Despite the severe weather warnings and heavy rainfall this morning, conditions ended up pretty good for the few who turned out for today's Sportsco Bendigo Handicap at Woodstock.
The race was reduced to the 35 km hotdog circuit to keep riders off the Maryborough Road in the wet conditions and give a bail-out point if conditions turned nasty. A couple of the limit riders thought the course had been shortened too much and decided to go all the way into Newbridge before turning around (the reason for the absence of a steward at the proper turnaround point is a whole other story), so they were overhauled well before they should have been. The small field meant small groups and second scratch suffered when one punctured in the first few minutes but they still managed to catch the six minute and limit bunches with ten kilometres to go. Scratch had everyone covered a few kilometres before the Maryborough Road turnaround with only a couple of the others managing to get on when they flew past. From then on it was all about positioning for the final sprint. Chris Landvogt went first up the middle of the road, opening up a decent gap while Brent Gibson - somewhat optimistically - looked for some help from the hangers-on before realising he would have to do it all by himself - which he did. Chris fought on gamely to finish close behind in second with Mathew Grealy completing the clean sweep of the podium for the scratch bunch. Murray Rankin (4 min) and Tony Coombes (4 min) were next home with Brett Williams leading the rest in a short while later for sixth. Thanks once again to Sandy Agnoletto of Sportsco for the sponsorship.