Mayo Takes Out Close Finish
Concongella/Campbells Bridge Handicap
Sunday 24th June 2012
Ararat cyclist Peter Mayo just hung on to score his second victory for the year, taking out the Grampians Vets 53 kilometre Concongella/Campbells Bridge handicap last Sunday.
Riding off limit with Meg Parnaby and Shirley Hetherington, with an eighteen and a half minute start over scratch, Mayo performed strongly over the entire course, but was severely tested over the closing stages of the race.
At the Campbells Bridge turn, with 19 kilometres to go, the limit riders still held more than a 4 minute advantage over the 6 minute riders Drew Heard, Stuart King and Tom Eldridge, who had been performing very well but had just lost fellow rider John Hunt with a puncture.
With the loss of Hunt, it looked like the end of the 6 minute riders chances, and with the two and a half minute riders Gary Brumby, Sean Prins and Geoff Richards still well behind, and the scratch riders Peter and Crystal Wemyss, Wayne Klauss and Rod Hetherington looking out of the race, the chances for the limit riders seemed good.
However, over the hills on the Marnoo road, the gaps were closing, and it started to look like it would be touch and go between the limit riders and the 6 minute bunch. Over the last of the hills near Stawell, the 6 minute riders seemed have the job done, but once the limit riders hit the downhill run to Concongella, they seemed to get a new lease of life.
Around the final corner with 800 metres left to the line, Peter Mayo still held a slender lead over Drew Heard and Stuart King, who were closing fast. Mayo had to give everything he could find to stay ahead, and just hung on to win by half a bike length from Drew Heard, with Stuart King half a wheel behind in third place.
The second scratch riders finished just over a minute later with scratch only a few seconds behind, with Peter Wemyss taking out fastest race time of 1 hour and 28 minutes.