Scott Waters powers home for road race victory
The weather was the talking point for the latest race in the Mount Gambier Cycling Club’s Spring Road Series.
After the heavy rain and lightning in the area curtailed the final night of the current track series the previous Friday night, a gloomy and windy race around Kongorong seemed the order of the road race.
Three junior riders took advantage of an opportunity to ride the boards of the Adelaide Superdrome on Saturday in preparation for the State Track Titles this weekend, but were a little tired after returning home and were late scratchings for this morning’s event.
After anticipating up to 14 riders initially, 10 riders eventually signed on for the race, and some adjustments to the original handicaps were made.
Jen Buckland joined with Michael Dethmore to provide the chasers with an incentive and were first to leave, with Sandra Parsons, Spek Peake, Chris Neave and John Cranwell joining the chase four minutes later.
After a further wait of two minutes, Matthew Opperman and Elmer Buckland joined the fray, followed three minutes later by the final pairing of Craig Andrae and Scott Waters, returning to racing after a strong training block.
The loop around Kongorong is about 8.5km long, so it didn’t seem like too much time had passed before the leading riders came into view.
After the first of three laps, Jen and Michael were still setting the pace out in front, with the next group slowly eating into their lead. Matthew and Elmer settled into an early rhythm and by the end of that first lap the next group was well in sight, but Elmer pulled out as they passed the start/finish area with an ongoing medical complaint.
Further back Scott had proven to be stronger than anticipated and was chasing the groups solo, leaving Craig to the lonely ride out the back.
By the time the riders came past the start finish area for the second time, Spek, Chris and John had passed Jen and Michael to assume leadership of the race, with Sandra close behind, followed further back by Matthew, then Scott, and then Craig.
The wind was definitely taking effect as the racers splintered, the tailwind to the finish tempered by seemingly stronger head and cross winds around the rest of the course.
As the riders came into view for the final time, Scott Waters had passed all other competitors to finish 1st and fastest.
In the final burst to the line, Spek Peake’s early jump allowed him to stay ahead of the fast finishing Chris Neave to round out the podium positions, followed by John Cranwell, Matthew Opperman, Sandra Parsons, Michael Dethmore, Jen Buckland and Craig Andrae.