Kyle ‘the gun show’ Gibbs makes it successive u17 victories in the Ernie Yates Memorial Handicap.
Receiving an eight-minute head start on the scratch markers, Gibbs made it to the finish line in a group of 10 consisting riders from the zero, six and eight minute groups. The scratch riders were only 57 seconds arears.
The ten riders to contest the finish included Kyle Gibbs (8 minutes), Sean Haddleton (8 minutes), Alan Hainsworth (8 minutes), Nick Kosanovic (6 minutes), Amanda Doolan (8 Minutes), Robert Bates (8 minutes), Bec Manning (8 minutes), James Clem (6 minutes), David Knight (0 minutes) and Meredith Watkins (0 minutes)
The race almost got away from the chase groups as Meredith Watkins (zero minutes) took what appeared an unassailable lead. Unfortunately for Watkins, she was caught with less than three kilometres to the finish.
In a glowing testament to Watkins’ determination, she launched a late attack after she was caught.
Not far behind were the scratch markers making large amounts of ground in the final 20km. As the headwind took its toll on the tiring legs ahead, scratch markers Ben Lawes, Zac Ryan and Ruth Corset had found themselves with a few helping hands heading into Keelbottom Creek.
Unsatisfied, Lawes laid down a formidable pace coming up the rise out of the creek, taking with him Ryan and Corset but leaving behind their short-lived compatriots from the chopping block and 12 minute groups.
Only a measly 57 seconds up the road was the lead group of 10 rolling in for their sprint finish. A tight battle ensued in the final meters as Kyle Gibbs prevented Sean Haddleton from a dream return to racing four years in the making, as the pair finished first and second respectively.
The smiling assassin, Alan Hainsworth, crossed the line in third place ahead of Nick Kosanovic and Amanda Doolan in fourth and fifth respectively.
From the scratch group, Zac Ryan was awarded the fastest time in an eye-watering pace of 55 minutes and 44 seconds. Ruth Corset, only a second behind, finished the race as the fastest female.
Gibbs’ win makes it the second successive year that an u17 rider has won Townsville’s most prestigious one day race.
When asked for comment on what this victory means for him personally he had one very profound statement to make,
‘I’ve just gotta go out there and emulate the great Ron Burgandy, “I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal.”
‘People know me. I’m very important.
‘I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.’
We can’t argue with that.
Congratulations to all riders and many thanks for participating.
Thank you to Steve Hedger and ATAC Pest Control for sponsoring the event.
The club looks forward to seeing you all again at our next event, TBA.