The first road handicap of the season was held from Outtrim on Saturday with very windy conditions buffeting the riders at some points. The race over 42km involved riding from Outtrim back toward Kongwak, including the steep climb on the Inverloch-Korumburra road before plunging down to Kongwak. From Kongwak it was over the hills to the Glen Alvie corner, through Korrine and on toward Wonthaggi before taking Lynnes Rd back through Wattle Bank and then returning to Outtrim.
There was a field of 26 riders in the senior race with 2 riders on limit at 13 minutes followed by a trio on 10 minutes. Back at 2 minutes there was a bunch of 7 riders, another bunch on 8 minutes and a scratch bunch of 6 riders. With all the hills and head wind early in the race the scratch bunch quickly chased down the 1 minute and 2 minute bunches before they moved on to the plains country. This suited the younger riders who were able to handle the hills with the result being a group of 10 forming out of the 21 in the 3 backmarker bunches. By the halfway mark the limit riders had been chased down and it was a quick ride with tail wind through Wattle Bank. The rest of the field followed along in either small bunches or individual riders.
The uphill run past the reserve at Outtrim to the finish line is a finish suited to the strongest riders. Visiting mountain biker, Neil Robinson, from Melbourne showed his position in the scratch bunch was well called as he took the win over Ronald Purtle and David McFarlane. The winning time was 63minutes 37 sec for the 42 km race. In fourth place was Eamon Feely, followed by Gavin Slavin, Tom Debenham, Phil Camenzuli, Tony Clark and in 10th place was Matt Dudley, a junior rider who started on the limit mark and put in a great ride.
In the junior race there were only 2 starters, James Scott and Thomas McFarlane. There race was from Outtrim out into the head wind along Stewarts Rd to the Inverloch-Korumburra Rd corner and back to Outtrim with the tail wind. James had a handicap of 5minutes and just managed to hold off the fast finishing Thomas (by 12 sec) to take the win.
Next weekend the club is promoting the Junior Experience state event. The Saturday racing will be at the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve whilst Sunday racing will be at Outtrim. The club anticipates around 100 junior riders between the ages of 11 and 17. Senior riders will race on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the Junior racing.