Toireasa Gallagher Women’s Handicap Cup Race 19 Nov 2017

By Road Sub-Committee - November 22 2017

Toireasa Gallagher Women’s Handicap Cup Race 19 Nov 2017

The 10th annual Toireasa Gallagher Women’s Handicap is an annual event run by Bathurst Cycling Club. This year’s event saw a field of 14 riders take part in the 25km race from Perthville to Cow Flat, finishing at Georges Plains. Fine but windy conditions greeted the 14 starters. Wind gust between 28-41kph saw many riders challenged by the blustery conditions.

The field consisted of 10 Bathurst ladies who have race experience and 2 other local ladies Fran Walker and Rosemary Withford who are part of the Bathurst Bike Bugs group and only compete once each year in this race. Also attending were 2 Dubbo ladies, Heather Ticehurst & Sarah Gordon who made the trip to Bathurst to show their support for our annual event.

The front marker, Robyn Partridge the first to start the race 16 mins ahead of the scratch marker, set a cracking pace to challenge the field and was looking like a top 5 finish until she was caught with only 5km to go. Rosemary Withford and Fran Walker, who started off a 10 min handicap, combined well to switch from their usual social rides to being early co-markers in the race. They chased Marian Renshaw, Clair Kirby & Rosemary Hasting who had started off an 8 min handicap and caught them on the Cow Flat climb to the quarry.

Another strong group of riders Jill Harris, Toireasa Gallagher & Donna Scott who started off a 13 min handicap, caught the bunch of Jasmine Lee, Sarah Gordon & Kalinda Robinson at Guestingthorpe Rd. At this point Jill Harris, who is showing fine form after her recent return to racing, broke away from the other riders but was chased and joined by Kalinda Robinson.  Bathurst junior rider Kalinda is riding strong at the moment and eagerly took up the challenge of the chase. They combined to form a strong duo that rode away from the rest of the field up to the turn-around at the Quarry. This partnership was set to be one for the rest to chase but unfortunately Kalinda got a flat only 3kms later. This left Jill to fight hard by herself for the rest of the race.

The duo of Donna Scott and Toireasa Gallagher were now left to chase hard and close the gap to the break created by Jill Harris. These two rode hard swapping off turns to close on Jill down St. Johns road.

Solo scratch rider Kirsten Howard, who started last with a 16 min handicap, had her eyes set firmly on victory. By the quarry turn around she had caught 50% of the field & was riding very strong. She caught the remainder of the field including Jill Harris by the Newbridge turnaround where there was still 7km to the finish. Kirsten cruised home for the victory, covering the course in a time of 40:40 min:sec at an average speed of 37.4 kph. This is the second time Kirsten has won the women’s trophy, the first in 2010.

Jill Harris continued her hard-solo ride to secure 2nd place only 15 secs ahead of Donna Scott 3rd and Toireasa Gallagher 4th who both had chased hard to catch Jill. Rosemary Withford took 5th place and Fran Walker was 6th. Rosemary Hastings was 7th, Marian Renshaw 8th, Robyn Partridge 9th and rounding out the top 10 was Clair Kirby. Jasmine Lee was 11th, Sarah Gordon 12th and Heather Ticehurst 13th.

The Women’s Cup race was a great success with 14 riders entering the race this year. There were smiles all round and the club hopes to have this much support again next year.  

The results of Sunday’s race are attached (HcpResults.pdf). Also attached are the ranked race times (ScrResults.pdf).

Acknowledgement: Contributions to this article by Toireasa Gallagher, Rosemary Hastings and Donna Scott.


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