Lloyd on the Comeback Trail
Polkemmet Road Handicap
Sunday 28th August 2011
Ararat cyclist Tony Lloyd held off a stiff challenge from Damian Rabl to take out the Grampians Vets 54 kilometre Polkemmet handicap, held near Horsham last Sunday.
On the comeback trail after 6 months off, Lloyd rode off limit with Damian Rabl and Meg Parnaby, the three combining well to ride half a kilometre per hour above their expected average and give the chasing riders a tough job to haul them in.
The middle bunch of riders Geoff Richards, Les Dunn, Peter Parnaby, Gerard O’Brien and Daryl Elliott were making hard work of reducing the 9 minutes start of the leading riders, until they were caught at about the 35 kilometre mark by the flying scratch riders Peter and Crystal Wemyss, Sean Prins and Drew Heard, who had worked hard to make up their two and a half minute deficit.
With the scratch riders reinforced by the 2 minute riders, the chase was on to reel in the leaders, who were not sighted until about 7 kilometres to go, and even then they were still a distant speck in the distance.
However, the chasing pack was closing fast, with speeds often in the mid to high forties, but at the cost of losing a few riders along the way.
With two kilometres to go, the limit riders still had a lead of about a 500 metres, a distance too great to bridge in the short distance remaining.
In the final sprint, Meg Parnaby led out the limit riders, with Tony Lloyd jumping past with 150 metres to go and getting a vital few metres on Damian Rabl, who could not pull the distance back. Lloyd crossed the line first ahead of Rabl with Meg Parnaby third.
The chasing bunch finished 30 seconds later with Peter Wemyss taking out fastest race time of one hour, twenty-five minutes and thirty-five seconds.