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Race Report – Halcombe Handicap 12th March

Race 3 of the Autumn Road Race series was run under blue skies and an easterly wind at Halcombe last Saturday.  With a better handle on the current ability of participating riders, it was a very close race in the end. A sizeable scratch bunch was split into two with the late arrival of Winston Briggs and James Denholm.  90 seconds between the two groups wasn’t enough though for them to get together a become a “train” which began mowing the earlier starters down.  A start of 6:30 to block (second last group to start) was not enough to keep scratch at bay, with a big group of riders forming on the downwind section on Makino Rd on the second lap.  Speeds of nearly 60 km saw some riders spun off the back.  The group started to catch the earlier starting groups on the ups and downs along Tokorangi Rd, and attacks from some of the A grade riders saw George Roberts, Steve Stannard, and Alex West get away with only a few limit riders still in front.  In the end, Alex managed a last ditch effort to catch Joe Caldwell right on the finish line to win the handicap, with Steve a few seconds back in third.  A very gutsy ride from Dra’s Caldwell saw him finish fifth just behind George Roberts.  Other notable rides were from Tom Pirie and Tom Stannard.  Ewan Cousins continues to impress by mixing it with the “big boys” (and girls) and holding his own very well.  In the one lap race for the young riders, Josh Mulchay was first across the line.  

Thanks to Megan Blatchford-Peck for managing the race on the day, and also to the other helpers.