By Geoff Cuckson
Saturday’s club road championship saw great victories to three riders using differing tactics.
An elated John Salton took out the 58 km senior event by controlling the bunch from the front over the final kilometre before scooting away to score by a comfortable 10 meters.
Aaron Nobelius took the juvenile title when he broke clear of his four opponents with 18 kilometres to ride and increased his lead to go on and win by over four minutes over the 40 km course.
Although only two junior riders contested, Murray Fenwick took that title when he was able to hold on to the main bunch and come in for an excellent victory.
Eleven riders took part in the senior event as they rode off together with the juniors over two laps of each of the Lillico and Christies Rd circuits. After a fast first 10 km, which saw the bunch cut to eight riders, the long climb to Old Sale Rd found Graeme Hanks, Stuart Corkran and Anthony Radcliffe wanting as they too lost contact. Down into Christies Rd, Phil Gallagher attacked and kicked clear to lead the peleton through the halfway mark by over half a minute. He was able to stay away for about 25 km before being joined with 15 to ride by Salton, John Pettingill, Gary Jackson and Fenwick. Inside the last kilometre Salton took control with the surger Gallagher, sprinter Jackson, distance rider Pettingill and the “kid” Fenwick all on his tail.
After one last look over the shoulder at the 200 meter mark he was off and went on to score a well deserved win in a time of 1 hour 39 mins 34 secs. Jackson came home very quickly over the final 30 meters to grab an impressive second by a tyre from Pettingill with Gallagher a tiring fourth and Fenwick a courageous fifth. Corkran and Radcliffe lost Hanks at the halfway mark but worked very well together and came in only two minutes behind the winner. Ian Miller put in a solid performance having lost the main bunch after eight kilometres and riding the remaining 50 on his own for an overall time of 1:50:20.
Gerry Anfried, Paul Yeatman and Brian Miller all lost the main bunch early but teamed well in a comfortable rhythm and came home together with a spirited final sprint resulting in that order.
The first 20 kms of the juvenile event was a bit of a picnic ride although Brett Miller lost contact up the Drive In hill on the second lap. It wasn’t until the “whoopde-dos” in Lillico Rd in the third of four laps that the action started when Nobelius attacked and kicked clear. Stuart Cuckson, Brad Clark and Brett Williams all chased hard with Williams able to grab the leader for a short while. However the constant working of Nobelius saw him shake Williams who, in turn, was caught by the other two boys. Nobelius turned on the power in the final lap as he extended his lead from 1 min 40 secs to a victory of 4:35. In a long spirited sprint for the placings Cuckson went for home some 300 meters out but propped as Williams came out after him. Williams kept going with Clark on his wheel and in a ding dong charge just held on to take second with Cuckson fourth. Miller, two years younger than the other boys, battled his way around and came home in a time of 1:25:00.
It was pleasing to see several riders back in action and the club is looking forward to the upcoming spring and track seasons to see further increases in attendances.
Next Saturday will see the State Road Titles being held on the Jindivick circuit and several of the younger members of the club will be competing, best of luck to all.
A reminder to club members of the general meeting to be held tonight (Tuesday 8th) in the clubrooms commencing at 7.30 pm. All are welcome and asked to be punctual.