After a short layoff over the holiday period, Warragul cycling returns to both the track and road this coming weekend.
Track events will recommence at 7.30 pm on Friday while the summer road season begins on Saturday from the Burke St headquarters.
Track racing before Christmas was well attended despite some poor weather conditions and the successful Warragul Open meeting in mid December proved yet again what a wonderful facility the community has in the Warragul velodrome.
With the transfer to Friday night racing, rider numbers have increased in both senior and junior ranks and club officials are confident of further big turnouts over the summer. Local riders Kestle and Jackson have put in long hours training and are showing the benefit with excellent performances in the Christmas – New Year carnivals held around the state.
Kestle is preparing for the national titles to be held in Alice Springs with the pursuit events high on his agenda while Jackson’s efforts came after just missing the final of the prestigious Melbourne Cup on Wheels in a blanket finish before Christmas.
Along with these two boys, visiting riders from other clubs and several of the improving Warragul lads should produce some exciting track racing this year.
Of particular interest will be the expected improvement of some of the younger lads including Wright and McLean.
Club officials are also encouraging a big turnout of riders for the summer road series which will run through to Easter in April.
Following on from the enormous increase in numbers in the short spring series, it is understood that some of the less regular competitors of recent seasons have been spotted on training bikes around the town and are very keen to go.
Top riders Gallagher and Thomson have also been training hard and with last years improvers, including Radcliffe, Corkran, Fenwick and Nobelius, should see some fierce contests at the top level.
Several of the top Latrobe Valley boys are also expected to take part and, along with a fit Salton and Rowse, will see some great competition.
With Williams, Clark and Stuart Cuckson now in higher junior ranks, their enthusiasm will certainly keep the higher grades on their mettle and together with the strength of Hanks, Bolch and Melnyk, the bunches working hard.
This series should also see the return of a fit Ian Miller, Eerhard, Palm and Lester, and improvement from Watts, Mead, McRae and Simon Cuckson. Yeatman and Tampaline have improved their speed over the summer and with the determined Brian Miller, resuming Ian Fromholtz and the triathletes Pharoah, Robinson and Cairns should see plenty of entertaining cycling.
It is also expected that several of those whose first efforts were in the spring will show improvement with more experience and their involvement in the new series is eagerly awaited.
Among these are Standfield, Lorback, Vogrig, Malacame, Bailey, Mills, Grant, De Bruyne and our super veteran Ted Dunn.
Terry and Jan Kilday are strong performers in handicaps while Finlayson, Isles and Spunner are capable riders who have been off the scene for some time.
Sue Van der veen is turning in some top track performances and will again be hard to beat on the road. She is looking forward to having other females in attendance and is encouraging those who are interested to turn up for a trip with club members.
Youngsters Brett Miller and Travis Fromholtz are still eligible for the under 17 but, as both are very promising lads, will probably compete in open company and one would expect bold showings from both.
The juvenile ranks, now known as junior under 17, were swelled last year and it is hoped that all will return this week.
Keeble, Fleming, Boxall, Ritchie, Delany and Gumming were all very keen and showed a fair amount of ability which should blossom as they gain more experience.
Any other youngster wishing to take part is very welcome and encouraged to come to the Burke St netball courts to commence at 1.30 pm. Senior events are scheduled to start at 2 pm.
The presentation of the spring series trophies will take place after this Saturday’s road events and again an added attraction will be the spot prizes during the afternoon.
All cycling enthusiasts are invited to come along and enjoy the racing at the velodrome or on the road circuit – you might even like to have a ride with club members or just enjoy the entertainment.
Those on the club race committee are asked to attend a meeting this Thursday at 7.30 pm while the next general meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9.