By Neil Walker
Teams Racing @ Darnum
Warragul cycling club had a busy weekend of racing starting with a team’s race on Saturday at the Darnum circuit. The expected rain front arrived just in time for the start of racing: however that did not deter 26 hardy souls from fronting up to the start line. 4 teams based on colours contested the race. Red was led by Cyrus Monk, orange by Peter Finlayson, green by Neil Walker and blue by Shane Stiles. The ‘A’ and ‘B’ grade group would complete 7 laps of the 8km circuit, with the ‘C’ and ‘D’ grade group leaving 1 minute later and completing 6 laps.
Matt Malacarne from the orange team was the main instigator of the initial attacks, however all these moves were well covered by members of the other teams. The format of teams racing differs from normal scratch racing or handicap racing and some members of the red team had to be reminded by their captain not to chase their own team members down. In the C and D grade group, Andrew Gordon had grown tired of the steady pace and decided to up the ante with a big attack off the front. This instantly put the group under pressure with some of the inexperienced riders struggling to hang on.
The green team was down a rider after Brett Rollinson punctured which meant Neil Walker and Graeme Parker just followed any moves without contributing to the pace making. With 3 laps remaining, an attack by the orange team resulted in a split of the A and B group. With all teams represented the second group decided not to chase. The C and D grade group had not been caught by the end of the race which meant that their finishing order would be crucial to the overall team’s results. Peter Sorenson, a relative new comer to racing, took out the overall win. Shane Stiles was the winner from the A and B grade group. The end results were as follows; Orange team 4th, Blue team 3rd, Green team 2nd, with the Red team winning by 1 point.
Morwell to Glenmaggie Handicap
On the Sunday the annual Morwell to Glenmaggie Handicap race was held by the Latrobe City Cycling Club (LCCC), an event which Warragul Cycling Club (WCC) has not won since the early 1990’s! A serious assault was launched on the title, with 26 riders heading to Morwell.
With a favourable wind, racing was sure to be fast and furious. Each handicap group was well represented with WCC riders. The out markers were given a 23 minute head start on the scratch group, and the rest of the handicap groups spread between these two. Most groups on the road were reeling in the groups in front of them, however the pace set by some in the out marker group caused a few of their riders to be dropped. About a kilometer out o Glengarry , Rob Monk who had been marshalling the group, clipped a wheel in front of him and fell heavily; the first casualty of the day.
With only a few km’s to race it was obvious the scratch group were not going to get up and it was left up to one of the remaining groups to reel in the out markers, however they managed to hold on by 100m with Ray York taking out the win from Paul Kennedy. WCC, 1st and 2nd with Rachael Dawson 4th and 1st women over the line (five of the six women were from warragul). It is the first time a women has finished in the front group. Cyrus Monk took out the fastest time, bettering the previous record of 1.28.00 by 0.44secs (set by Shane Stiles in 2006).
On the return ride to Morwell Geoff Thomson had a structural failure with his bike and crashed. Both he and Rob Monk from the earlier crash were admitted to hospital, Rob with a fractured pelvis and Thomo with head injuries. They are both in a stable condition and we wish them a speedy recovery and hope to see them on the bike soon.