Danny Returns in Top
Polkemmet 54km Handicap
Sunday 17th April 2011
Having returned only 10 days ago from
his summer job as a ski instructor in the USA, Danny
Monaghan proved he is in excellent shape when he took
out the Grampians Vets 54 kilometre Polkemmet handicap
Ideal weather conditions prevailed,
with very light winds, almost unheard of on the normally
windy Polkemmet course!!
Along with half a dozen other Grampians
riders, Monaghan has been preparing for the South Pacific
Vets Cycling Championships, to be held over the Easter
break at Maryborough.
Riding his first handicap event
since his return, Monaghan took the handicappers by
surprise, riding at a level it usually takes him some
weeks to regain. He dominated the eight minute bunch,
ably supported by another in form rider, Geoff Richards,
with Drew Heard and Peter Parnaby playing supportive
Under the power of Monaghan, the 8
minute riders caught the ten and a half minute riders
Stuart King, Tom Eldridge and Richard Clarke at about
the 35 kilometre mark, with the combined bunches then
working hard in pursuit of the limit riders Meg Parnaby
and Damian Rabl, who were still well out of sight.
back, the five minute riders Daryl Elliott, Gerard
Crystal Wemyss, Dean Logan and guest rider Daryl Hobbs
were struggling to gain ground on the riders in front,
especially once the 8 and 10 and a half minute riders
Scratch riders Chris Scott and Peter
Wemyss, along with guest riders Dennis Kelly and Mark
Pumpa, set off at a cracking pace, with powerhouse
Kelly doing some mighty turns out in front. With about
ten kilometres to go, they had the 5 minute riders
in their sights, and were working hard to close the
gap. However, they split on the last hill, with Kelly
breaking free, pursued by Peter Wemyss and Mark Pumpa,
trying to regain the lost ground.
In the meantime,
the combined eight and ten and half minute riders had
caught the limit riders with five kilometres to go.
Not easing up, they powered on to the line, with Monaghan
taking the sprint by a narrow margin from Stuart King.
Richard Clark was third.
The 5 minute riders finished
some distance behind, with scratch rider Dennis Kelly
catching them a few hundred metres from the finish,
and taking out the fastest race time of 1 hour and
20 minutes and 25 seconds, an average of 40.5kph.
This was a course record time, beating the previous time held by Ian Blackie of 1 hour, 21 minutes and 15 seconds.