By Rob Monk
The team’s race at Cloverlea on Saturday was dominated not by a cyclist but a dog. Bringing a dog to a bike race is like bringing a shark to a swim meet. The runaway Jack Russel caused havoc for all.
The teams race format works by cyclists being divided into teams of 7 riders. Each team had 4 A and B grade riders, 2 C grade riders and 1 D Grader. The D graders started 15 minutes in front of the AB group with the C graders 10 minutes in front. The group of 10 C graders were organised into a smooth rolling group by Geoff Thomson. They were also assisted when the group of 23 AB graders had to slow down after rounding the corner onto Hazeldean Road on lap one to avoid a Jack Russel Terrier. The dog chased the group along weaving dangerously close.
The C graders rolled on catching the fragmented D grade bunch on lap 2. As the A and B grade bunch rounded the Hazeldean corner on lap 2 Glen Marriott (Black), Brett Rollinson (Orange) and Dave McClean (Black) were off the front. The dog still on the loose again appeared. This time the bunch had to break suddenly and Jack Walk fell heavily. Nick Jehu also was forced to withdraw with mechanical damage. The AB grade bunch had a lap out and rolled back to the start finish line.
The restart was fast and immediately multiple riders were in the red zone. Lalor, Sorenson, Brown and Rob Monk were dropped. This meant the black team was the only team with all their numbers still in the lead group. That is besides Paul Yeatman who thanks to head down, bum up, ran into a ditch.
Thommo kept the C graders rolling along they were not caught. In the sprint for individual victory Zvonko Maric(Black) took the win from Terry Kelly (Orange). Then followed Mark Oakley Brown (Red) and Mariah Dastey (Green), Roger Bell (Blue), Andew Gordon (Green), and Shane Wakker (Black).
The chasing AB group had broken up more on the final lap. Cy Monk (Blue) put it in the gutter going past the start finish line and rode across to Brett Rollinson (Orange) who had remained off the front since lap 2. Peter Dennis (Mixtures) was the only rider who could go with Cy so a group of three formed and they took out placing’s 7, 8 and 9. Shane Stiles (Red) won the bunch sprint for 10th from Dan McClean (Black), Glen Marriot (Black), Tom Dekker (Blue), and Graeme Parker (Green).
Final points were Black 31, Green 23, Blue 21, Orange 20 and the Shane Stiles led Red team came in last with 18 points.
The black team owed their victory to Zvonko’s strong win, Scott Keeble’s non-appearance and super subs David McLane stepping in for him.
Next week we race at Shady Creek on Easter Saturday. 2.00pm start.