By Rob Monk
Thanks to our sponsor – Voyage Fitness
When the North East wind howls the outmarkers express their trepidation and the hard men on scratch grin. The harder it blows, the better their chances of winning becomes. At Darnum on Saturday morning it was blowing a gale. Scratch prevailed while the other bunches writhed in the wind.
First away with 12 minutes on scratch were Deb Bargwanna, Phil Porter, Colin Manintveld and Andrew Jackson. They worked well for most of the race but were caught on lap 4 of 5. Next away with 7.5 minutes on scratch were Graeme Patrick, Neil Edwards, Zvonko Maric, Andrew Gordon, Ray Rhodes and Bruce Staben. They were also caught on lap 3 by the group chasing them.
With 4.5 minutes on scratch and a win in the previous handicap, the bunch of Rob Monk, Peter Finlayson, Ross Henry, Paul Yeatman, Roland Eldstom, Col Brown and Shane Pettingil had every right to be confident. They struggled to keep it together on lap one, losing Ross Henry early and completed their first lap in 13 minutes 45 seconds, a minute slower than the week before. The wind was taking its toll.
Chasing them with 3.5 minutes on scratch were Darren Cook, Pete Whelan, Matt Parkinson, George Tambassis, Paul Makepeace, Stuart Battley and Kieran Schneider from Horsham. This bunch nearly destroyed each other to catch those in front. They had the combined 4.5 and 7.5 bunches in sight on lap 4 and Makepeace, Schneider and Whelan jumped over the gap leaving the rest of the group behind.
There was also carnage in the 1.5 minute chopping block group. Jayden Manintveld and Graeme Parker chopped up the others leaving Brett Miller, Scott Keeble and Gary Olson to record a DNF.
The scratch bunch of Shane Stiles, Sean Roberts, Nick Youngs and Justin Gravett flew around lap one in 12 minutes 30 seconds. If they could maintain this pace for the next four laps they would win.
Riding four laps and starting 2 minus in front of scratch were Adele Whelan, Annie Pryjmak, Robyn Barker and Kristen Theile. Chasing them and starting with scratch was Sue Elston, Lousie Clarke, Michelle Scurr, Pete O’Donnell and Glen O’Gilvy. These groups came together on Lap 2 but struggled to stay together in the wind.
In the scratch group Gravett weakened and Youngs punctured but Roberts and Stiles were able to maintain the cracking pace and when they picked up Parker and Manintveld from the chopping block group they elevated the pace and at the bell had the combined groups in front in their sights. The strong 4.5 minute bunch had struggled to stay organised on the final lap with riders from the 7.5 minute group hanging on and Paul Makepeace and Kieran Schneider from the 3.5 minute bunch trying to pick up the pace.
Rounding the corner from Sthurs Rd the last time Stiles, Manintveld, Roberts and Parker flew by. Jayden Manintveld attacked up the first of the Darnum Park Rd hills. He spilt the field. Stiles, Manintveld, Parker, Makepeace, Schneider and Pete Finlayson were the only riders able to go with him. The rest of the field were eliminated from contesting the sprint for the win at this point.
Manintveld attacked again out of the final corner but Shane Stiles mowed him down easily. Stiles took out the win and fastest time from Schneider, Makepeace, Roberts, Parker, Finlayson and Manintveld.
Thirty seconds later Paul Yeatman, Rob Monk and Thomas Sandner rounded out the top ten. Michelle Scurr was the first female to finish.
Race four of the Voyage Fitness Handicap Series is on next Saturday Morning at the Darnum Footy groud at 9.00 am.
The Warragul Cycling Club also staged a big night of track racing on Friday night which was sponsored by Drouin Cycles. Over thirty riders competed in various divisions.
A highlight of the night was the performance of Shannon McCurley in the Open Division One. Shannon, who rode for the Irish Women’s Team at the world championships in Melbourne last year, was too quick for the men taking out a number of sprint wins.
Track Racing Results for 22/02/2013
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Tags: darnum, handicap