Stawell Racecourse 40.3km Handicap
Sunday 1st March 2020
Sean Prins, Aidan Leahy and Frank Kean.
Danny Monaghan, Peter Parnaby and Dean Hayward.
Meg Parnaby, John McIntyre, Niels Erkelens and Malcolm Hayes.
Peter Mayo, Kevin Grellet
How the Race Unfolded.
An unnoticed tail wind assisted riders out to the turn at Pomonal, resulting in good times, but also resulted in a tough return journey.
The limit riders made good time to the turn, but compared to the expected time differences at the half way mark from the original handicap marks, second limit had made up 10 seconds, while second scratch had made up about 30 seconds. Scratch was about 15 seconds up on limit but 15 seconds down on second scratch.
In other words, second scratch were in the best placed position at the turn, with all the other bunches quite close to expected times.
On the return journey, the side to head wind made for tough going. With only 2 riders, limit did an excellent job to maintain their lead over the second limit riders, who with about 5 kilometres to go were not far behind. However second limit lost several riders on the first steep climb over the Black Range. Second scratch lost Danny Monaghan half way back, after he had contributed more than his fair share on the outward journey, but were also making good inroads on the two limit bunches lead.
At this point scratch was still well back.
Over the final few kilometres, the limit riders Grellet and Mayo managed to just hang on to win, by a mere 10 seconds from the second scratch riders, who overtook the second limit riders in the last 150 metres. Scratch came flying home soon after, with all bunches finishing within 15 seconds, the closest finish by all individual bunches together for many many years.
Kevin Grellet took out the sprint from Peter Mayo, with Dean Hayward third and Peter Parnaby 4th. Five seconds later Frank Kean took fastest time from Sean Prins.
1st Kevin Grellet
2nd Peter Mayo
3rd Dean Hayward
4th Peter Parnaby
Kevin Grellet - 1 hour 24 minutes 23 seconds
Average speed of 28.65kph
Frank Kean - 1 hour 04 minutes 41 seconds
Average speed of 37.38kph
Averages at the turn (20.15km)
Limit - 29.47kph
Second Limit - 33.32kph
2nd scratch - 36kph
Scratch - 39.33kph
Averages at the finish (40.3km)
Limit - 28.65kph
Second Limit - 31.96kph
2nd scratch - 34.25kph
Scratch - 37.38kph
Light rising to moderate north easterly to northerly wind.