Limit Riders Survive in Tough Conditions
Sunday 30th October 2011
Laharum cyclist John McIntyre just pipped Meg Parnaby on the line to take out the Grampians Vets 46 kilometre Concongella handicap, held last Sunday in strong blustery conditions.
Thirty kilometre an hour winds gusting up to 50kph made for tough riding conditions, with only the keenest riders fronting for the start.
Limit riders Meg Parnaby and John McIntyre headed off with a 13 minute 30 second advantage over scratch, and after picking up a slight tail wind in places made it out to the first turn at Joel Joel, twenty kilometres later, with a seven minute advantage over the two and a half minute riders Geoff Richards, Danny Monaghan and Tony Rathgeber.
At this point, the scratch riders Sean Prins, and Peter and Crystal Wemyss, having set a high pace from the start, had made up a minute and a half to be only one minute behind the second scratch riders, or eight minutes behind the leaders.
With the last half of the leg across to Greens Creek downwind, despite speeds close to 50kph, the chasing riders had not made up much time on the leading riders. Soon after Greens Creek, at the 30 kilometre point, the limit riders still held a six minute advantage over the second scratch riders, who were now only fifteen seconds ahead of the scratch riders.
However, the toughest part of the race was still to come, with most of the remaining race into a very solid side to head wind.
With ten kilometres to go, the limit riders looked like they had it in the bag, retaining a 5 minute lead over the chasing riders, who had now combined. With five kilometres to go, the lead was three and a half minutes, which still looked to be plenty, but the legs were starting to feel like jelly.
Turning into the Concongella School Road, the limit riders lead had been whittled down to a 500 metre advantage, and dropping fast, with two and a half kilometres still remaining.
On the final hill, the limit riders were half way up when the chasing riders reached the bottom, but they managed to rally enough to hold on to win by 200 metres, with John McIntyre taking out the race by a wheel from Meg Parnaby.
Danny Monaghan crossed the line third, with Peter Wemyss taking out fastest race time of one hour and sixteen minutes.