The Vets headed off to Newbridge today to tackle the demanding 56 kilometre course which takes in Llanelly, Rheola (almost), Mount Moliagul, Tarnagulla and back to Newbridge.
What started off as an almost perfect day was marred by a niggling headwind on the early stages which softened up the riders before they hit the mount. Russ Gilbey and Mathew Grealy had the challenge of bridging a one-minute gap to second scratch, but only Matty got across before the big hills. The five minute bunch was riding strongly and picked up the nine minute group about half way around and the 13 minute bunch before Tarnagulla. By this stage there were only two riders out in front - Aileen O'Brien and Ross Ogilvie - who rode together until ten kilometers from home when Aileen took off. The steep pinch up to the railway line before Tarnagulla thinned the chasing bunch considerably and at Tarnagulla Aileen still had three minutes on third scratch with the depleted scratch and second scratch bunches a further 1 1/2 minutes back. Ross was collared a couple of kilometres out but, in the ride of the day, Aileen was almost on the line before she was caught by the charging bunch. Murray Rankin (5 minutes) just held off John Weir (5 min) and a resurgent Tom de Vries (9 min) to record his first win in a very long time. They were followed closely by Cheryle Barker (9 min), Pam Robertson (9 min), Ricky Lovell (5 min), new member Gavin Hill (9 min), Michael McCartney (13 min), Steve Auld (13 min). Aileen O'Brien (30 min) capped off a magnificent ride to hold on for tenth. Matt Grealy claimed fastest time just a minute later.