It was a tribute to the hard men and women of cycling, that 24 riders turned out for this handicap race on the Old Federal Highway. The temperature was 6 degrees and the crosswinds were 40+ kph.
The solo A grader had a 27 min 30 sec gap to make up on G grade, with each grade heading off at a gap time calculated to bring everyone in at once. Little did the handicapper know the awful conditions would break the bunches up before the first lap was done, and it turned into an individual time trial event, with handicaps.
Polly Templeton showed real form by stopping after the first lap for a long stretch, and then took off again before anyone else was in sight.
Terry Merrigan won the Real Hard Person of Cycling award by riding in a summer jersey and shorts as if it was a bucolic ride on a summer’s day in Ireland.
In the end Michael Brice (A grade) put in a blistering pace, completing the 36 km course in just over an hour and coming in 6 minutes ahead of Paul Hollings in 2nd place and Ian McVay in 3rd.
Congratulations to all the riders for getting out in those conditions. Thanks to the marshals Kevin Newhouse, David Dickson, Gillian Lugg, Peter Taylor and Ben Davis, and especially the turn marshals Kevin and Peter who stood out in the cold directing traffic and riders for two hours.
John Ignatius (Referee), Michael Brice (1st), Ian McVay (3rd)