Buckley gets the job done
The seventh race of the Mount Gambier Cycling Club Spring Series, and the second race of the Country Post and Bistro Super last weekend.
With many junior riders at the track training weekend in Adelaide, and some senior riders succumbing to various ailments, a small group of eight riders nominated and signed on to race.
A strong south-easterly breeze would test the riders on the return leg of the flat out-and-back course along Mt McIntyre Road.
The first rider to depart was Jen Buckland, psyched up for an all-out time trial, doing her best to keep away from the groups of riders behind.
The next riders to depart were Sandra Parsons, Spek Peake and Chris Neave, seven minutes after Jen, but four minutes ahead of Elmer Buckland and Craig Andrae.
The final pairing of Jami Buckley and Patrick Langsmith waited a further two minutes before they began their charge to catch the riders ahead of them.
The ride to the turnaround mark was quite brisk, as the riders made the most of the wind at their backs, whilst also trying to ensure there was enough fuel in the tank to ensure that they could still put the power down when heading back into the wind.
Each of the groups made it to the turnaround marker intact, with the gap from first to last being whittled down to eight minutes.
Craig and Elmer saw that Patrick and Jami were quite close behind at the turnaround, so eased up slightly to allow the pairs to become a stronger group of four.
Unfortunately this did not last long as Elmer had to pull out of the race after 18 km with some back pain, a flare up of an injury during the past week, and the trio forged on ahead.
The next rider they encountered was Sandra Parsons, who had been dropped from her group, but was still working hard to try and get to the finish line in under an hour.
The road by this stage was now flat and straight, with all the riders able to see their target ahead of them on the course.
The trio of Jami, Patrick and Craig were catching and passing the riders ahead, until with 2km left to race they also caught and passed Jen, and became the front runners.
As the finish line came into view Jami Buckley powered away from his erstwhile companions and crossed the line first, taking fastest time honours in the process.
Patrick Langsmith arrived next, followed by Craig Andrae to round out the podium.
Jen Buckland was next to cross the line, followed by Spek Peake and Chris Neave.
Sandra Parsons was the final rider to finish, riding hard to the end, and making sure that she completed the race in under an hour.
Riders and spectators headed to the Glencoe Country Post and Bistro for refreshments and presentations. Thanks to the sponsors, the first three riders, fastest rider and first female to finish were presented with vouchers.