Day 2 of the Colwell Brother's Aggregate saw a reshuffling of the field following the big turn-out and hugely successful race yesterday, with close to 40 riders fronting up at Emu Creek this morning.
Scratch was bolstered by a couple of sets of fresh legs, but even so faced a daunting chase with three minutes to second and another three to third. Yesterday's placegetters with the biggest chance of taking out the aggregate were in the middle bunches and right from the start it was clear they meant business. Third scratch had the 9s in sight at the turnaround and rounded them up shortly after, then the 13s went next. Scratch were fortunate in having a snake-free ride today, relying on the front bunches to sweep up a couple of big ones on Axe Creek Road before they arrived, and caught second before the Exchange, but looked to be well out of it. Coming in to the last kilometres only the 16s survived in front but their glory was short-lived when a couple of big turns by Paul Dalton and Steve Rooney drove the 6s past them, thinning out the bunch at the same time. The sprint was a beauty as the two riders with points from yesterday went head to head with Paul and Steve shouting encouragement and advice in their ears. Robert Gartside left it all out on the track, literally, to win by the narrowest of margins from a gallant Dale Lowewith Steve Rooney, Murray Rankin and Paul Dalton completing a clean sweep for the 6 minute bunch. Pam Robertson (13 min) was next, followed by Cheryle Barker (9 min), Susan Jennings (16 min), Gary Johnstone (16 min) and Aileen O'Brien (16 min). Scratch stormed home and arrived half a minute later where Martin Banfield showed that he'd shrugged off yesterday's trauma to claim fastest time. Rob's hard-earnt victory today was enough to give him the Aggregate by just two points from Dale Lowe and Pam Robertson in a tie for second. Thanks to Ray and David for continuing their long-term support of this event.