Day 1 of the 2 day Colwell classic was a cracker of an event with a Group handicap over the rolling hills at Harcourt. 28 riders rolled to the line for the unfamiliar format that provides many riders an opportunity to pick up points.
Whilst still a handicap each bunch was able to gain points in their individual handicap. The handicapper broke the field into 5 groups of 18mins, 10mins, 8mins, 5mins and Scratch.
At the Elphingston turn the 18min group lead by Lindsay Williams still had a commanding 6min lead over the super strong 5min group who at the turn had caught the 8 and 10min groups. Andrew Innes a notable man for the hills was working hard with Darren Jones, Darren McKellar, Tony Byrne setting a cracking pace. Scratch were only 3mins down at the turnaround with Brendan Schultz Banfield and Gibson driving Scratch into what should have been a winning position.
However the 18min bunch with Williams, Di Jane and Aileen O’Brien refusing to lay down only to be caught on the outskirts of Harcourt and 6kms to go.
The 5min bunch and those few riders who could hang on made it up the hill to Nth Harcourt turnaround giving them only the the last 3kms of fast downhill to the finishing line. In the end it was a 3 up sprint with Darren Jones winning convincingly ahead of Darren McKellar and Tony Byrne for the overall race win. It was then a tight 3 up sprint for fastest time with Brendan Schultz nudging out Martin Banfield and Brent Gibson
Bunch placings are as follows:
(18m) 1st Di Jane 2nd Lindsay Williams 3rd Aileen O'Brien.
(10m) 1st Sydney Anstee 2nd Shane Delavedova 3rd Steve Auld
(8min) 1st Ian Stringer 2nd Neil Andrews 3rd Paul Dynon.
(5min) Andrew Inness 2nd Rob Robert Gartside
(Scr) 1st Brendan Schulz 2nd Martin Banfield 3rd Brent Gibson.
Tomorrow’s event is a handicap at Emu Creek 10am start. 32kms.
Thanks again to David and Ray Colwell
For their generous sponsorship over the past 24 Years.
Points for overall today 11, 10 and 9. Points. For the bunch placings 6, 5 and 4. Points