If was a day for the husband and wife combinations on Saturday. Linda and Jason Tubnor were in the placings. Adele and Pete Whelan raced with distinction. Mariah and Jason Dastey will soon be in the same grade and Frank and Pam Bensted also added to the number of couples racing. Cycling is a great sport for families.
The A grade race took on a similar form to last week. This week Shane “Rupert” Stiles got away with Matt Parkinson. Parkinson is not known for his tactical acumen but Stiles used him for some motor pacing and the pair quickly established a 25 second gap on the chasers. Stiles just had to steer Parkinson around and make sure he didn’t go too hard. The chase group of Leigh Hauxwell, Glen Marriott, Brett Kennedy, Graeme Parker, Pete Whelan, George Tambassis and Brett Rollinson had numbers on their side. Seven riders chasing two should favor the hunters, not the hunted. Unfortunately for the chasers cohesion was lacking. There is a fine line between encouragement and abuse. Brett Kennedy and Glen Marriott crossed that line as they grew increasingly frustrated at the lack of commitment from some to chase down the break. Crystal Cranks George Tambassis was the major recipient of Brett and Glen’s relentless encouragement. The time gap to Stiles and Parkinson blew out and they won easily. Stiles was gifted the sprint and now holds a big lead in the series. Parkinson was second and Brett Kennedy won the sprint for third. Then followed Pete Whelan and Crystal Tambassis who’s good finish will ensure he remains in A grade.
The B grade race was a fairly pedestrian affair. Rob Monk did a few laps off the front early in the race but he was going nowhere. Simon Baxter’s only appearance at the front of the race was to win the intermediate sprint. Richard Noble and Geoff Thomson did a few laps off the front but Thommo was not contributing much. With 10 minutes to go the race was all together and everyone seemed to think they could win a sprint. Craig Taylor had been cornering better than anyone else and when to took off 150 meters before the last corner no-one was brave enough to go with him. He put 20 meters into the group by cornering like he was on rails and then held this margin all the way to the line. Paul Yeatman was second around the corner but he managed to hold up the whole field as he corners like a truck (I was almost last around as everyone came by me before the final bend – PY). Yeatman wound it up for the sprint and held everyone off to take second. The economical Baxter was third. Then follow Jason Tubnor and Rob Monk.
Jayman Prestidge was the prerace favorite in C grade and he won in style. He got into an early break with Zvonko Maric but the Creese Brothers and Corey Driscoll seemed keen to sit on the front and chase any breakaways down. Prestidge won the intermediate sprint easily and knew he was clearly the fastest rider in the field. The just needed to sit in for the second half of the race and do it again in the final sprint. His only chance of losing was if someone crashed in front of him. Zvonko Maric did just that, going into the final corner too quickly and hitting the deck hard. Prestidge had to break severely and swerve to avoid the carnage and this meant Ryan MacGregor got a 50 meter gap. Jayman didn’t panic though and put it in the 53-11 and chased him down. He won well from MacGregor with Ed Cresse in third. Then followed Jason Dastey who was also held up by the crash. Dastey says he “woulda” beaten Prestidge if he didn’t have to jump up on the nature strip to go around Zvonko. Corey Driscoll was fifth.
Visiting Leongatha rider Dylan Adams dominated the D grade race. Mark Mason took out the first sprint by riding solo off the front for 2 laps. Adams was second. Dylan, Mariah Dastey and Mark established a small break after the intermediate sprint but was caught soon after. Adams won the final sprint easily from Mark Mason with Mariah Dastey in third place. Then followed Rob Waddell and Jason Fritzlaff.
When we get over 40 entries we are able to have an E grade race. Adele Whelan is often faced with the prospect of just hanging on in races against stronger competitors but on Saturday she was the race favorite. She rode like the strongerst rider in the race too. She was off the front early and when caught conserved some energy and then won the first intermediate sprint from Robyn Baker. She knew she had them covered in the finale as well and allowed Linda Tubnor to lead out before hitting the front with 100 meters to go. She won going away from the field. Linda was second which is a great effort in only her 3rd race. Then followed Kerryn Milner, Annie Pryjmak and Robyn Baker.
Next week we will race at Burke St if the road is repaired. If not we will be back at Endeavor St. Please register online here to race or via facebook. If we get more than 40 entries we will have an E grade race.