Geoff Bennett Fitness sponsored today's 52 Km handicap at Emu Creek. Geoff and Wendy both hit the start line, bringing the total to a respectable 27.
Three big groups - at two, six and 10 minutes - looked to hold the key. However the three scratch riders had different ideas, changing the complexion of the race when they made contact with second on Exchange Hill the first time round. The sixes and tens also joined up early but the writing was on the wall when only five minutes separated scratch from the big bunch with 20 km still to run and just three or four of the limit riders out in front clinging to a small gap. Onto Axe Creek Road only a few were still hanging on to the scratch juggernaut. Leon Yeate's bid for glory proved to be mistimed (not to mention miscounted) when he unleashed his sprint but realised he'd gone one hill too early and the three scratchies took full advantage of his mistake to score a well-earned trifecta. Martin Banfield won and recorded fastest time of 1 hr 20 min 29 sec in front of Brad Geyer and Kris Gill. Leigh Norton led the hard-working second scratch group home to come fourth, ahead of Tony Byrne, (2 min), sponsor Geoff Bennett (2 min), Ian Stringer (6 min), Scott McManus (2 min), Leon Yeates (2 min) and Mick Lavery (6 min).