Another solid weekend of racing was had by the FFi Boys and the Orange Cycle Club.
Saturday saw a 90km Handicap. With the boys aim to help Mick Cain out as much as possible to get him up for the win. There was not much that the back markers could do here, when the scratch express caught up with block, rapidly making up the 1.30min deficit, there was a drastic lift in speed along the rollers heading into Ulan. Mick Troy was seen to be pulling turns and mixing it up with the scratchies at speeds approaching 60km/h on the flat. On reaching Ulan, the second block bunch could be seen up the road with Charlie and Owen being the driving force in that bunch.
Scratch was the driving force pushing the bunch into Gulgong where through several turns in the town, caused a big split in the bunch, and with the resulting cross winds pushing things into the gutter. This saw the end of the race for Charlie and Owen who were unlucky with several riders dropping wheels and just becoming too hard to get back onto the remains of scratch and block.
Not far out of Gulgong, scratch and block passed Rod "Rocket" Farrell's bunch, with Mick falling out an encouraging "Balls Our Rodney" but to no avail with speeds hovering around the 50km/h mark, getting on was a hard ask with the echelons and gutter riding.
Going up Poets Hill, with the pace on big time saw the end of Mick who called it a day and rolled the remaining distance home coming in some time after scratch with Owen, Rodney and Charlie rolling in some time soon after.
The obligatory Saturday night celebration carried on long into the night for some, while Owen, Rod and Mick decided to call it a night in the hope of reversing fortunes for the next day... Only to be woken up by returning members of the group staggering home throughout the night.
Sunday morning dawned, cold and wet. Never good motivation for bike riding. Rodney looked strong in B grade with 80km to cover in the morning but retired possibly smartly as the B grade bunch was plagued by crashes and punctures. It just ment Rod was able to watch all the other silly buggers riding around in the cold, wind and rain.
Mick and Owen were thrown in with the A grade, along with other local rider Timmy Guy, from the Heinrich Haussler Development team, Gus Tobin from Bathurst and Josh Apolony from Dubbo and Budget Forklifts Teddy Windsor, Connor Trot and Craig Hutton.
No crashes were reported in the first two laps where Timmy Guy was very active on or trying to get off the front, finally forming the selective brake on the first lap. Owen and Mick did a good share of the work in the following bunch, still trying to keep Timmy safe and then when Teddy bridged, the Central West was looking like being in the a strong show. At the end of the second lap of three, with the weather getting worse, Mick and Owen decided to call it a day only to find Teddy at the finish line with a puncture. Deciding to do what they could to try and get Teddy back to the chasing bunch, Owen dragged Teddy as far as he could, with Mick contributing one turn before having nothing left in the tank. Owen left Ted with 700m to close to get back onto the chasing bunch before heading for warm dry clothes and a return trip to Orange.