Windy conditions greet riders for Narrikup Handicap won by youngster Vince Bascombe

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Narrikup Handicap winner Vince Bascombe.
Camera IconNarrikup Handicap winner Vince Bascombe. Credit: Albany Cycle Club

A robust north-easterly greeted the 17 riders who contested the Albany Cycle Club’s Narrikup Handicap on Sunday, June 12, providing crosswinds for the length of the 36km course.

Being a handicap race, riders were sent off at intervals according to ability.

The wind, however, had an impact on the smaller groups, making it harder for them to ride as fast as the bigger groups with more riders to share the load.

Jill Bascombe and Shirley Thurston led the field, followed by groups at nine, 16, 17 and finally, off 20 minutes. The group containing Jessica Davidson, Michael Gardiner, Ollie Post, Jackson Pitman and Nathan Brown had the hardest task of the day trying to reel in all the riders in front.

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The Spencer Road course is an out and back, with several solid inclines in each direction but oddly, the descents rely on maintaining strong pedalling to keep up to speed.

The first significant ascent is at the 9km mark and it was here that the first real splits in the groups started to occur.

In the 17-minute group, Mike Staude gapped David Beckwith after the pair had gone out very hard trying to close the one-minute gap to the group ahead as quickly as possible.

Riders at the start.
Camera IconRiders at the start. Credit: Albany Cycle Club

That strategy backfired as both then ended up riding much of the remainder of the race solo even though Staude did eventually link up with the remnants of the 16-minute group for a while.

In the nine-minute group, Vince Bascombe (in his first road race for the club) showed promising form to pull away from Steve Maguire as the road tilted upwards.

The 16-minute group, having fought off the initial challenge from Staude and Beckwith, continued to work cohesively until the hills close to the turn-around forced splits and Porongurup winner Paul Gibson and then Paul McMurtrie went out the back.

The remaining four riders Matt Bascombe, Ryan McLaren, Ben Murphy and Jimmy Watmore worked together, chasing down the leading riders until the final sprint to the line

In the 20-minute group, the pace was also on with Davison pulling big turns and putting her counterparts under pressure.

This pressure eventually claimed Brown and then Pitman, and eventually Davison herself, leaving Gardiner and Post to push on with the task of mopping up the rest of the field.

As the riders approached the turn they were able to see the groups in front and assess their chances for the win.

Paul McMurtrie crosses the line.
Camera IconPaul McMurtrie crosses the line. Credit: Albany Cycle Club

On seeing youngster Vince Bascombe riding solidly, chasing his mum Jill and Shirley Thurston, it was clear that he was going to be very hard to catch.

Youngster Vince Bascombe crossed the line a minute clear of Thurston with third place taken by Murphy in a four-way sprint.

Matt Bascombe, in a close fourth, also surrendered brag rights to son Vince.

Fastest time on the day was Ollie Post in 1hr 5min. 29sec.

Jessica Davison was the fastest female in 1:06:42.

The next race is the Syd Harper Handicap at 2pm on Saturday June 25, starting and finishing on Frenchman Bay Road.

The ACC thanks the volunteers who looked after signs, timekeeping and registrations whose efforts are always appreciated by the riders.

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