O'Brien Wins Glenorchy Handicap
Glenorchy Roses Gap Road
- Sunday 24th February 2008
Hard pressed by a rapidly gaining
scratch bunch over the closing stages of the race,
6 minute rider Gerard O’Brien hung on to score a hard earned win in
the Grampian Vets Cycling Club’s 48km handicap,
held near Glenorchy last Sunday.
The easy flatness of the course was offset by a head
wind for much of the homeward journey, with all bunches
feeling the strain as they turned for home.
Scratch riders Ian Blackie,
Steve Monks, Chris Scott and Richard Clarke set a
blistering pace from the start, and had made up the
3 minutes on the next group of riders, Daryl Elliott,
Michael Kelly, Alan Barnett and Harvey Lang, with
about 18km to go. This combined bunch then set off
after the 6 minute riders, Gerard O’Brien,
Leon Gibson, Dan Heard and Michael Jensen.
However, despite loosing Jensen with about 12km to
go, this group was not going to surrender easily. With
about 8km to go, they still had about a 40 second lead,
and soon after caught the 13 minute riders Meg Parnaby
and Merv Thompson, who had reeled in limit rider Les
Thompson joined in with the 6 minute riders, and put
in a few big turns before fading gracefully out the
back, giving some tired legs a very valuable extra
boost before he departed.
The last few kilometres to the line were slightly
downhill, which proved to be the saving grace for this
bunch of riders. They managed to maintain speeds close
to 40kph for much of the time, which helped slow the
inevitable charge of the big bunch of riders behind.
|Click to enlarge
Leon Gibson and Gerard O'Brien
With 1km to go, it was still
touch and go as to who would get to the line first,
but a valiant effort by O’Brien backed by the gritty strength of Gibson
ensured they got there first, with O’Brien finding
an extra ounce more to propel himself across the line
first. Gibson was second with Dan Heard third.
The combined scratch and second scratch bunch was
only 9 seconds behind, with Chris Scott recording the
fastest time of 1 hour 13 minutes 20 seconds.