30 riders were placed in one of three teams for today’s Cloverlea teams race which saw the warm temperature take its toll on some.
The limit bunch of Claire Trembath, Donna Innes-Wardell and Annie Pryjmak was given 15 minutes on scratch.
Next away was the eight minute bunch comprising the likes of Aaron Nash, Colin Manintveld, Matt Williamson and Rodney Cheyene.
The chopping block was at three minutes. With over nine riders, surely they’d hold off scratch for most of the race.
A six rider scratch bunch looked strong.
On paper, the Blue team had the goods. Brett Kennedy, Brett Rollinson and Simon Baxter are all are typically fast and strong and Paul Yeatman and Rob Monk on good days can hold their own. If the outer markers Manintveld, Williamson and Pryjmak could stay away, things were looking good.
The red team of Daniel Furmston, Chris Joustra, domestque Connor Bagot, sprinter Graeme Parker and time trialists Jim and Allen Timmer-Arends also looked good on paper. Support came in the way of Nash and Trembath.
The green team may have looked it. Shane Stiles was joined by Will Lumby, Leight Stott, John Beech, Jason Fritzlaff, Shaun Donaldson, Rodney Cheyne and Donna Innes-Wardell.
Before the playground in Darnum had been passed, Monk (B), Baggot (R) and Baxter (B) were up the road. J. Timmer-Arends (R) and Parker (R) gave chase with Yeatman (B) sitting on as being on the Blue team, it was his job to sit in By the Music Museum, the break’s lead was about 150m.
By the intersection of Parkers Road, Big Jim Timmer-Arennds (R) had single handedly towed the bunch back to the break.
Baxter (B) then eased off the front for a short stint and was chased down again by Big Jim (R).
A little over 0:07:30 into the race, the order over the start finish line with four laps to go was Baxter (B), Big Jim (R), Parker (R) and Yeatman (B).
The chopping block began to collect riders along Parkers Road on lap one. Shortly after the start of lap three, scratch caught them and the pace eased. All scratch was willing to do was surge and sit up, surge and sit up. Despite this, by the bell most riders and been caught and by the line they were.
Stiles (G) began a long sprint and was lethargically chased by Yeatman (B) who’s legs gave out with about 100m to go.
Furmston (R) came over Kennedy (B) who came over Stiles (G). Fritzlaff (G) was followed in by Lumby (G). Three green’s in the top five was enough to secure first place on 74 points. The red team came second with 69 and blue who fell apart in the last three kilometers came third with 67.
Next week Leongatha hosts a scratch race at Poowong.
This was race 1 of a 24 race (best of 15) Gippsland Combine Series presented by Warragul City Motors.