By Rob Monk
It was a huge weekend of cycling for the Warragul Club Club.
Members contested a scratch race at Shady Creek on Saturday and the annual Baw Baw Classic Road Race on the Sunday.
With many A graders racing on Sunday and choosing to rest on Saturday A and B grade were combined. Doing 4 laps of Shady Creek was always going to take something out of the legs for the next day. On lap 1, Paul Yeatman tested his legs heading out of Sthurs Road and soon had a break with Jayman Prestidge. Yeatman was not keen on working due to riding in the Baw Baw Classic the next day and the two were caught by the top of the Shady Creek hill on lap 2.
The race then stayed together until it split up on lap 3 going up the climb. Leigh Hauxwell and Jason Laird took off and established a 500 meter gap going over the top. A muddling chase resulted as Shane Stiles continually let riders roll of the front. When Stu Battley and Brett Rollinson were allowed to roll clear Rob Monk jumped across to them and all of a sudden it was race on. Stiles refused to chase. Finlayson hesitated wanting Jack Walk to go. Jack looked at Jayman to chase meanwhile Monk, Rollinson and Battley were charging away. Rollinson drove the break hard then attacked and bridged to Hauxwell and Laird. Stiles rode over the gap with him but decided to let them go, preferring to see what was happening back down the road. Battley and Monk worked in tandem to distance the rest of the field.
Rollinson led out Hauxwell and Laird in the final sprint. Hauxwell took the victory in a sprint. It was his first win beyond C grade but Glen Marriott made comment that the field lacked quality (he was resting for BawBaw) and the victory was a hollow one. Laird was second and Rollinson third.
Rob Monk sat on Battley for most of the final lap then sprinted him to take 4th place. Battley was 5th and clearly the 4th strongest rider in the race.
In C grade the bunch stayed together for most of the 4 laps. Col Brown tried to push the pace on the Hill didn’t manage to shake too many of them. In the sprint Zvonko Maric was on Col’s wheel. In the strong cross wind riders needed to hug the centre line but Col didn’t seem to understand this. He opened the door and let Zvondo ride up shielded from the wind. Zvonko made sure a fast finishing Paul Rowse had to cross the white line and be disqualified to pass him. Zvonko was first with Col second, Peter Sorenson third, James Blyth forth and Bruce Staben fifth.
D grade raced over 3 laps. They were evenly matched on the flat but on the hill each time Andrew Jackson and Rob Waddel were able to get a slight break on Pete O’Donnell, Ben Stein, Con Mitropoulos and Louise Clarke. The dropped riders would work together to get back on. The third time up Waddel, Clark and Jackson made the decisive break. Rob won the bunch sprint from Louise and Andrew. Ben Stein rode well for fourth and Con Mitropoulos took out 5th in his first race start.
The newly formed E grade bunch rode 3 laps the first of which was under control. Pete Whelan rode acted as chaperone as he was competing in the Baw baw Classic.
Adele Whelan welcomed the longer race distance as the extra lap allowed her more time to rid her body of the excesses of the night before.
At the start of lap 2, Michelle Scurr powered away over the hill. Frank Benstead used his descending skills to give chase and the bunch reformed. On lap 3, Michelle Scurr showed her strength and rode off the front, figuring she would ride a time trial. Frank Bensted, Adele Whelan and Robyn Baker chased hard but they could not catch Michelle. Kristen Theile rode strongly in her first start in a road race and will be better for the experience. Michelle rode away to take the victory. Frank finished well to take second from Adele in third, Robyn fourth and Kristen fifth.
The Baw Baw Classic Race was contested on Sunday. It starts in Warragul and finishes at the Baw Baw Alpine Village. This takes in the toughest climb in Australia. Warragul riders did well. Cy Monk finished second in C grade mens and Kate Prestidge 3rd in C Grade Womens. Just completing this race is a significant achievement. Congratulation the following WCC members who finished BawBaw in 2013.
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Tags: Baw Baw Classic, hills, scratch, shady creek