In the Club’s penultimate race before the Club Champs, riders set off from Balliang in the Brisbane Ranges in 6 bunches to contest the Footscray Cycling Club’s Harry Jones Memorial Handicap; the handicap format requiring each of 6 bunches to co-operate and push themselves to the limit to keep the chasing bunches at bay. Raced to honour 40 year tireless volunteer and servant of the Club, Harry Jones’ name places this sash high on the wish list of FCC Members.
Today’s format saw bunches head straight out of Balliang, head to the base of Granite Road, return to Balliang, complete a lap, head out and over the hills of Granite Road and return to Balliang for a final lap before crossing the finish line, and to add more spice to the mix, our Road Champ Dominik Dudkiewicz set off last on his Pat Malone, 1:30 behind 2nd Scratch. As it turned out, it was 2nd Limit who made the best of the race, catching Limit just before the climb over Granite Road; leaving most of Limit shelled; with one notable exception. Dennis Hobbs managed to hold on to David Procak, David Lane and Michael Hazeldine. This awesome foursome just powered along, rolling seamless turns, and maintaining a very healthy gap to the remnants of the other bunches in behind. In the end, David Procak out-sprinted his competitors by coming through in sight of the finish-line, although his victory salute nearly cost him as second placed David Lane came tantalizingly close to pipping Procak on the line, with Michael Hazeldine taking third place and Limit rider Dennis Hobbs a very creditable fourth.
At the presentation, after some emotional words in remembrance of the late great Harry Jones, Procak spoke of how this particular race was on his private radar. “Personally, when I saw the calendar at the start of the year, the Harry Jones Memorial was the race I targeted; and even though handicaps are a bit of a lottery as to which bunch gets up, the bunch I was in agreed to take time-trialling turns, and we worked really hard all the way. We caught Limit going out as we got to Granite, and at the turnaround I noted the bunch behind us were still 6 minutes off and I knew it was ours to win.” In behind, it was 2nd Scratch rider Miles DaCosta who took Fastest Time a few minutes behind the winners.
1st David Procak 2:20:17 (actual 2:13:17), 2nd David Lane, 3rd Michael Hazeldine, 4th Dennis Hobbs, 5th Vlad Djuric, 6th Glen Grbesa, 7th David Walker, 8th Michael Dam, 9th and Fastest Time Miles DaCosta 2:21:52 (actual 1:53:22), 10th Tom Moloney.