The Central Victoria Veterans celebrated their 24th year today with the 35 km Anniversary Handicap at Woodstock.
The race got underway in perfect conditions despite the laptop throwing a hissy fit and the van being AWOL due to some nong (no names Muzz) flattening the battery. Fortunately the officials thrive on pressure and Robert Gartside graciously offered the use of his van, so no damage was done. The handicapper opted for big bunches and small gaps for the 36 starters which made for a different race, and it turned out to be a ripper. The eight minute bunch were early movers, catching both the 10s and 16s before Newbridge. Second scratch lost a few early, including one slipping off in loose gravel at the Powers Road intersection, and they were overhauled by scratch after 25 km, with Mathew Grealy and John McCague leading the way. Third scratch were next to go, leaving two big bunches on the road 5 km out. Sensing the danger behind, Carl Louchard broke away from the lead group taking Pam Robertson, Tom de Vries and Steve Auld with him, but their move came to an end when the scratch-led train roared past at the foot of Woodstock Heights. Ian Stringer led out before Stuart Laing jumped but, unfortunately for him, Peter Ladd gave John McCague (scr) a wheel to follow. John took the win and fastest time of 50 min 47 sec at 41.3 km/hr. Stuart Laing (2 min) capped off a great ride to run second, followed by Matt O'Toole (2 min), David Cripps (2 min), Murray Rankin (scr), Paul Dynon (2 min), Mathew Grealy (scr), Shane Thompson (2 min), Gavin Hill (2 min) and Shane Wall (scr.).