by Rob Monk
The deluge of rain on Saturday morning had the effect of putting off some riders for Saturday’s race at Darnum. Nineteen riders started in damp conditions but by the finish the sun was shining and conditions were perfect.
With the cricket washed out the A grade field was going to have to contend with Cyrus Monk. The bunch seemed reluctant to race early on and rolled around at training pace. Cy and Shane Stiles were having a contest to see who could complete the race with the lowest average heart rate. Brett Rollinson was first to foil their plans. He took off up the road and Graeme Parker then Leigh Hauxwell joined him. They worked together off the front for two laps before Cy, Shane and Matt Parkinson brought them back. At the finish Stiles and Parkinson set a fast lead-out tempo but Cy Monk and Graeme Parker were able to fly past and contest the finish. Cy took the win with Parker second and Matt Parkinson third.
The B grade race was animated by a pair that look more suited to a rugby scrum than a bike race. Rob Monk and Brett Kennedy threw everything they had at the rest of the field repeatedly to try and break the race apart. They were fast enough to get away but not strong enough to stay away. Each time they were brought back by the combined effort of Neil Edwards, Ross Henry and Cody Orgill.
At the bell the field was together but some serious softening of legs had taken place. Kennedy tried a game of Russian Roulette along Parkers Rd. He let first Zvonko Maric, then Ross Henry and Neil Edwards roll off the front. He let the gap go thinking someone else would close it thereby blowing their chances of being fresh for the sprint.
Cody Orgill was smart enough to not fall for the trap and Rob Monk and Geoff Thomson were never going to deceived by this move. Zvonko took off extending his lead to 200 meters. Kennedy, seeing any chance of victory rolling up the road, was first to crack and he upped the pace to close the gap. Zvonko still looked the winner with 500 meters to go but all of a sudden he appeared to peddling though wet sand. The road opened and swallowed him as Orgill finally ran out of patience and opened up the sprint. Monk and Thomson were fresh and blew by to take first and second. Kennedy still ruing his gamble was third. Then came Cody, Neil and Ross.
The C grade bunch started at a solid tempo that saw Macca Parkinson and Cam Schreyer dropped on lap one. Doing most of the damage was Jason Tubner and Glen Walker. Duane McDonald did his usual fair share of pace making and Trev Rollinson was strong. Tubner tried a few attacks but the others were not going to let him go. Walker led out the sprint but when Tubner put the power down no one could go with him. He powered away to take his first C grade win. Trev Rollinson ground it out to get second and Walker held on for third. DeMac who accelerates like a super tanker was fourth.
At DISC on Saturday, Paul Yeatman competed in the Victorian Masters Track Championships in the 750m ITT and 3000m pursuit. His pursuit ride set a new pb and by the end, he was 10 meters short of lapping his opponent after making the catch 5 laps in.
On Sunday Warragul Cyclists performed with distinction in the wider district. At Willow Grove riders took on Latrobe CCC members on the tough, hilly, River Connection Road Circuit.
A Grade 1st Cy Monk, 2nd Leigh Hauxwell. B Grade 2nd Geoff Thomson 3rd George Tambassis. Roland Elsdom was too good. C Grade Michelle Scurr (now Bruswick CC) had a win.
Other riders headed to the flatter more sprinter friendly Casey Fields. A Grade 1st Matt Parkinson, B Grade 1st Brett Rollinson, E Grade 1st Macca Parkinson.