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London to Sydney Marathon

5th June - 4th July 2004

Day 29 - Glen Innes to Port Macquarie


In the chilly early morning the streets of Glenn Innes came alive to the unmistakable sounds of the traditional kilted drum and pipe band. Competitors hurried away eager to tackle three more forest stages and 57 kms of full-on action on the penultimate day of the event.

TheFor some it was the signal to take things easy and preserve their position without taking risks, for others it was the opportunity to have a lunge and try and fluster the man in front in the hope of gaining a place.

TheMcAndrew and McRae traded blows again like a pair of prizefighters slugging it out with a vengeance. Jimmy took the first stage by three seconds, Joe snapped back with 17 second advantage over the second stage and Jimmy responded with 39 second advantage over the last stage of the day. Phew!!

TheBut meanwhile Graham Lorimer’s third place disappeared with a biff into a bridge going into the third stage tucking his front wheel inwards at a wry angle.

The“The surface was really slippery and it very nearly caught me out,“ said McRae. McAndrew’s co-driver Murray Cole said, “Joe had a quick grab at the hand brake to straighten it out otherwise we might have done the same as Lorimer.”

TheSo Lorimer effected repairs, took a stage maximum, and dropped to 4th place. That leaves the three Kiwi Hondas in the first three places, almost a cert for the coveted Team prize.

TheBut there are two stages yet to go tomorrow, the last one called Fat Lady. And as the New York burlesque theatres used to say .... it ain’t over ‘til the Fat Lady sings. And that will be the case for tomorrow.

TheWalking wounded from yesterday on the return – Gary and Rex Leeson repaired their gearbox and made it into Glenn Innes at midnight and to the start line but penalties drop them back to 14th.

TheLloyd Hughes in his battered Porsche 911 got most things pointing in the right direction and he surfaced in Port Macquarie determined to make the last leg in to Sydney.

TheFreddie Preston and David Harrison in their mangled Suzuki also appeared determined to get to the finish again – they both made the finish 36 years ago in 1968. “Four wheels are pointing the right direction so that’s a bonus,” said Freddie. more...

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