Funny thing, there were as many volunteer officials and spectators at today's handicap as there were bike riders.
Might have had something to do with the howling head wind virtually the whole 44 km from the start at Newbridge to the finish in downtown Bealiba, with the added bonus of a trip up Mount Moliagul thrown in. The small field was thinned out even more by a couple of punctures early on. Scratch and the three minute bunch quickly came together and almost as quickly started to shed riders as they chased hard. The 26s were working well and had maintained their lead over the chasers until Mt. Moliagul when Jim Field and Aileen O'Brien started making significant inroads. Aileen set off by herself in the last couple of kilometers and closed to within a few hundred meters but couldn't chase down the leaders who worked beautifully together right to the line where Steven Bright (26 min) led Di Jane (26 min) home for the win. Aileen (22 min) capped off another great ride to run third with Jim Field (22 min) holding on for fourth ahead of scratch riders Mathew Grealy (5th and fastest) and Darren McKellar (6th) who finished just a minute and a half behind the winner. Cheryle Barker (7 min), Ray Colwell (7 min), Steve Auld (7 min) and Shane Thompson (3 min) filled the rest of the places. Everyone who raced deserves a big pat on the back for finishing a very tough day in the saddle.