Report by Nick Cowie, photos by Nicholas Connan.
Peel District Cycling Club held its North Dandalup handicap race on 16 June.
This is a unique race on the club’s calendar with all 95 riders competing against each other rather than racing in grades.
This race started with a six-kilometre climb up Del Park Road, before an undulating 19 kilometres to Dwellingup, turning around racing the lumpy 19 kilometres back along Del Park Road, before the final six-kilometre descent into North Dandalup.
With a handicap, the start times are staggered, with the aim of all riders finishing at the same time.
Under 17 rider Mitchell Spencer was handicapped on his performances in flat windy races.
However, this was a very different race.
Spencer left his companions on the first climb, caught and passed all the riders ahead before the summit.
He did not see another rider until he was heading back from Dwellingup with a very healthy lead.
Spencer maintained that lead to winning by three minutes.
Tim Hopkins racing his first race with the club was handicapped on his age and experience and started three minutes behind Spencer.
Hopkins climbed as well as Spencer, leaving his group and catching riders ahead and by Dwellingup.
He was second on the road some three minutes behind the lone leader.
The climb quickly splintered most groups, with the strongest climbers from each group leapfrogging from the remains of one group to another.
The first group of riders working together to reach Dwellingup consisted of four riders who started in four different groups.
This group picked up a couple more riders on the return, but even working together they could not catch the two ahead. James Martin took third outright from the bunch sprint.
The last group to leave was the largest consisting of 12 of the strongest riders.
They knew the task ahead, needing to catch all 80 riders and worked well together.
The pace was too strong for some and they lost a few riders.
They also picked up riders from the groups ahead, though most were not able to hang on and only a few able to contribute.
It was from the remains of this group that Australian under 19 road race champion Tyler Lindorff outsprinted Conor Leahy to claim twelfth outright and the fastest time.
See the full results HERE
See the club racing calendar at pdcc.asn.au