Snatches Last Minute Victory
Mount Arapalies Handicap
- Sunday 2nd March 2008
Last years Baw Baw Classic winner Ian Blackie surged
to the lead in the last 50 metres to take out last
Sundays Grampians Vets 46k Mt Arapalies handicap, held
from Horsham to the very top of Mount Arapalies.
Five separate bunches of would be mountain climbers
set off in ideal conditions, with hill climbing ability
generally increasing at an accelerating rate from limit
to scratch riders. In a race that was almost as challenging
for the handicapper as the cyclists themselves, the
handicapper had to aim for the bunches to come together
on the mountain without giving too much away to the
First away on 25 minutes was David
Cariss and Les Power, who took full advantage of the
first wind assisted leg. Ten minutes later Shauna Heard
and Meg Parnaby left the starter in hot pursuit of
Power and Cariss, hoping they could form a strong bunch
and get onto the mountain before being caught.
they only managed to catch Carras, after Power broke
away at about the 35km mark, getting onto the mountain
first, well clear of any other riders.
The strong 6 minute bunch of
Tom Eldgridge, Dan Heard and Tony Lloyd had no intentions
of allowing the limit riders to get even part way up
the mountain and worked well to overtake Parnaby and
Heard at the very base of Arapalies
Meanwhile the scratch bunch of Ian Blackie, Steve
Monks and Chris Scott were wasting no time and had
caught the 3 minutes riders 35k into the race. This
strong bunch which now included Alan Barnett, Frank
Kean, Harvey Lang and Tim Schneider still had a lot
of work to do with no other bunches in sight, but powered
on with the knowledge that the front riders would be
going very slowly once they hit the mountain.
Les Power still had a commanding
lead and was well up the mount when he cramped on
a very steep incline and was forced off the bike.
He was quickly overtaken by a Gerard O’Brien,
who was flying up the mount ahead of the rest of
Over the closing stages, it
came down to individual climbing ability, with the
outstanding Blackie quickly gobbling up most of the
field. It became a race in two with Blackie just
managing to overtake O’Brien
on the very last slope. Tony Lloyd was third with Steve
Monks taking fourth place.