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On another still and clear day at Modella, the middle markers made full use of the perfect conditions to deny the back-markers a chance at the big win. Jack Hickey (Avanti Plus Frankston) unleashed a devastating sprint to lead home the huge leading bunch, which contained riders from but the 6 minute, 3 minute and scratch bunches.
The evergreen Geoff Thompson was next home, with Wayne Howard getting the sponsor’s colours on the podium on third place. Brent Nelson (Croydon Cycleworks) and Brendan Rowbotham (Cycling-Inform) led the Scratchmen home just over two and minutes later.
The eight starting bunches were spread over 30 minutes to tackle the two circuits from Modella, through Longwarry, Garfield, Tynong, Cora Lyn and Bayles. Midway round the first lap, the Limit bunch led by John Groves had maintained half their initial advantage, but the 19 and 15 minute bunches had been overhauled by the hard-working 12 minute bunch, but most riders were able to stay with the growing bunch despite the lift in pace. Further back, the 9 minute bunch were making steady progress and had lost very little time to the 3rd scratch bunch, who in turn were just holding off the two back bunches.
Shortly after the completion of the opening lap, the surviving Limit riders were swallowed up, and by Longwarry the field had condensed to just four groups. The leaders, shown the way by ‘Thommo’ were 1’10? up on the 9 minute bunch. 3rd Scratch were a little over 5 minutes back, with the combined Scratch and 2nd Scratch bunch exactly 6 minutes down with 40 kilometres to race.
The outmarkers used their strength in numbers to hold the 9 minute bunch at bay until well into the final straight, but once the catch was finally made young Hickey made short work of the dash to the line, capitalising on a great lead out from team mate Liam Hill.
The Les O’Mara Memorial is run as a fund raiser for the Fusion Foundation, a charity supporting disadvantaged youth based on the Mornington Peninsula. Well over $1500 was raised for the foundation from today’s entry fees, the sausage sizzle and the sale of Tour de France memorabilia.
Thanks to Jae and the team at O’Mara Cycles for their support of the race, and to the team of volunteers who made the race safe and possible, including Ann Johnstone, Monika Imberger, Mel Nicholls, Doug Moody, Rob Koroknai and Sonia Throssell in race management, Darren Rowlinson, Emma Lyall, Anna Collins, Warren Howe, Craig Lewis, Steve Hickey, Nigel Kimber and Peter Kirkham on course construction and marshalling, and Jim Morey, Gary Lucas, Phil Randall and Jason Theobald for driving the lead and follow cars.
Full report with photos can be found here.
Les O’Mara Memorial Handicap Results
Saturday August 13, Modella
1 Jack Hickey CCCC 9 minutes 2:36:58
2 Geoff Thompson Warragul 15 minutes same time
3 Wayne Howard CCCC 12 minutes same time
4 Clint Van Beveren CCCC 9 minutes same time
5 Kurt Jensen Chelsea & Peninsula 9 minutes same time
6 Shane Young CCCC 9 minutes same time
7 David Randall CCCC 12 minutes same time
8 Kyle Thompson CCCC 9 minutes same time
9 Tom Quirk CCCC 9 minutes same time
10 Jack French Hawthorn 12 minutes same time
1. Brent Nelson Blackburn Scratch 2:09:36
2 Brendan Rowbotham CCCC Scratch same time
3 Leigh De Luca CCCC Scratch same time
Catherine McInernay Southern Vets 30 minutes
Jack Hickey CCCC 9 minutes
1 Jack Throssell CCCC
2 Georgia Cummings CCCC
3 Frank Hutton CCCC
4 Riley Nicholls CCCC
5 Cameron Helding CCCC
CCCC returns to Modella on Saturday August 27 for the Club Road Championships to be held over the hilly circuit. Click here for more details. If you’re available to help with marshalling or as a follow car driver, please contact Mal as soon as possible.