Limit Toughs it out to Win
Polkemmet Road Handicap
Sunday 22nd April 2012
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, as did the two limit riders Meg Parnaby and John McIntyre in last Sundays Grampians Vets 51 kilometre handicap, held along Polkemmet Road, near Horsham.
Known for its exposed and often blustery conditions, Polkemmet Road lived up to its reputation last Sunday with a strong northwester blowing.
With seventeen minutes start over scratch, the two limit riders worked hard into the head wind for the first two thirds of the race, before the road curved south, and they gained a tail wind to the turn point at the Wimmera Highway, near Natimuk.
The eight minute riders, Tony Lloyd, Tony Rathgeber and Tom Eldridge found the going tough early on into the head wind, and after struggling to the turning point, were caught soon afterwards by the 5 minute riders Gerard O’Brien, Daryl Elliott, Drew Heard and Stuart King.
At this point both the five minute bunch and the following scratch riders had pulled back about half their respective deficits from the limit riders, and the race seemed wide open.
On the return journey, the scratch riders Sean Prins, Steve Monks, Peter Wemyss and Geoff Richards made up good ground on the first leg into the head wind, but once all riders turned for the final stretch home the strong tail wind boosted all the riders to higher speeds, with the differences between the bunches lessened, thus making the task of catching the leading riders harder.
With eighteen kilometres to go, the scratch riders were 1 minute 20 seconds behind the combined 5 and 8 minute riders, and it took until the final two kilometres to catch them.
However, the limit riders had lifted their pace with the tail wind too, with both riders capable of pushing higher speeds downwind, and despite the hectic chase taking place behind them, held on to finish a minute ahead of the now combine rest of the field.
Meg Parnaby took line honours from gentleman John McIntyre, while a very close battle for minor placings saw Daryl Elliott just grab third place right on the line from Stuart King.
Steve Monks took out fastest race time of 1 hour 20 minutes and 7 seconds.