VVCC Open 2007
McNaughton Breaks All Limits!
- Sunday 26th August 07
NOTE - The
following race description was gleaned from various
sources, and is an approximation at best. Please
overlook any minor inaccuracies, as it is not possible
to see the whole event as it unfolds. Feel free to
contact us if there are major errors in facts!
the race photos here.
Geelong cyclist Bernadette McNaughton was all smiles
as she crossed the line first in the major event of
last weekends Grampians Veterans two day VVCC cycling
Riding in Sundays 61 kilometre handicap,
McNaughton not only brought up her first ever win in
a major event, she was also the first woman and the
first limit rider in the races 10 year history to win
the event. Along the way she also won the sprint bonus
and topped it all off with the first lady rider prize
money as well.
The 128 strong field set off from
Halls Gap at 10am, first riding to Pomonal, then turning
towards Stawell, crossing to Mokepilly past Lake Fyans,
before doing a big loop around Lake Lonsdale to finish
at the Halls Gap end of Fyans Creek Road
Riding from the 35 minute limit mark, McNaughton partnered
with Grampians rider Larry Bales and Hume rider Maria
Simon for most of the race, after losing one rider
from their group early on.
Twenty kilometres into the race, the second group
of riders, off 26 minutes, had gained 4 minutes on
the limit riders, mostly due to the efforts of Grampians
rider Les Power.
Further back, the 20 minute riders were also working
well, with Grampians riders Dean Hayward and Tania
Walter along with Ballarat rider Terry Collie and Geelong
rider David Robinson driving the bunch along.
After reaching the Illawarra
Road, and the half way point, the limit riders still
had a good 3 minute lead over the following bunches,
and seemed in with a real chance of holding off the
rest of the field. The 20 minute and 26 minute bunches
had combined, while the 17 minute bunch, after some
early hard work by Ballarat’s
Peter James, and Grampian’s riders Stewart King
and Tom Eldridge, were pulled in by the 14 minute riders.
This combined bunch was then split up again soon after
by a sudden attack on the first of the Sandbar Road
hills. Three 14 minute Grampians riders, Daryl Elliott,
Jamie Bennett and Harvey Lang hit the hill hard, with
the intention of separating the wheat from the chaff.
The next three bunches, the 12, 9 and 7 minute groups
were all working hard but seemed stuck in no mans land.
Despite all their efforts, these three groups stayed
apart for the whole race, finishing in that order although
Meanwhile, at the back of the field, the scratch riders
had flown down the road to Pomonal, taking 2 minutes
off the 3 minute bunch within the first 17 kilometres,
and also dropping several of their number along the
way. These two bunches combined at Mokepilly, and rode
together until well along the hilly Sandbar Road before
combining with the 5 minute bunch. But perehaps they
went too fast too early, as they seemed to fall into
a hole in the later stages of the race.
With 12 kilometres to go, McNaughton, Bales and Simon
were still working well as a team. However, at the
top of McCrackens Hill, McNaughton took off to claim
the sprint bonus, and Bales lost contact with her down
the other side.
McNaughton continued to ride solo for the rest of
the race, helped by a trailing wind that reduced the
effectiveness of the chasing groups. Passing Mount
Dryden with 6 kilometres to go she had a 300m lead
over Bales, with the first of the bunches still well
behind. Coming into the final long finishing straight,
she looked to have the race sewn up, but then the combined
20 and 27 minute bunch appeared about 250 metres behind
her, and right on their tail was the combined 14 and
17 minute bunch.
Another Geelong rider, David
Robinson, broke free from the first bunch and sprinted
for the line. All McNaughton could do was give it
all she had left, and hope that she did not have
a repeat of her Rochester Open experience earlier
this year, where she got to within 100m of the line
before being swamped by a large group of riders,
and didn’t even finish with
But this time the wind was in her favour, and McNaughton
crossed the line with a clear margin ahead of the exhausted
Robinson, who just held off the final charge of the
chasing two groups that had combined into one half
way down the straight.
McNaughton is all smiles as
she crosses the line in first place.
Grampians rider Daryl Elliott
timed his sprint perfectly to grab third place from
Central Vics Cindy Magro in fourth. Elliott also
picked up the prize for first Grampians rider. Stuart
King was the next best Grampians rider in seventh
exhausted David Robinson just hangs on to take
place ahead of Daryl Elliott and Cindy Magro
Scratch rider Scott Keating recorded the fastest race
time of 1 hour, 24 minutes 15 seconds.
Saturdays graded scratch races were also well attended,
with 59 starters in the five categories. Winners were:-
Division 1: 1st Steve Young (Geelong),2nd Brett Fisher
(Eastern), 3rd Andrew Weightman (Ballarat)
Division 2: 1st Gavin Rowbottom (Geelong), 2nd Peter
McDonough (Geelong), 3rd Jeff Pretto (Eastern)
Division 3: 1st Ken Heres (Ballarat), 2nd Ivan Howes
(Hume), 3rd Daryl Elliott (Grampians).
Division 4: 1st Jamie Bennett (Grampians), 2nd Cindy
Magro (Central Vic), 3rd Stuart King (Grampians)
Division 5: 1st Brian Long (Geelong), 2nd Keith Dorling
(Geelong), 3rd John Wilson (Eastern)
out the race photos here.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
The Grampians Club would like to
thank all those who helped make the event run as smoothly
as it did, and who helped on corners, with salads etc
on the day. A special thank you to Tony Lloyd who was
the main organiser behind the scenes, and to the VVCC
race officials and handicapper who always do a magnificent
job beforehand and on the day.