With a uphill start and strong winds the 52km President's Handicap appeared to be tailor made for the scratch bunch.
The 52km Presidents handicap was held at Newbridge today. The course wound its way through Tarnagulla, Dunolly, Eddington, Laanecoorie and back to Newbridge.
The field of 22 riders was divided into 6 bunches with scratch chasing 4m, 8m, 13m, 16m and 32mins.
With a uphill start and strong winds the race appeared to be tailor made for the scratch bunch, however the 8min, 13m, 16m and limit bunches had a different Ideas.
With a strong tail wind up through the normally tough 20km ride through the hills to Dunolly, this allowed all the bunches to hold steady speeds to keep their advantage.
For the 2nd week in a row limit looked the goods at the turn for home at Eddington, however the 8m bunch had different ideas. At the crossroads the powerful 8m bunch led by Shane Wall after a stint in Europe had caught every group bar limit and had them in their sights. Scratch had caught the 4 min bunch and were combining well however the distance looked to great to peg back.
With Ricky Lovell, Shane Wall, Mick Lavery and much improved Robert Gartside driving the combined groups they caught Steven Bright the last man standing from the limit group with 5km to go.
In the sprint to the line Shane Wall triumphed over Mick Lavery from a fast finishing Pam Robertson in 3rd place. Rick Lovell was 4th, Gino Abbisogni 5th, Michael McCartney 6th, Nicky Rose 7th, Robert Gartside 8th, scratch led the rest of the field home with Hudson Crothers 9th and Mathew Grealy in 10th. Fastest time went to Hudson Crothers in 1:19:47.