Orange CC Christmas Cup
The Orange Cycle Club held their annual Christmas Cup race on the testing and demanding Tallwood course on Saturday afternoon. The big event backed up with plenty money up for grabs provided by sponsors Bills Beans, Rossi Orchards and Hackets Butchery. Weather was not kind to any riders, especially for the junior race held prior to the main event which saw the young riders face tough wind, rain and even hail as they completed their one lap of the course and saw a great solo win by Holly Simons of Bathurst.
In the blue ribbon event, riders were faced with three laps and 56km of the testing Tallwood course. Dangerous riders in dangerous groups included Mick Cain, Manson Manwaring and Jeff Stewart. Further back Rod Farrell missed his start and was put back into the block group containing FFi Racing riders Mick Troy and Owen MacPhillamy, starting three minutes infront of inform scratch bunch of Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp), Blair Windsor (Budget Forklifts) and Angus Tobin.
Troy and MacPhillamy used their local knowledge of the course to put the pressure on the other riders in their bunch to whittle it down to 5 in the first couple of kilometres to contain themselves, Rod Farrell, Harrison Jones and Steve Bennett. Harry was struggling with the early pace set by MacPhillamy and Troy plus the issue of junior gears. With the left hander at the the Forrest Reefs turn, the boys picked up Grant Roe but had earlier dropped Farrell, so they were still five for the up hill and head wind slog to Forrest Reefs when Mick punctured, ending his race, leaving MacPhillamy to go on and try and hold off scratch and make it to the front. With Troy on the side of the road, counting time to scratch, the now two boys behind had not put much time into the block bunch with nearly one lap down.
MacPhillamy was left to do the majority of the work in the block bunch meaning that scratch quickly made up what was left of the three minute gap. After the Tallwood pinch, MacPhillamy drove the bunch, with Dean and Ted happy to sit. This helped close the gap down for the scratches but still left plenty of chasing as MacPhillamy dropped off the back of the bunch.
Coming into the finish, with 5km to go scratch still had several hundred metres to make up before catching the front of the race but with a big long last turn by Dean, managed to get his brother to the front of the race with 50m remaining, allowing Ted Windsor to get up for Fastest time of the day and line honours.