The youth of Australia had their day on Burke St circuit during the Warragul Cycling Club race on Saturday.
A grade turned into a Brenton Jones showcase. The field of 9 riders stayed together for a couple of laps but soon the moves began. Phill Gallagher, making a welcome return to racing, could not contain himself long and rolled off the front in the strong tailwind in the back straight. Left to dangle off the front Phil proved difficult to reel in. After a couple of laps Brenton Jones decided to join the fun and burst across the gap to Phil. Unfortunately for Gallagher, BJ was not going to wait for anyone. He left Phil in his wake on the King St Hill and that was all the bunch saw of him again. Jones took nearly half a lap out of the chasing group. In the bunch sprint for second visitor Richard Irwin took the prize from another visitor Shane Young. The consistent Zander Hitchcock finished fourth.
One of the highlights of the B grade race was the family duel between Rob and Cy Monk.
Rob Monk, while not the best cyclist in the club, could at least claim to be the best in his family. Sadly this comfort is no longer available. Not only did his 14 year old son Cyrus outride him on Saturday, it is clear that the lad also out-thought him.
What now is left for the former behemoth of B grade? Tactics were his strength. No ruse was too shameless, as he sucked the power from the peloton.
Ah, but young eyes were watching, and Cyrus learnt well from his father’s example. The great wheel of karma has turned, and it seems few are feeling sorry for the ex-champ.
The race was taken out by another promising junior rider, 14 year old Jerome Bechaz. Jerome’s winning move was to cover the attack of Pete Whelan on the final lap and follow his wheel into the final bend. Jerome then jumped for home. Whelan hesitated and the rest of the peloton were reluctant to chase into the strong head wind in the main straight and sacrifice their chance of winning for the sake of dragging Jerome back. Rob Preston eventually took up the chase with Rob Monk on his wheel. Cy Monk jumped for home with 300 meters to go and much to the annoyance of his father managed to hold this advantage all the way to the line to take second place. Rob finished third to the delight of the big crowd.
C grade had a large and evenly matched bunch. Ross Henry and Paul Yeatman provided the strength and when Ross put in the big efforts up the King St hill on Lap 5 and 6 Paul Kennedy and Ray York lost contact with the bunch. Ross tried repeatedly to break away but Manitveld, Tambassis and Yeatman were not going to let him get too far away. In the bunch sprint George Tambassis was again in front with 100 meters left to race. This week it was Yeatman and Henry who flew past him. Yeatman first and Henry second. Both have been promoted to B grade next week.
The four D grade juniors raced well rolling turns in the first 3 laps. Their racing skills continue to develop. On lap 4 Andrew DeBona managed to break away and went on to take the win. Caelin Dastey put in a grade ride to take second from Nic Anderson in third with Riley Dastey in fourth.