Sunday 15th July saw the Te Awamutu Cycling Club running of the Schwartfegger, Glass and Messenger Cup Handicap Race around the Puahue School Circuit. Handicap racing for those that don’t know is like a seeded start with your slower riders starting first and your fastest starting last.
It's first across the line so the slowest riders have a great chance if they can work well together and make a go of it.
This year the conditions were terrible for racing, with wind and rain which suits the stronger riders. Limit (the first group off) started the day with a 28 minute head start over scratch (the fastest rider). Blair Taylor (BT) started in a break which is the second to last group on the road and with a strong group. They had a good chance of staying away and hopefully catching the limit group.
It didn’t take long to drop a few riders from the group and also pick up and pass others in front. They were getting time splits along the way with the group picking up a good amount of time and this got BT thinking; we had a really good chance of winning this race. With about 3/4 of a lap to go, scratch, which was down to 3 riders passed the group, which created a state of panic as they tried to get on the back hoping for a nice tow to the line.
With strong winds down Chamberlin Rd and Alex Heaney (aka Boheaney) riding at 56km/hr for about 5mins, the group was whittled down to 5-6 riders before hitting Long Rd. At this point BT's group still hadn’t caught limit, so there was work to be done. Up Long Rd, a few moves were made and it was the remaining scratch riders and BT left at the top. In the last 2-3km we were just hanging on and hoping to come up with the goods for the finish.
Boheaney attacked, leaving BT and Xander chasing but also dropping Josh Kuysten at the same time, so it was looking good for a podium and BT was hoping a little bit of foxing and some old wit, might get him on the second step.
As they hit the last climb it was apparent Boheaney was going to be the winner of the day, with the minor medals blowing up on the last hill with Xander (BT is nearly twice his age, maybe more) attacking leaving BT riding home for 3rd.
Great result as all 3 podium getters were Spoken Coaching athletes so something must be working!
To note: BT hit a few PB’s for the day, 20min power PB which was the last 20mins and most of that spent on Boheaney’s wheel.
Another great race run by our great club.
Handicap racing is a great way to learn about racing in a bunch and other skills you don’t learn in bunch racing, BT truely believe's there should be more of this type of racing.