch. Four and a half minutes behind them were the second limit group of Scott ‘Motorway’ McLeod, David Holder and new rider Tim (Nicky) Webster.
Leaving at 8 minutes from limit were the chopping block of Martin Ryan, driving force Jamin Hall, Ken Clark, a bloke from the Coota show and Scott Adams. Steve Hines was relegated to scratch after being swapped with Hall from the previous race. According to the handicapper ‘Highway’ Hall paid a little more than everyone else to enter so his golden handshake had indeed worked well! Hines headed off on scratch with Heath Wade (visiting from Goulburn Club), Steve ‘Strava’ Franklin and series leader Hamish Nott.
A strong headwind on the way out took its toll on the riders but no groups had joined by the half-way mark. Second limit had splintered around the turn with Tim Webster leaving his compatriots. He was making his way across to join the limit markers as he left the hill on the return trip, eventually joining Charlie and Ben and staying with them until close to the finish. Meanwhile, behind block had joined McLeod and Holder and were working hard for the catch. Scratch had lost Hines on the hill but the other three were working hard in the chase.
In a brilliant piece of handicapping everyone but Webster came together in the last 500m of the race. Tim had launched off the front of the limit riders and headed solo for home to take the win. Charlie Baldry came in second ahead of Hamish Nott who had come through from scratch in the fastest time of 38.42. ‘Highway’ Hall held on for fourth and will no doubt have caught the handicapper’s eye for next time. David Jarvis (or a guy resembling him) rounded out the placings in fifth.
After 3 rounds Webster has moved up into second place behind round 1 and 2 winner Nott. Hall, Franklin and Baldry round out the top 5. With the sliding scale and a possible double-point round proposed for the series finale it is still anyone’s series.
There are two more rounds before Christmas with a hill-top finish planned in 2 weeks. A round in Young has been proposed too for February, yet to be confirmed. A full list of current standings can be found here