Last Saturday afternoon saw the running of the popular North Dandalup Handicap, which saw nearly 70 riders race the 50 kilometres from North Dandalup to Dwellingup and return.
A handicap race involves all riders participating in the same race, regardless of ability. They are given a start time based on their ability, and if the handicapper gets it right, everybody is sprinting for the finish together.
With the race starting with a six kilometre climb, riders had to decide to stay with their start group or strike out on there own, if their start group were not strong enough. Of the early groups, only the group starting at 18 minutes was evenly matched and strong enough to reach the top of the climb with most of their riders together. This group had caught all the groups except one and gained a few new members in the process.
In the group two minutes behind, Wayde Brown charged up the hill chased by three other riders. Brown made it across to the 18 minute group before the top of the climb. A little later Paul George was only member of the chasing trio to join the now strengthen group. By the time this group hit Dwellingup they were at the front of the race and were never headed.
Behind them, none of the other groups held together up the climb, breaking into smaller groups. None of the small groups was strong enough to close the gap to the leaders. While riders made gains, none could get close.
On the return the lead group lost a few riders. On the descent into North Dandalup, there was eight riders. An early attack was brought back and then there was five riders sprinting. With Brown first, George second and Anthony Doherty third.