Last Tuesday’s twilight race kicked off in cool, windy conditions and riders were faced with the usual 25km out and back course and almost always, a head wind home.
The race started with 14 riders, four bunches and 13:30 minutes separating the field for handicapping.
The four backmarkers of Cristy Rilen, Glenn Jacobs, Neil O’Sullivan and Bret Bender started fast in the tailwind, making up 1.45 minutes to the next group of Jeff Hibberd, Michael Thomson, Adam Inness and Ian Baker just after the turn for home.
The riders combined well into the headwind for the journey home, only to miss the taste of victory by 20 seconds — a great handicap indeed.
The winning group of Kevin Bartlett, Brian Inness, Tim Brew and Glenn Christensen, starting from the five-minute mark, managed to pick up the remaining limit rider of junior Finbar O’Sullivan in the final kilometres.
As it came to the final sprint, Christensen launched a dangerously early sprint, managing to use his power and hold onto victory from fast finishing Finbar O’Sullivan with Brian Inness third.
First: Glen Christensen (five minutes)
Second: Finbar O’Sullivan (13:30 min)
Third: Brian Inness (five min)
Fourth: Kevin Bartlett (five min)
Fifth: Glenn Jacobs (fastest 39.30 min)
Sixth: Neil O’Sullivan (scr)
Seventh: Christy Rilen (scr)
Eighth: Michael Thomson (1.45 min)
Ninth: Ian Baker (1.45 min)
10th: Jeff Hibberd (1.45 min)
Saturday’s race started from Burgess Signs, taking riders around the Mitchelton loop course of 47km.
Twelve minutes separated the field with Kevin Bartlett and Brian Inness the first to start, followed by the eight minute, three minute and scratch groups.
At the halfway point, the two out marks combined and, further back, scratch and the three minute group also came together.
Sam Fuhrmiester (scr), Peter Cooper (scr) and Rilen (scr) did some very strong turns on the front early in the race and in the closing kilometres it started to show.
With the front group in sight, the scratch group could not quite get the job done.
Jeff Hibberd sensed the closing group behind and put the pedal down for the final few kilometres to claim the win.
Hibberd held on for another win ahead of co-markers Christensen second and Bender third.
Rilen was the last scatchman standing, finishing fourth and fastest time in 1:12:01 (average 39.1km/h), only 10 seconds behind Hibberd.
First: Jeff Hibberd (eight min)
Second: Glenn Christensen (eight min)
Third: Bret Bender (eight min)
Fourth and F.T: Christy Rilen (scr)
Fifth: Colin Morris
Sixth: Sam Fuhrmiester (scr)
Seventh: Ian Baker (eight min)
Eighth: Brian Inness (12 min)
Ninth: Adam Inness (eight min)
10th: Glenn Jacobs (scr)
Saturday’s race starts from Burgess Signs at 2pm.