FFi Riders Make for Wagga-Albury
Another weekend means another state race for the FFi Riders, Owen Macphillamy and Mick Troy. This time the John Woodman Memorial Wagga-Wagga to Albury. FFi riders Owen and Mick along with Charlie Gascoyne headed to Wagga for the Sunday morning start.
Owen and Charlie started together in the block bunch, giving a 6min head start to Mick, who was riding off scratch with the nearly 100 riders all in front of him spread out in four bunches over 26min. The race made its way from Wagga, through Culcairn and onto finish in the outskirts of Albury 140km later.
The weather on the day looked to be making it a hard day in the saddle with a roaring North Westerly, to prove to be a cross wind for the majority of the day.
The block bunch rolled along well, but never really got moving and losing it's 6min deficit to scratch by just after Culcairn. Mean while scratch behind them was rolling very nicely although several riders from scratch went out the back door quickly with a fast start made. Due to the wind, echelons were the order of the day, stretching across the road.
Several kilometres out of Culcairn, a touch of wheels in the block bunch caused a dominoes effect in the bunch sending riders left right and centre across the road, into the ditch and even into a paddock. This was to prove to be the end of the day for many of these riders, including Owen who broke a front wheel and suffered some severe gravel rash on his right hand side. He was transported to Culcairn hospital for observation. Things were even worse for Gascyone, who came down the hardest in the bunch and his right arm bore the brunt of the crash, resulting in a broken humerus in his right forearm. This saw him ambulanced to Albury Base hospital for further assessment and treatment.
As this was happening, the scratch bunch was a mere 50m off the back of the block bunch and had to ride around the strewn bodies. As contact was made between scratch and block, made for a large bunch with many tired riders struggling with the lifted pace. One of these riders, an Albury-Wadonga rider found the going tough when in the gutter and cought his front wheel in the dirt on the side of the road and tumbled along at over 40km/h. Troy was situated sitting on his wheel and had to take evasive action to avoid crashing himself, having to come to a stand still. This created a gap between him and the bunch that was just too far to close in the cross-head wind and unfortunately saw the end of his race too.
All in all for Orange and FFi riders, it was a very unsuccessful weekend when it could have proved good, with all the riders having good form and Mick's bunch getting up for the win at the end of the day.
Best of luck to Charlie on his recovery and hope too see him out on his bike sooner rather then later. Also hoping Owen's gravel rash recovers quickly.