“I tipped this.” The famous quote of Mike Williamson in the 1966 Grand Final came to mind after the Warragul Cycling Club race on Saturday. After handicapper Stiles released the marks for the week’s race last Sunday and I did some form analysis I (Rob Monk) posted this on the website.” Of the three Prestidges entered I think Kate is the best chance to win. The others lack either the heart (Jayman) or the tactical acumen (Justin) to win. — Sunday, 4 September 2011 5:54:23 PM”.
Prophetic indeed. Kate Prestidge in her first race showed the more practiced but less proficient Prestidge brothers how to win a race and win it in style.
The race all but came together completely. Scratch quartet Jim Timmer Arrends, Thomas Sandner, Justin Gravett and Brett Rollinson caught the two minute bunch comprising Pete Finlayson, James Lalor and Geoff Thomson before the end of lap one. Jimmy “muppet one” Lalor was feeling poorly so decided to withdraw. Up ahead the four minute group of Cy Monk, Rob Monk and Jarryd “Muppet2” Jones were making ground on the five minute group. It was clearly not a good day for muppets as JJ also withdrew after being dropped before the end of lap two. The Monk’s caught the five minute group of Jason Dastey, Andrew Nicols and Jayden Manintveld before Sthurs road on lap one and now had the numbers to hopefully hold off the scratchies.
The numbers didn’t last long as, a sadly out of form, Jason Dasty blew up quicker than cracker on Guy Fawkes night and was dropped. Up ahead Simon Baxter, Glenn Marriott and Justin Prestige were going well. They proved difficult to catch but when Justin dropped his chain at the top of the Shady Creek Hill Baxter and Marriott were isolated with a group of five chasing. Their chances of staying away were minimal.
Nicols, Cy and Rob Monk, Justin Prestidge and Jayden Manitveld caught Baxter and Marriot before Sthurs Rd and a working group of seven riders got organised starting to roll through the turns. Manintveld and Marriot soon found the tempo too tough and were dropped.
While this group thought they were doing OK the combined scratch and two minute bunch were doing better. Timmer Arrends, Sander, Rollinson, Finlayson and Thomson caught the middle markers just before the end of lap two.
The fireworks were always likely to happen on the run up the Shady Creek hill on lap three and Big Jim lit them up from the bottom. He took off, setting a tempo only Pete Finlayson could follow. Cy Monk and Justin Gravatt tried to jump over the gap but only Cy made it across. This break of three riders were a dangerous combination. Passed on the climb were Trev Rollinson, Matt Kennelly, Harley Bondini and Tom Heard.
Going over the top a chase group comprising Rob Monk, Thommo, Thomas, Brett Rollinson, Simon Baxter, Justin Gravett and Justin Prestidge formed. They made little ground on the descent. The “big Jim” powered break was pulling away as really only Sandner, Gravett and Thommo were keen to chase.
They were all chasing in vein though as Kate Prestidge was still out of sight. She started 24 minutes in front of scratch and went on to take out the win by a comfortable 1:50 seconds. This was a ride of great courage and conviction the likes not seen before by a Prestidge in a WCC race.
Cy took out the sprint for second from Pete Finlayson with Big Jim coming in 4th.
Rob Monk easily won the sprint for 5th but was subsequently disqualified for crossing the centre line. Then followed Simon Baxter, Justin Prestidge (also DQed) Thommo, Brett Rollinson Thomas and Justin Gravett. Trev Rollinson rolled in four minutes later to take 10th place.
Racing returns to Shady Creek next week.