LAST Saturday’s Skoda Christmas Cup didn’t disappoint.
The race, held at Forest Reef’s Tallwood Circuit, produced one of the closest finishes in recent memory.
Orange Cycle Club president Steve Martin said he had expected a good race but didn’t think it would be so tight.
“The top 10 were all within two seconds of each other,” Martin said.
“Because it was a handicap race, anyone could have won.”
In such races, riders are awarded handicaps based on experience and previous success, and are given a head start on the lowest handicapper in the race which was Bathurst’s Teddy Windsor.
Orange’s Matthew McGrath (ride time 1.27.07, handicap 11.00) finished first overall in the race.
“It’s Matt’s first year riding competitively with our club,” Martin said.
“I think he started riding about 12 months ago and with Saturday being a handicap race he did well.”
Windsor (1.16.54, 0.00) and fellow Bathurst rider Kirsten Howard (1.24.55, 8.00) were the fastest male and female competitors respectively.
Orange had plenty more success in the meet, with Matt Eyles (1.37.44, 19.00) and Laura Auberson (1.37.54, 19.00) winning their respective under 19s divisions.
Gina Browne (1.45.15, 23.00) and Robert Lowther (1.41.44, 23.00) also picked up category wins on the day.
Thirty-nine riders from Bathurst, Dubbo, Cootamundra, Bathurst, Mudgee and one racer all the way from Ballarat competed against the 37 Orange based riders, and Martin said he was happy with the turnout.
“We were expecting around 80, so 76 is right on par,” he said.
“They were from all over the place, and we had more Orange riders than we expected which was fantastic.”