Warragul Cycling Club members turned out in perfect conditions at Shady Creek for the club championship race on Saturday. The Club Championship race is a mass start which means all grades and age groups start together. The race has a number of mini races within it. Trophies are awarded for the open winner, masters 123, master 456, juniors and women’s but all start together. The first to finish the race, regardless of their category, would be the Club Champion.
Thomas Sandner and Callan Barker were keen to put the pace on from the start and this meant juniors Cy Monk and Joe Patrick along with Tammy Patrick and Greg Horbowicz didn’t spend long with the main field. The first ascent of the Shady Creek hill was done at a moderate pace and most riders were able to stay with the bunch going over the top.
Callan Barker and Tristan Murat gained a small break near the end of lap one but the bunch was not letting anyone get too far away. Most expected a break on the climb on lap two but again the climbers set a gentle tempo. Shane Stiles and James Henry put on some pressure going over the top and quickly establish a dangerous break on the descent. Scott Keeble got the chasers organised and with some good support from Paul Yeatman, Thommo, Thomas and Callan Barker the dangerous break away was reeled in.
Thomas Sandner was next to try his luck. He time trialled off the front for 6km until he was caught at the base of the climb on the third and final lap. Now the race would begin in earnest. After a quiet start to the climb James Henry put the pressure on and only Shane Stiles and Geoff Thomson could go with him. Barker and Sander were next over the top with a 100 meter gap to the rest of the field. Stiles and Henry knew they had cracked the field so they kept the pressure on to maintain their advantage.
Paul Yeatman and Rob Monk worked hard on the decent and eventually were able to bring the bunch back to Sander and Barker. At this point no organisation developed in the chasers so the three leaders would not be caught.
In the run to the line Stiles thought he had more energy left than the other two so he led out the sprint but James Henry is a pocket rocket at the finish and proved too quick for Stiles. Thommo took out third.
In the bunch sprint for fourth Scott Keeble was too quick for Tristan Marut, Paul Yeatman and Callan Barker. Rob Monk did well and beat Thomas Sander convincingly.
In the junior race Jaryd Jones did well to stay with the open riders for the first two laps to take the victory from Joe Patrick and Cy Monk.
The Masters 123 was won by Shane Stiles from Scott Keeble and Paul Yeatman
The Masters 456 was won by Geoff Thomson from Thomas Sandner and Ross Henry
The women race was won by Karen Munro from Tammy Patrick.
The placings in the open section were James Henry from Tristan Marut and Simon Baxter.
Approx Lap times (2 laps, 51km)
Lap 1: 0:28:33 (35.4kph)
Lap 2: 0:55:14 (36.kph)
Lap 3: 1:23:55 (sprint for 4th) (36.0)