While the 'Beast From The East' gathered strength over Siberia, the competitors in Fullarton Wheelers' Indoor Winter League chose instead to tackle the California Pacific Highway in the penultimate event of this year's series. Never has a Winter League been so closely fought, and Monday arrived with only questions: could experienced road-woman Catherine Logan take another win? Could Sean Barron make it nine out of nine and win the Winter League despite only weighing 47kg? Could Dalry-based speed merchant Scott Alexander McKendrick hold on to take the Handicap Title? Most crucial of all, could Stephen Cassidy, FWCC Secretary and expert Winter League Organiser, cope without able assistant Jim Seenan (who was holidaying in Spain)? Monday evening delivered the answers: Yes, Yes, No, and Yes. The California Pacific Highway proved a stern test for all the 28 competitors, despite the stunning virtual scenery. The outright winner of the event was powerhouse John Todd in a stunning time over the five mile course of 12 minutes 12 seconds. This puts him in first place overall with everything still left to play for. Sean Barron made it nine out of nine by once again winning the 'Watt per Kilo' award with a time of 12 minutes 32 seconds, enough for a third place on the night. Even more impressive is that a power output of 4.44 watts per kilogram is enough to rival an inexpensive Halfords e-bike. Special mention goes to Catherine Logan who delivered another superb woman's victory in a time of 15 minutes dead. Her position at the top of the winter league is now unassailable, and hearty congratulations on a consistent and powerful performance throughout. The results of the Handicap competition, however, were bittersweet. The winner of Event 9 was heart and lung transplant superhero Steve Donaldson with a time of 15 minutes 37 seconds. But let us spare a thought for Dalry-based semi-professional Scott Alexander McKendrick. For many weeks he has applied a novel and scientific training method, even to the extent of wearing special high performance underwear. In a quirk of the Handicap rules, rider Stevie Watters' superlative performance saw McKendrick tumble head-long down the leaderboard. The disappointment was palpable. Interviewed post-race, McKendrick said: "How do you think I feel? I’ve chased so hard only to be overtaken by an outsider, when the overall lead was in my grasp!" The special McKendrick high performance underwear (later revealed to be a pair of Marks & Spencer's ladies briefs) was hidden inside the Club Chairman's kit bag in disgust. The fun and camaraderie continues with Winter League Event 10 on the 12th March. After that – believe it or not – it is the start of the Summer League.