and Kelly Battle it Out
Stawell Racecourse - Sunday
10th February 2008
Horsham cyclist Drew Heard just
edged out Stawell’s
Mike Kelly in a closely fought finish to the Grampians
Vets 54km Stawell Racecourse handicap last Sunday.
Cool conditions early were soon
forgotten as the racing heated up, with 15 riders
tackling the race from Stawell out to Pomonal, back
towards Stawell, then across past Lake Fyans to Mokepilly,
and returning past Lake Fyans to the Stawell – Pomonal
road and back to the Stawell Racecourse.
The usual course
was altered due to concerns about the amount of traffic
on the major Halls Gap roads due the the Jazz Festival.
Limit riders Meg Parnaby, Frank Stokes
and Shauna Heard headed off with a 12 minute start,
but confusion reined supreme when they got to Pomonal,
and they missed the turning point, loosing quite a
few minutes by riding further than needed. Meanwhile
the 6 minute riders Harvey Lang, Tony Lloyd, Stuart
King, and Leon Gibson turned before them, and headed
back towards Lake Fyans.
Not far behind, the 3 minute
riders Alan Barnett, Peter Parnaby, Drew Heard and
Mike Kelly were making good time and had the 6 minute
riders in their sights. However it was not until both
groups turned at Mokepilly and were heading back into
the strong southerly towards Lake Fyans that they caught
the 6 minute riders, and this combined group then powered
ahead to hold the scratch riders at bay.
This large group stayed together until the first big
hill about 9km from Stawell, where it broke up, with
Mike Kelly, Drew Heard, Peter Parnaby, Alan Barnett
and Harvey Lang breaking away. This group headed for
the finish, still with a good lead on the 2 remaining
scratch riders, Ian Blackie and Frank Kean, having
lost Daryl Elliott and Jamie Bennett early on.
The five man breakaway group worked together over
the remaining hills, to keep the ever gaining Ian Blackie
at bay, who by now had parted company with Frank Kean.
With 400m to go Harvey Lang set off for the line, but
faded with 100m to go and Drew Heard and Mike Kelly
took over. These two were neck and neck all the way,
but Heard had a wheel in front at the line to claim
victory, with Peter Parnaby not far behind in third.
Ian Blackie recorded the fastest time of the day with