Long time club supporter Richard Bailey today continued his sponsorship of the infamous "Harry's Handicap" which culminates in the notorious climb up to the carpark at Melville Caves in Kooyoora Sate Park.
In recent times the pain has been eased by a slightly shorter and flatter course than in days gone by, but a solid head wind for the whole 43 kilometres from Woodstock to the finish made it a tough outing. Thirty riders were spread over 35 minutes, two scratch and two limit riders book-ending the field. The scratchies were chasing a bunch of six and closed to within 35 seconds before the weight of numbers defeated them and their day was over fairly early. The twos, fours and nines all stayed intact without catching the bunch in front. The 15 minute bunch worked really well into the head wind on the road to Newbridge with some big turns from Tom de Vries. They had the 18 minute bunch in their sights and reeled them before Newbridge with just Ken Lacey and Toni Lindsay surviving the climb and managing to hang on. The limit bunch lasted to Rheola. Some very tired legs arrived at the Melville Caves climb. Tom, Pam Robertson, David Hare and Toni Lindsay were able to make a break and headed for the top, with Tom de Vries (15 min) just beating Pam Robertson (15 min) to the line, closely followed by David Hare (15 min) and Toni Lindsay (17 min), then came Ray Colwell (15 min), Wendy Bennett (15 min) and Ken Lacey (18 min). Leon Yeates (1 min) stormed through the field on the final climb to take eighth spot and record fastest time, closely followed by Gavin Hill (1 min) and Gino Abbisogni (9 min) rounding out the top ten.