Two Illawarra cyclists are looking to defy the odds when they compete in the 59th Ken Dinnerville Memorial Handicap race held at Albion Park on Sunday. The event is run by the Illawarra Cycle Club in honour of Ken Dinnerville, who died while riding in 1954.
Local favourites Scott Law, from the NSW Institute of Sport, and GPM-Stulz cyclist David Manton will race against each other off scratch. Both have their eyes on a win. First, they will need to work together to catch more than 150 riders, spread over half an hour, in front of them. If history is any guide, it will not be an easy task. It has been 15 years since a rider won the race from a scratch group.
Bringing his A-game after winning fastest time in last weeks Cootamundra Haycarters Handicap, Law said his talented team of NSWIS riders, including his brother Jackson Law, will bring the horsepower needed to catch the riders in front and break history.
“The handicappers have made it pretty hard for the scratch makers in the past and its been very tough for them to get up for the win, but this year I think it will be different,” Law said.
“In our team, we will have about six of us in the race which should help with the chase.”
Manton, who is also a member of the Illawarra Cycle Club, said, if a local scratch rider were to win, it would be “a pretty big deal for the Illawarra region and for the club.” He said handicappers do their jobs well, and make the event one of the region’s most respected races. Despite the frequency of middle and front marker groups staying away and uncaught, he said handicapping was fair and it was up to his group to work hard to have a chance.
“We’ve basically got to ride fast and consistently throughout the whole race, disregarding any other groups that we catch,” Manton said.
“As soon as groups combine and we get towards the finish, people start trying to conserve their own energy and sit on. That’s when the group doesn’t work as efficiently.”