by Jason Tubnor
The teams race is always a game of chess on wheels.
The red team’s opening Gambit was to attack the other teams and hopefully spring Zvonko Maric and Jarrod Croxford free. They were part of the 6 riders who started with a six minutes in front of the rest of the field. Maric and Croxford had the Blue Team’s, Duane McDonald and the orange teams Frank Bensted dropped early but they managed to work their way back to the red team breakaway.
The rest of the racers started with a flurry of early attacks. Bryce Edhouse and Jayman Prestidge animated the race immediately. Prestidge was trying to make history by being the first rider to compete in a Warragul Cycling Club Race using disc brakes. Disc brakes on road bikes have just been made legal by Cycling Australia this week. It doesn’t matter what braking system the bike has though, if Jayman throws his immense bulk down on the seat it will probably break. Prestidge managed just 500 meters on his new bike before the seat was displaced and his race was over.
Matt Parkinson, captain of the red team and Daniel Furmston captain of the blue team were keen to get up the road and when Orange team Duo Brett Kennedy and Chris Joustra joined them it looked like advantage Orange. They quickly established a good break. When Graeme Parker of the blue team punctured on lap 2 the blue team were in real trouble as they were now two riders down.
Kennedy dropped off the lead bunch when it was clear that Parkinson and Furmston would not do any pacemaking with two Orange riders in the break. He then punctured as well.
Joustra began his customary late attacks after the three leaders caught the 6 minute riders. Leigh Jamieson of the blue team was able to hang onto the scratch men longer than anyone else and this meant he was in a valuable 4th place on the road. Parkinson grew tired of chasing Joustra down and Furmston was happy let Parkinson tire himself out. Joustra went away near the finish to take first place and 15 points for the orange team. Furmson (Blue) was second and Parkinson (Red) was third. Jamieson was fourth and McDonald fifth giving the blue team valuable points. Zvonko Maric had worked hard in the limit group for the red team but had used too much energy and was unable to sprint against the blue team. He finished 6th. Rob Monk from the red team won the bunch sprint for seventh. Then followed Connor Baggot (Orange), Jason Tubnor (Blue), Pete Whelan (Red), Bryce Edhouse (Orange), Ryan MacGregor (Blue), Colin Brown (Red), Jarrod Croxford (Red) and rounding out the points was Colin Manintveld (Orange).
In the end the blue team, despite losing two riders to mechanical mishaps, were the winners. Blue 48 points, Red 43 points and the Brett Kennedy led orange team a distant third with 29 points.
Kennedy and Jousta are still claiming victory though. Neither of them can think beyond first across the line.