Inspired by the Giro and Tour de Suisse, the vets went mountain climbing today.
Some might say Mt. Moliagul is not in the same league as the Italian or Swiss Alps, but for the 24 riders who fronted up at Newbridge in bitterly cold conditions, it was just as big a challenge, made even harder by 25 km into a block head wind on the first part of the 56 km circuit. Scratch had a big challenge chasing down the four minute gap to second, and it was made even harder when second gathered up the 7s just over Mt. Moliagul and the 9s not long after. The 14s were the next to fall and, with the two small limit bunches finding the going pretty tough, the big bunch hit the front of the race a long way out. Even with a good tail wind the bunch was whittled down as second scratch kept driving hard to stay clear of scratch. About ten riders lined up for the downhill finish, Andrew Berry, Steve Bilton, Terry Schintler and Murray Rankin keeping the pace high. Brett Williams jumped a long way out to open up a seemingly insurmountable gap, but Brad Steigenberger (9 min) lit the afterburners and flew past to record a convincing win from Brett (4 min). Tom de Vries (14 min) infiltrated the second scratch lead-out train to run third ahead of Geoff Bennett (4 min), Steve Bilton (4 min) and Murray Rankin (4 min). Next came Mick Lavery (7 min), Peter Ladd (7 min), Pam Robertson (14 min), and Terry Schintler (7 min). Scratch arrived a little while later after taking a wrong turn at Llanelly, with Martin Banfield recording fastest time.