The start time of today's handicap race at Harcourt was brought forward avoid clashing with the Castlemaine Club's Ken Maddern Memorial and generally the riders thought the 12:00 p.m. start was a good idea - something to keep in mind when we program next year's races.
Twenty-four fronted up for the 34 km four-lap kermesse circuit in glorious conditions including try rider Alistair Gray who acquitted himself incredibly well in the second scratch bunch, combining with Andrew Innes and Darren McKellar to hold scratch at bay and overhaul third halfway around the third lap. Then dominoes started to tumble as the 10s caught the 15s and Garry Ford found himself in no-mans-land as the 7s split up. Despite losing a rider to a puncture, scratch collared second and third early in the last lap and the rest of the field with a couple of kilometres to go. Only a few determined souls could go with them over the last hill. Brad Geyer (scr.) won convincingly in fastest time from Jo Stolz (scr.) . Try rider Al Gray was third over the line but ineligible to claim, so Andrew Innes (2 1/2 min) took that spot ahead of Garry Ford (7 min) in a great ride, and Darren McKellar (2 1/2 min). Rob Gartside (5 min) led the rest home a little while later, followed by Andrew Berry (10 min) in 7th and Ray Colwell (10 min) in 8th.