by Stuart Cuckson
Champion Warragul cyclist Wayne Kestle last Saturday took out the Victorian junior 3000 meter individual track pursuit title. In his pet event, the 18 year old Victorian Institute of Sport rider covered nine laps on the Northcote velodrome in a time of 3:39:39 to defeat Blackburn rider Duncan Smith by 11 seconds with Marcel Gono from the Footscray club third.
This outstanding result has confirmed Wayne’s position on the Victorian team for the Australian titles to he held in Alice Springs from March 27 to April 3. Wayne’s pursuit gold medal came after a bronze in the 1000 meter time trial last Tuesday.
Bendigo’s brilliant VIS rider Brent McCaig won his third title when he took out that event in a time of 1:10:05 ahead of Ballarat’s Randall McGregor and Wayne whose time was 1:11 30.
Wayne has had an excellent track season with several wins and close up placings at carnivals around the state. He capped the season well with three bronze and the one gold medal in the state championships. Well done Wayne and good luck at the nationals.
Saturday’s club racing took the form of a double header, with all senior riders following a 12kmkm individual time trial with a 30 minute criterium.
The junior boys rode a six kilometre time trial and a 300 meter sprint.
In an upset result, the hard working Rohan Watts tipped out some more fancied riders to take the A grade event in a time of 18.31 15. Second was Geoff Thomson some 10 seconds down with Stuart Cuckson third a further 45 secs back A big ride came from fourth place getter Ian Fromholtz who, although not well, came home strongly for a time of 19.26.60.
Ross Henry took fastest of the B graders with a 20.21.63, five seconds ahead of Peter Bailey and 18 seconds in front of Bruce Mason who was third.
Grant took out the C grade race ahead of Russ Walker (21.13.97) and Anthony Vogrig who rode for 21.16.11.
All senior riders then rode off together in graded criteriums which covered 21 kms. The main bunch moved along quickly at around 37 kph and as expected, the higher graded riders pulled away from several of the less experienced competitors. However four of the B graders remained in the bunch of 12 until the final lap in a strong show of improved form. Not to be overawed in higher competition. Bailey kicked up the King St hill inside the bell lap but was pulled in comfortably by the peleton. Also in a show of confidence, Mason led the bunch out of the final corner as riders shuffled for positions.
Experience told as riders went for home in a short sharp dash with Thomson zigzagging his way through to grab the lead and go on for a narrow but comfortable victory. Ian Miller got clear to take second just ahead of Wilf Tampaline with Paul Yeatman edging out Watts, Cuckson. Brett Miller and Fromholtz.
In placing third Tampaline took out the A grade event from Bailey who finished just off the back of the main bunch in a very much improved performance. Mason, Tony Lorback and Graeme Hanks who all missed the bunch when they kicked in the straight followed him in closely. Behind them, Brian Miller led in a fast finishing Ross Henry with Peter Standfield a further minute away.
The C grade finish was quite close after Vogrig had gone with the main bunch for almost eight km. Having over a minute on his rivals at one stage, he battled on well but was unable to hold out the solid finishes of Grant who put in a strong second last lap and Walker who rattled home to just miss victory. After producing her fastest 12km in the time trial, Marion Ophof battled on well in the criterium for fourth.
The points table is getting congested near the top with Phil Gallagher’s 47 still clear of Cuckson (41), Henry (40), Yeatman (38) and Bailey, Walker and Watts on 37 each.
Jason Boxall has moved clear on the junior table with his performances on Saturday when he rode a strong six km ITT in 11.26.12 and an excellent 28.28 secs in the sprint. He also rode well for a long period on the back of some of the criterium field and is showing the benefit of consistent riding.
Newcomer Stewart Hood turned in a fast first lap in the ITT and was a keen participant in his first attempt whilst John Dent returned to racing and although not 100 percent fit also put in two good efforts.
At the recent club meeting it was decided that, due to the lack of numbers, the track season should finish. It is most disappointing but without the support as the weather closes in, an early closure was decided upon. However the club Track Championships will be held on Saturday April 3rd in conjunction with the Summer road series wind up and presentations.
Further details will be made available to riders and members — the track will be available on Wednesday for training rides between 6 and 7pm until the Championships.