Two in a Row for Wemyss
Sunday 5th February 2012
A strong field of 22 riders turned up to race the very hilly Ararat to Warrak return 40km handicap on Sunday
Riders were confronted with very difficult conditions, with strong cross winds averaging 30 to 40 kph and gusting up to 65 kph making the hills seem like mountains.
The limit riders Peter Mayo and Shirley Hetherington set off with a 20 minute buffer, however the early loss of Hetherington made the task a very difficult one for Mayo who was forced to battle the wind on his own.
The 8 minute group of Les Dunn, Laura White and Tony Rathgeber set off strongly with all three contributing well on the outward journey.
The 4 minute riders, Drew Heard, Brian Howlett, Dean Hayward, Glenn Ford and Daryl Elliott battled strongly to reduce the gap on the 8 minute riders prior to the turn, with the 2 minute riders Crystal Wemyss, Danny Monaghan, Rod Hetherington, Sean Prins, Gary Brumby and Geoff Richards also making up good ground in the trying conditions.
Scratch riders Frank Kean, Drew Grey, Peter Wemyss, Shane Clarke, Jason Shipscott and Steve Monks, chased hard on the outward journey, but unfortunately lost Clarke to a puncture that went off like a gunshot on the downward slope of Kneebone’s hill (at around 65kph!).
At the turn Mayo was still around 4½ minutes ahead of the scratch riders, a great effort given his solo ride, with around 1 minute between each of the other groups. With one or two riders shed from each bunch, the remaining riders converged about half way up the return slopes of Kneebone’s hill, with 5 riders from three different bunches first over the hill. Glen Ford, Steve Monks, Frank Kean and Peter and Crystal Wemyss collectively put the foot down to maintain a lead on the chasing riders over the remaining 13km of the race.
In the dash for the line Steve Monks jumped early, looking the goods, with Glen Ford on his wheel. Peter Wemyss and Frank Kean had to fight to get back on their wheels, just in time for Wemyss to take the lead and win from Ford, with Monks third and Kean 4th. Crystal Wemyss came in shortly after in 5th position.
Peter Wemyss rode the fastest time of the day in 1 hr 3 minutes and 9 seconds, an average speed of 38.0kph.