A cold foggy morning met the ride takers at Roberts Bakery on Saturday morning. A sedate pace was seen for the majority of the day with several big hitters staying away and Owen and Mick having a sedate ride prior to the Wagga Wagga- Albury John Woodman Memorial Handicap the next day.
On the road heading into Forrest Reefs, Owen and Mick could be seen bunny-hopping their way up the outside of the bunch, several riders drifting wide on a couple of corners had some shoulder and elbow contact just to remind them that they were there. 600m from the line, Mick went around Owen, lifting the pace some more over and above Mason Manwarring's efforts to make sure the bunch was well strung out heading to the 50km sign before the Tavern, with Owen on his wheel. With only a slight lift in pace it was expected that several riders were going to jump on the back of the train, especially Grant Roe, Andrew Foxall and Mason and potentially Ray Selmes. With 250m to go, Owen jumped clear and took the cattle station on offer.
After Forrest Reefs, the pace dropped somewhat heading around the back of Tallwood, although complaints could be heard about the starting of the sprint too early. At the back of Tallwood Foxy had a flat and it was decided to wait for him to fix it so all could ride back into town and the coffee shop together, but an attack was made by Ray and he headed on up the road. Once the flat was fixed, the bunch got rolling again and was joined by Joe Szpytko and made good time heading back towards Orange with a bit of splintering on some of the hills heading into Spring Terrace. Mason could be seen chomping at the bit to reel in the break away lone rider who attacked at the puncture. Getting through Spring Terrace, the junction was made and the pace was ramped up for a while.
Going past the Airport it was Gruppo Compacto heading into the Million Dollar sprint at Jack Brabham. Going through the dipper, Mick Troy decided to hit the gas and string things out before rolling off the front for 500m.
Going through the 80km signs on the outskirts of town jostling for position was made, with Owen driving on the front. Mick could be seen heading backwards to try and drag Mason to the front on the outside of the line of riders. Going up the rise it was Roe, Troy, Manwarring and Macphillamy with Selmes trying to get in on the action. Macphillamy came over the outside on the crest, Troy jumping on his wheel still trying to deliver Manwarring for the win. In the leadout for the line Manwarring was pipped on the line, having run out of legs, followed by Troy and Macphillamy.
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