If you ordered a perfect day for a bike race at Woodstock, you would ask for today - sunny and cool with just a light breeze.
No wonder there were 32 starters for the 47 km trip around Newbridge and Laanecoorie including Jim Field and Gary Ford making welcome returns after a long break. Scratch was bolstered by Darren Lapthorne in his first weekend Vet's race. They faced big gaps out to the 4, 8 and 11 minute bunches. Third scratch had the biggest numbers which helped them pick up the 11s the at halfway mark and, not long after, the 15s and 18s who had joined up just through Laanecoorie. Scratch and second were now chasing a big working group, making their task almost impossible despite them coming together at the Newbridge turn. The leading bunch was whittled down to about a dozen in the final kilometres and had the luxury of lining up for the sprint with scratch nowhere in sight. Geoff Bennett kicked off proceedings with a long leadout, then Tony Coombes and Brett Williams took over, leaving the inside running clear for Murray Rankin (8 min) to sneak through and score a narrow win from Chris Draper (8 min). Brett (8 min) held on for third ahead of David Cripps (8 min), Greg Chapman (11 min), John Weir (11 min), Peter Ladd (11 min), Matt O'Toole (8 min) and Steve Auld (15 min). Back behind them, Brent Gibson and Darren Lapthorne had jumped clear from the rest, Darren recording fastest time of 1 hr 06 min 45 sec at an impressive 42.4 km/hr.