The Gippsland 3 Day Tour

11/06 – 13/06/2005

The Gippsland 3 Day Tour, was run for the 31st time over the June long weekend.  Jointly hosted by the cycling clubs of Gippsland, including Bairnsdale, Latrobe City, Leongatha and Warragul, it is an opportunity for the clubs to compete in friendly rivalry and a rare opportunity for team tactics to be used to protect leaders or assist the top riders from your club collect bonus points on offer across the weekend.  The event is renowned for its brutal racing conditions, and this year’s first stage, hosted by Bairnsdale, seemed to live up to its reputation.  Rain poured from midday onwards, with cyclists huddled in the Lindenow Public Hall hoping the start delay would allow the storm to pass over.  It was not to be, as the marshals finally arrived and racing commenced with soaked cycle booties weighing down all riders.

Warragul’s B grade team took a flying start with Chris Beales collecting the first sprint points, who then continued on solo for a break which lasted almost 50km.  His run finally ended in the final kilometres, allowing his fresh-legged teammates to make their mark in the bunch finish.  Geoff Thomson took the stage win.

In C grade, Rob Monk was the early aggressor, collecting both sprint points up for grabs, and Nicole Whitburn collecting the first KOM.  David Baillie took advantage of a lull in the race to break clear with Latrobe City rider, Greg Hunt.  With few riders from the Leongatha and Bairnsdale clubs to pull back the break, the two stayed away, with Baillie collecting the stage win.  In the bunch finish behind, Rob Monk sprinted into 3rd place, followed by Nicole Whitburn.  In the women’s division, a hypothermic Lawrence Maskill worked on some solo time trialling before accepting a ride back into town.

Sunday’s stage was hosted by Warragul at the Shady Creek circuit.  With the skies clear and a good turnout to see the riders off, spirits were soaring. The bunches were all now aware of who to watch, with many calculating the differences in the points tables and estimating the values of securing a KOM or intermediate sprint point on offer.

In B grade, Chris Beales’ good run ended with two punctures.  This allowed Chris Hunt to fly the Warragul flag, attacking the pack on the descent of the Shady Creek climb and continuing along the Nilma North flats.  He was not seen by the field again for the rest of the day, collecting a well earned stage win, with Geoff Thomson collecting more points and Luke Hanley sixth.

In C grade Dave Baillie was again the man to watch, who quickly made it the man to chase after attacking 3km into the race on the first climb of the Shady Creek hill.  By the second lap his effort again forced the peloton into chase mode, but this time only four riders could stay with him.  Together they put distance on the chase packs behind, but on the final ascent of Shady Creek only three remained, with Monique Hanley a casualty from the sprint for the KOM points.  Leongatha’s Neil White took the stage win, with Dave Baillie third and Monique Hanley fourth.

Monday’s final stage was held in Leongatha and included the infamous Marden circuit featuring a leg sapping 6km climb.  B and C grade and the womens section were scheduled to complete one lap of the 38km circuit, with A grade completing two.  With only KOM and finish line points on offer, the challenge of mid-race points calculations was significantly reduced.

In B grade, Geoff Thomson was the man to protect and with Tim Lee, Chris Beales, Pete Bailey, Ross Henry and Luke Hanley providing the necessary support, Thomo was able to save his legs for the final sprint, which netted him 2nd place and the overall Tour win.

Thanks to Neil White’s efforts at Shady Creek in C grade where he collected all intermediate points on offer as
well as the stage win, some significant riding from Baillie would be required to reclaim the overall lead.  However, the first two stages took their toll on Baillie, and despite the best efforts of support from Rob Monk and Nicole Whitburn, it was not to be.  In a bunch sprint on the uphill finish Rob Monk put the gear into the 11 and roared across the line to take out the stage win over White, with Whitburn fourth and Baillie fifth.  In A grade, Warragl riders Dave Salton and Ben Serpell put in some serious turns to bring back the unassailable lead of Latrobe City ride John
MacKenzie.  In the end, MacKenzie was too strong for the field, winning the Tour with a one minute margin to Melbourne’s Mark Howard.

A-Grade B-Grade C-Grade Women Juniors
Time Down
          John Mackenzie
01:07  Mark Howard
01:21  Chris D’Amelio
01:26  Nathan Wise
01:28  Charles Howlett
01:33  Russell Edgar
02:27  Jim Peachey
04:39  Darren Cathie
04:53  Julian Dutton
05:26  Phil Grant
07:18  Brett Franklin
09:17  Ben Serpell
09:19  Jim Timmer-Arends
09:19  Dave Shanahan
09:19  Scott Brown
10:18  Peter Knight
10:31  David Salton
10:55  Justin Davis
15:31  Colin Aitken
39:45  Allen Timmer-Arends
DNF    Ben Jackson
DNF    Jordan James
DNF    Andrew Burke
DNF    Tyrin Simpson
DNF    Chris Ott
DNF    Darren Spiteri
DNF   John Kohler
KOM – Russell Edgar
Sprints – Mark Howard


30  Geoff Thomson
26  Scott Jensen
18  Dave McFarlane
15  Alan Beveridge
10  Peta Mullens
9   Chris Beales
6   Wayne Collins
5   Peter Bailey
5   Brianna James
4   Tim Lee
2   Peter Laws
2   Ross Henry
0   Christine Foster
0   Luke Hanley
0   Gemma Goyne
DNF Shane Dove
DNF Dean Mackintosh
DNF Andrew Harrigan
DNF Chris Hunt
KOM – Scott Jensen
Sprints – Geoff Thomson
38  Neil White
33  Greg Hunt
26  Rob Monk
24  David Baillie
11  Nicole Whitburn
7   Monique Hanley
2   Ian McConnell
1   William Pace
1   Mick Hall
1   Steve Janson
0   John Kirk
0   David Speirs
0   Chris Dungey
0   Travis Parker
KOM – Greg Hunt
Sprints – Neil White
40   Lindsay Brown
31   Jenny McConnell
30   Emma Beveridge
10   Rebecca Hanning
DNF Judith Cahill
DNF Lawrence Maskell
KOM – Emma Beveridge
Sprints – Lindsay Brown
24  Stuart Smith
17  Eamonn Feely
15  James Henry
11  Nick Aitken
6   Samuel Beveridge
5   Ben Wight
0   Matt Mullens
0   Andrew McKernan
0   James Whitehouse
KOM – Stuart Smith
Sprints – Stuart Smith

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