Howard flashes home for the win
GRANT Howard dashed past Brady Ingram to win the Grafton Cycling Club handicap race at Pringles Way on Saturday.
Col Walters finished third with Aaron Watts fourth.
Craig Evers had the fastest time, with an average speed of just on 41kmh for the undulating 46km course.
The race was marred by a fall after 6km when a touch of wheels brought down Kelsey Wilkes.
Several riders abandoned the race when they stopped to see if Wilkes was okay, while some remounted to continue the race.
It was the strong bunch of Tim Noble, Walters, Ingram, Lachlan O'Reilly, Watts and Howard, riding off four and a half minutes after ‘go' and six and a half minutes before scratch, that was to produce the place-getters.
The bunch was able to stay together for the whole race, except for Noble, who worked too hard early and faded late in the race.
Mark Hackett was collected from his diminished bunch, two minutes up the road from the Brady Bunch and, at the third turn was working hard with Ingram, O'Reilly and Watts for the run home.
Behind them, the block bunch of Richard Harris, Garry Reardon, Bruce Phelps, Chris Cropper and Erron Hennessy was not able to make any impression on the young turks, two and a half minutes in front of them.
The scratch bunch of Evers, Howard Avery and Mark Gilmore had been significantly weakened by the withdrawal of Zac McKenzie, Dion Wilkes and the late start of Mark Rotunno.
Evers showed his power by eating into the advantage of firstly the block bunch, which he caught, smashed and discarded, and then the lead bunch which was in his sights as they raced for the finish. In the end, it was the solid working team that was able to hold off the individual power of Evers.
Howard was too quick for Ingram in the sprint, but it was a great team ride by the youngsters, O'Reilly, Watts and Ingram.