Twelve eager riders fronted in perfect conditions for the 45km Loveday Cycling Handicap last Sunday and at the end most of the talk was about the superb performance of Matt Benson who started from scratch and won the event by averaging 39.5kmph. The race report simply closed with ”Wow”.
On limit were Peter Weston and Sue Lahainer and next away at the three minute mark Gordon Pipe, Angelo Ylia and Glen O`Brien followed by Lee Rasheed on his own at five minutes. Lee missed his own start by 25 seconds. There were two groups at the nine minute mark. Gordon Lawton, first time road racer Clayton Bond, and Tyler Stevens (accompanied by his grandfather Roy) had to complete three laps without being caught. Lee Stevens, and Shane Pitman had to complete all four laps. The last two to depart were Colby Jachmann and Matt Benson at 13 minutes.
Peter Weston and Sue Lahainer were picked up by Gordon Pipe, Angelo Ylia, and Glen O`Brien and they were all together when Lee Rasheed, Lee Stevens and Shane Pitman gathered them up. This was on the third lap and just before Matt Benson, who had disposed of Colby Jachmann, caught the whole group. They all stayed together for a time before Benson made his way to the front and attacked. The group splintered immediately with only Pitman and Lee Stevens able to get onto Benson`s wheel. However Gordon Lawton and Clayton Bond were still up ahead, but not for long, as Benson, in blistering form, dragged Pitman and Stevens along and the trio put Lawton and Bond behind them with about a third of a lap to go.
Now in the lead Benson needed to keep enough in the tank to take care of his remaining two rivals. Unfortunately Stevens got caught on the last corner by giving way to a car, the correct and safest decision, and Benson and Pitman headed towards the finish. As the race report said Benson “rode the legs off” Pitman to take a great win.
Final placings were Matt Benson first and fastest, Shane Pitman second, a disappointed Lee Stevens third, Lee Rasheed fourth, Glen O`Brien fifth and Gordon Pipe sixth.