by Jason Tubnor
The green team from Leongatha took the win in the Warragul Cycling Clubs team’s race on Saturday on the Cloverlea circuit.
The teams race format is a combination of scratch race and handicap with the first 20 finishers accumulating points for their team. Each team had two riders in the limit group who started 12 minutes before the fast men. Frank Bensted from the orange team and Hayden Johnstone from the Blue team drove the limit bunch along at a solid pace.
Twenty riders, 5 from each team left 7 minutes later. The blue team’s Glenn Marriott and Orange’s Paul Yeatman immediately tried to animate the race. Others tried to bridge and pulses were immediately racing. Danny Dilger, in his first race for a few years, showed he’d lost none of his strength or combative spirit. He had frequent powerful but short lived jaunts off the front of the peloton.
The red team seemed to have a plan that involved chasing everything down and when they were not d, oing that they set a solid tempo on the front. Jayman Prestidge and Col Brown seemed intent on destroying any chance they had of finishing with the final bunch when the towed the field up to the base of Mt Worth on lap three. Rob Monk sensed they may be in trouble so he attacked just as the scratch riders who started 5 minutes after his group caught them.
The race now went up a gear. For the remaining lap and a half it was just repeated attacks. Cy Monk, the red team captain, seemed keen to let breaks go and then jump across to them. Stu Smith, the other National Level Rider in the field also lit up some huge attacks. The club riders just struggled to hang on. Chris Joustra from the orange team was not intimidated by the talented riders less than half his age. He continued to place himself in break after break.
At the bell there were 18 riders left in the front group. They somehow stayed together for most of the last lap despite repeated attacks. Rounding the home turn, Will Lumby from the blue team jumped for home and managed to get a small gap. All McColloch (Red) gave chase with Chris Joustra and Brett Franklin (Green) hot on his heels. Lumby took the win from Franklyn with Joustra third and McColloch fourth.
With four different teams in the top four placings the overall win was up for grabs.
The green team had managed the sprint well. Stu Smith and Harry McLean from the green team effectively blocked the road in the sprint not allowing anyone from the other teams to pass.
Ollie McLean was fifth and Stu took sixth giving the green team some valuable points. Matt Parkinson and Cy Monk for the red team were next to finish. Then followed Graeme Parker (Orange), Mark Mason (Green), Shane Stiles and Glenn Marriott (Blue), Harry McLean (Green), Pete Whelan and Rob Monk (Blue), Adam Blanchard (Red), Daniel Furmston (Orange). Minutes later the final points were collected by Jayman Prestidge (Red), Ross Henry (Blue) and Micheal (Park Green).
In a close contest the Leongatha boys were too consistent. The green team was first with 70 points. Second was the Blue team with 54 points. Red was third with 52 points and the orange team were fourth with 34 points.
Next week’s race is at Poowong starting at 1.30 from the Poowong East Tennis courts.