Warragul Cycling club resumed racing this week after a six week mid winter break with its own version of Tour de France. Le Tour de Warragul started with a prologue timetrial from Sutton St to the Lillico Winery along Copelands Rd.
This 1.5km downhill drag was completed in just over 2 minutes by the A grade strong men. The strongest of all was James Henry who donned the Yellow Jersey after the prologue. In B grade Tim Lee took Yellow. In C grade it was Matt Kennelly and in D grade Brendan Pridmore was fastest. The winner of the white Jersey for the best young rider was Cyrus Monk who just finished in front of Rupert Hudd Baillie.
The second race of the tour was around the rolling pancours of Lillico. The bunches were fairly sluggish after a long layoff and attacks were rare. James Henry did time-trial off the front of A grade for half the third lap. It was left to Jason Kruger and Geoff Thomson to chase him down. Thommo politely encouraged others in the bunch to assist in the chase but they declined. In the sprint James showed the others a clean pair of heels. Thommo flew home for second and Allan Beveridge finished third.
In B grade a steady pace was maintained by Paul Yeatman and Tim Lee for most of the race. Kane Walker flexed his climbing legs past the drive-in on the third lap but his break was soon reeled in along no. 1 road. Yellow jersey holder Tim Lee led out the sprint until Ross Henry decided everyone needed a 400 meter uphill run to the line. Brett Miller came off Tim’s wheel and chased Ross down and was never headed. Brett won easily. Rob Monk held off a fast finishing Guy Buckingham for second spot. Brett is in Yellow for next week.
In C grade Matt Kennelly allowed Dave Axford and Graeme Patrick to stay with him for the first 3 laps until he took off at the drive-in and was not headed again. Dave finished 2nd.
Brendan Pridmore defended his yellow jersey by following wheels for most of the race. He managed to outsprint Tammy Patrick on the line. These two had broken away from Gita Walker and Liz Watson and Pan Benstead.
Next week the peleton heads to the Alps de Neerim South for a classic mountain stage. The course starts with a 4.8 km climb from Tarago Reservoir up to Jindivick. It then takes in the Col de la Fishers Rd , Col de la Picnic Point and a Hors Category mountain top finish at the Château de Jindivick Post Office. This should be a day out for the mountain climbers.
Thanks to Chris Beales, the clubs new race director and Staff Duncan, the clubs old race recorder and starter, for putting this program together and making the racing that little bit different this season. Racing starts at the Tarago Reservoir at 1.00pm . All members are encouraged to come an join in the racing or volunteer to fill in as a corner marshal.