VCV Open 2011
Howlett Takes out Sprint
- Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November
NOTE - The
following race description was gleaned from various
sources, and is an approximation at best. Please
overlook any minor inaccuracies, as it is not possible
to see the whole event as it unfolds. Feel free to
contact us if there are major errors in facts!
View the race photos here
Ararat cyclist Brian Howlett found the large field opened up at just the right time to allow him to edge his wheel to the front just before the line, clinching victory in the Grampians Vets annual VCV Open, held from Halls Gap.
Riders from clubs all over the state descended on Halls Gap for two days of racing, with 45km graded scratch races held on Saturday and the main event, a 60 kilometre handicap held on Sunday.
One hundred and seven riders lined up for the handicap race, with 10 bunches of riders heading off on the first leg towards Pomonal.
Riding from the mid field mark of 12 minutes, Howlett worked well with his bunch, but they were picked up by the combined 7 and 9 minute bunches with about 20 kilometres to go, forming a large and powerful group. A short distance up the road, they overtook the 15 minute riders, leaving 3 bunches still in front.
Meanwhile, the leading 3 bunches had all come together at about the same time with 17 kilometres to go, still with a fair lead over the chasing bunches.
Further back the 3 and 5 minute bunches had combined, and were still holding off the scratch riders.
It was not until 5 kilometres to go that the combined 7, 9, 12 and 15 minute riders finally overtook the leading bunch of riders, with both groups having shed some of their number along the way, but still leaving a large bunch to contest the sprint.
Howlett positioned himself behind a likely looking sprinter, and was lucky enough to be lead towards the front, with a gap opening up at just the right time to allow him to power through and take out the win from Geelong rider Grant Rogers, with John Blair from Warrnambool third. Stawell rider Crystal Wemyss was the next best local rider in 10th place.
The scratch riders finished one minute later with David Lunn taking out the fastest race time of one hour, twenty-one minutes and thirty-nine seconds, an average speed of 44kph.
Local riders also placed in the graded scratch races held on Saturday, with
Horsham rider Dennis Kelly second in division 1, while Brian Howlett was second in division 4.
1st Brian Howlett (Gr), 2nd Grant Rogers (G), 3rd John Blair (W), 4th Craig Halliday (Cv), 5th Barry Jane (Cv), 6th Richard Taylor (Eur), 7th Ricky Calvert (Eur), 8th Clement Fries (Gip), 9th Mandy Hosking (G), 10th Crystal Wemyss (Gr)
Fastest Time David Lunn (C) 1:21:39, average speed 44Kph (distance is 60km).
First Grampians Rider was Brian Howlett
First Female Rider was Mandy Hosking
Starting list is here.
Scratch Races Results
1st Scott Townsend, 2nd Dennis Kelly, 3rd Neville Laffy
1st Wayne Collins,
2nd Jeff McLean, 3rd Ivan Howes
1st Clement Fries, 2nd Shane Wall, 3rd Robert Braszell
David Peters, 2nd Brian Howlett, 3rd Ken Lacey
1st Neil Wilson, 2nd Robert Logan 3rd David Phillips
1st Alan Sandford, 2nd Richard Purcell, 3rd Kerry McCredden
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
The Grampians Club would like to
thank all those who helped make the event run as smoothly
as it did, and who helped on corners, with salads etc
on the day. A special thank you to the VCV
race officials and handicapper who always do a magnificent
job beforehand and on the day.