After last year’s Club Championships, Kane ‘sandshoes’ Walker got an honorable mention from Staf as one to watch in the future. This year, Junior rider Kane Walker took out the biggest win of his short career on Saturday, taking out the open section of the Warragul Cycling Clubs Road Racing Championship. Kane has only been cycling competitively for a little over 12 months.
The open field looked strong with outstanding with junior riders James Henry and Kane Walker taking on accomplished senior riders like Luke Hanley, Jason Kruger and Dave Salton.
These riders put the pace on from the start causing a major split in the field. On the final lap Jason Kruger managed to ride off the front before the turn in Christies Road. He hit the bottom of the 80km/h descent with a good break but on the sharp uphill section James, Kane and Luke managed to catch Jason then gap him so his chances of winner were lost. Kane attacked on the final hill on Christies Road and looked to have a good break but Luke and James worked together to bring him back and just after the turn into the final straight on Lillico Road. The three favourites were locked together. On the final hill up to the finish at the Lillico tennis courts, Kane surprised the other two by jumping for home early. Luke hesitated, expecting James to chase but James was going nowhere. When Luke looked up Kane had a six bike lengths lead with 200 meters of uphill grind to the finish. Luke was finishing strongly but Kane was able to hold on to take out the race by a bike length on the line. Luke was second with James a close third. Callan Barker did well to stay in touch with Tim Lee, Paul Yeatman and Matt Kennelly who all left their climbing legs at home.
The Masters section of the club championship was split into 2 sections. In the 35 to 44 section Rob Monk managed to hold off a hard chasing Steve Muggeridge to take out the title. On the last of four laps Rob attacked before the top of the Bloomfields Road climb, establishing a gap of 60 meters going around the corner into Old Sale Road. He managed to hold this gap for the seven kilometres to the finish. Steve finish second, with Graeme Patrick third and Paul Kennedy fourth.
The over 45 Masters was taken out by Geoff Thomson. He and Pete Finlayson managed to shake off Chris Beales on lap 2 and when Pete Finlayson punctured Thommo was forced to take on the unusual role of the individual time time trialist. Two laps of the circuit on his own is certainly Thommo’s longest breakaway for many years. Chris finished second with Dave Bailey in third spot.
The Ladies Club Champion is Karen Munro. She defeated a determined Tammy Patrick who just lost contact with Karen on the Bloomfields Road hill on lap two.
The Junior Club Championship consisted of two laps of the Christies Road circuit. Cy Monk, James Lalor and Renee Patrick stayed together for most of the first lap but Renee was struggling to go with the boys on the hills. James and Cy took off and swapped turns up to the Christies road hill. James Lalor was too strong for Cy on the final hill before the turn into the home straight and broke away here. James held his lead for the rest of the race. James Lalor first, Cy Monk second and Renee Patrick third.