Perfect conditions for Warragul Cycling Clubs road championships encouraged a large rider turnout. Over 30 cyclists participated in various divisions of races around the Lillico circuit. The circuit is 11 km long and contains enough undulations to keep the riders paying attention but no climbs that are long enough to really split the bunches.
The first group away were the Open men’s division. The group of six seemed content to race at a restrained pace and it was clear the race favourites James Henry and Kane Walker were keen to watch each other rather than try to force the pace. It was not until lap 3 that Kane made an attacking move up the “Drive In” hill on Copeland’s Road and established a handy break. Kane rode for three quarters of a lap off the front in the breeze with mainly James chasing with a little assistance from Paul Yeatman and Brenton Jones. When Kane was caught the group definitely “sat up” and waited for the sprint finish. In the sprint Paul Yeatman tried to sneak off the front with 800 meters to the finish and for a moment the big guns looked at each other as no-one wanted to chase across the gap. Eventually Kane took up the chase and caught Paul 300 meters before the line. The field had a quick rest then headed for home. James Henry had ridden a conservative race and had too much zip for Kane while Brenton Jones was not far away in third place. Matt Keneally and the improving Tristan Murut were not too far behind the winners. Well done to James on being the open club champion.
The second group to start was the Master 1,2 and 3 group. These riders are aged between 30 and 45 years old. Shane Stiles decided that despite giving the open group 2 minutes head start the Masters should catch and pass them by the end of the race. He plan came to fruition sooner rather than later as the old blokes caught and passed the open men in the first half of lap 2. By the time they caught the open men, Tim Lee and Paul Kennedy had already been shed from the bunch. After the catch Rob Monk decided it would be easier to sit on the back of the open race than follow the Stiles train around. Steve Muggeridge hung in a little longer but was soon a retirement. Shane, Brett Rollinson and Darren Williams kept the pace on and ended up beating the open men’s time by five minutes. Shane took first place from Darren and Brett with Rob Monk a distant forth as he chose to ride with the opens.
In the Masters 4, 5 and 6 race it was always going to be a battle between the rapidly improving Thomas Sandner and the ever consistent Geoff Thompson. Thommo and Thomas cleared out from the big field with a lap to go and fought out an epic finish. Thomas got the jump on Thommo and looked to have held him approaching the line but Thommo lunged and the judge could not separate the two of them on the line. A dead heat. Neil Walker came in third about 2 minutes later.
In the Junior race James Lalor finished in front of Aaron White with Jarred Jones in third, Cy Monk forth, Joe Patrick fifth and Renee Patrick sixth.
In the women’s race Karen Munro was too strong for Tammy Patrick.