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I found this story about the cycling classic as my husband was very involved in this race and it was a highlight for him that Brian Lynn won the Gore to Invercargill classic.
With 14 years riding and fastest time in 1948 and 1949 Dunedin's Brian Lynn said he felt 'more hopeful' when he realised he would not be riding on a handicap as in his previous 10 attempts. When he saw he was going to start from the 10min mark Lynn was modest in his win saying it was to the credit of his win was for the four other members of his bunch. The five rode as a unit and soon caught the limit men early and with B. Toomey (11 min) went on to have the finish to themselves.
Lynn finished too quick for S. McKenzie who was second in 1952 and won by a good half length. Toomey a first year rider of great promise, fought on doggedly for third, inches clear of the next three. Making his fourth attempt and third from the scratch mark, 18 year old John Holloway, of Invercargill outsprinted his co-marker, Dunedin's Kelvin Hastie, for time honours. He covered the journey in 1hr 26 min four minutes outside the record of 17 years of M. Manson, Dunedin.
These two dropped R. Howie and I Fraser the other scratch men after only 11 miles and rode on strongly in a vain attempt to catch the men in front of them. They worked well together and it was only Holloway's superior sprint that carried the day. In spite of their effort they gained only 15 sec on the break (2min) bunch which had been carried along and led by the 'flying greek', A. Panagiotidis
Favourable conditions for the race caused handicapper, R. O'Connor, the only man to win the race twice to declare the tightest limit ever in this, the 27th time the classic had been raced. The front men rode of 12min and this even proved too much for the scratch men with two strong bunches in the middle of the handicap. Holloway and Hastie were up and down on the break men for most of the race. Holloway said afterwards it was in the slight head win over the last 20 miles that they had gained a fraction. He also paid tribute to Hastie with his perfect team work which led to their success.
Panagiotidis that gained third fastest time, rode a magnificent race, expecting by many to throw it in when the pressure was applied, he surprised by riding the fastest laps himself, gaining 30 yards on the testing Edendale Hill, and the outsprinting his own bunch.
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