The 65 kilometre handicap at Woodstock today was run in perfect spring weather, although the great day for racing was marred somewhat by a crash in the last few hundred metres which saw Neil Blakely carted off to Bendigo Hospital with nasty skin abrasions but hopefully no breakages or other serious damage. We'll post updates on his condition when they become available.
The small field was split into several large bunches for the loop from Woodstock to Newbridge, Bridgewater, Llanelly and back home. The scratch bunch had their work cut out chasing a big group of seven with five minute's start, the task made even harder when second picked up third scratch at Bridgewater and rounded up the 15 minute bunch a long way out after dodging snakes, water and potholes on the Bridgewater-Llanelly Road.The big leading group was well clear of scratch coming into the last few kilometers, forcing the four chasers into team time-trial mode with riders peeling off in an effort to launch Martin Banfield across the gap. In the end they fell just short after the leaders stopped looking at each other and hit out for the sprint. John Weir was first to launch followed by Neil Blakely and Paul Dynon. Neil touched a wheel and went down, but the rest of the field stayed upright. Paul Dynon (5 min) took the win in 1 hr 41 min 9 sec at 38.5 km/hr by a wheel from Murray Rankin (5 min), with John Weir (5 min) and Ian Stringer not too far back. Pam Robertson (15 min) hung on gamely for fifth ahead of Chris Draper (10 min), Greg Chapman (10 min) and Ricky Lovell (15 min). Martin Banfield finished just 18 second back to take 9th and fastest time of 1 hr 36 min 27 sec at 40.3 km/hr from Peter Cavallaro (scr.) in tenth.