The first day of winter produced the best weather we've had for a while and only a pesky southerly wind put a slight dampener on the 50 km trip from Woodstock to Newbridge, Laanecoorie and home via the Deer Farm Hill on Maryborough Road.
Numbers were up a bit on previous weeks and the handicapper was able to patch together four even bunches with a couple of smaller groups out the front. Third scratch, with a number of form riders, looked the goods right from the start and they didn't disappoint, rounding up all those in front by the start of Deer Farm Hill. Shane Wall's beautiful pacing up the climb guaranteed that scratch and second scratch wouldn't make much of an impression, despite these two groups coming together at the 30 km mark, and the leaders hit the home straight with no-one in sight. Shane Wall (6 min) proved his class by outgunning noted sprinters Ian Stringer (6 min) and John Weir (6 min) to register a fine win. They were followed home by Peter Ladd (6 min), Andrew Berry (9 min), Russ Gilbey (9 min) and David Hare (15 min). Paul Dalton had enough left in the tank after his epic Tour de Cure ride to lead the scratch bunch home a couple of minutes later in the fastest time, ahead of David Bakes (scr.) and Darren McKellar (scr.).