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Strong finish helps Dal Pazzo claim victory in annual Kees Glorie Handicap

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Kees Glorie Handicap winner Brett Dal Pazzo.
Camera IconKees Glorie Handicap winner Brett Dal Pazzo. Credit: Albany Cycle Club

The first handicap road race of the Albany Cycle Club’s 2022-23 season, the Kees Glorie Handicap, was held on December 17.

Dating back to 2009, the race is held in memory of Kees Glorie who was tragically struck and killed while out riding.

Sadly, another former winner, Arjen Ryder and his wife Yvonne, were victims of the MH17 disaster in 2014.

Held on the lumpy Two Peoples Bay-Nanarup course over 48km, riders were greeted with a rather robust easterly tempest, one that had been hammering this part of the coast for some time and which threatened to turn some of the lighter riders into bike-shaped kites.

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Given the strength of the wind, the race was always going to be a test of strength and endurance.

Di Fry, continuing her transition from the dark and dirty world of mountain biking to the glitter and glam of road, started off “go” with Lucy Wellstead for company.

They were followed at four minutes by Brett Turbill and Paul Terry and then groups at 12, 13 and 14 minutes, with the scratch group of Brett Dal Pozzo, Brent Schoof and Vince Bascombe off 17 minutes and they had a hard chase ahead.

Top three Ryan McLaren, Brett Dal Pazzo and Vince Bascombe.
Camera IconTop three Ryan McLaren, Brett Dal Pazzo and Vince Bascombe. Credit: Albany Cycle Club

With three groups setting off in close proximity some tactical decisions had to be made — go hard and try to stay away or wait for the following groups and take your chances in a bigger bunch with more people to share the load, running the risk that the pace from behind might not be sustainable.

By halfway out to Two Peoples Bay the three middle groups were together with the bulk of the work into the headwind being done by the 13 and 14-minute groups and the 12-minute bunch looking to keep the elastic from snapping.

With the turn came relief from the wind but also a long climb back to the turn to Nanarup.

On one of the steeper sections, Mark Guerin and Dave Beckwith drifted off the front and opened up a gap that had them starting to believe in miracles.

However, just as they were starting to eyeball the front of the race there was a whoosh from behind and Dal Pozzo came steaming through at a pace that offered no chance of hopping on for the ride.

Behind Dal Pozzo, a group of four, Vince Bascombe, Colin Ashton-Graham, Mike Staude and last year’s winner Ryan McLaren, tried to limit the damage and organise a cohesive chase.

However, it wasn’t long before four became two and two; McLaren and Bascombe having the stronger legs but not strong enough to dent Dal Pozzo’s lead which was stretching with every kilometre.

Behind the front riders, Brent Schoof, Russel Hart, Beckwith and fastest female on the day Jessica Davison came together and worked efficiently to nearly close down Staude and Ashton-Graham.

Behind this group the race had splintered into ones and twos with riders grateful to see the finish line after a tough morning on the bike.

There was no doubting the winner Dal Pozzo who completed the 48km course in 1hr. 17min. 47sec. at an average speed of 37km/h.

Vince Bascombe was second having started his sprint a long, long way out and outlasting McLaren in third.

The ACC thanked the volunteers who did the signage, sign-on and timing.The next event is the Big Cheese gravel ride in Denmark on Australia Day.

There is a hilly time trial on February 4 at Two Peoples Bay. Handicap racing resumes on February 18 with the Teardrop course in Denmark.

Check the club’s Facebook page for race details.

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