Race Report – President’s Handicap Wandi 4 October 2014

Ken Portman still has a sprint in his legs

Ken Portman still has a sprint in his legs

Last year Ken Portman at the age of 76 finished last in the President’s handicap. This year he and two of his compatriots from E grade started 20 minutes before the next group, which was a one lap advantage for this trio on the bumpy 8 kilometre Wandi Course. The trio completed their first lap, just as the next group of riders started. Next lap there was only two, Portman and Simon Stolton as they past the finish line, the ninth and final group of riders started.

On the road, the chase was on in earnest, the second, third and fourth groups, were caught by the fifth group, which swelled in number as the stronger riders from the earlier groups joined. After four laps the sixth group caught the fifth. The final group, had caught the group in front and was chasing hard.

With two laps to go, Portman had a small lead over Stolton, and a decreasing gap to three groups chasing behind. One the last lap, the seventh group caught the big bunch in front and the pace picked up, trying to catch the two riders in front, while staying away from the final pack of pursuing riders.

In the end, Portman was a convincing winner, improving on his time from last year by over four minutes. Stolton, put in his best ride of the season to stay clear for second. Calum Stirling took out the bunch sprint for third. With the final group failing by less than a minute to catch them.

Calum Stirling  sprints for 3rd place

Calum Stirling sprints for 3rd place photo by Peter Moyses