Warragul Cycling club’s handicap event on Saturday went down to the wire with two bunches combining and only just holding off the scratchmen. Another great turnout of strong riders and newcomers competed in an exciting 36 kilometers handicap.
John Pettingill, off seven minutes took the event after combining strongly with Graeme Hanks and Grub Melnyk. Along with Paul Yeatman this bunch didn’t take long to catch the bunch in front off eleven minutes despite losing three of their riders.
When the two bunches joined forces the tempo lifted enough that the scratchies and the bunches in front were left with little hope despite the scratchmen averaging over 41kph. These two groups took out all the placings with Pettingill taking victory over Ben Flemming with Yeatman third and Melnyk fourth.
Jason Boxall, Scot Keeble, Hanks, Peter Bailey and Danial Dilger off fifteen minutes all rolled through in that order. Thirty seconds further back the scratchies hit the line with Kestle taking fastest time followed by Fenwick, Gallagher, Nobelius and Thomson. These four only just caught the five minute markers in the finishing straight thanks to some strong turns by Nobelius who rode hard all weekend long.
John Salton, Chris Kypriotis, Darren Spiteri, Dave Redman and fifteen minute marker Stephen Fenwick rode through not far behind. Stuart Corkran. Anthony Vogrig, Luke Langelaan. Bret Williams, Matt Hall, Neil Vorbach, Ian De Bruyne, Stephen Twinning and Vic Spunner all rolled through separately after having lost contact with there respective bunches and battling or along.
Gippsland Criterium Series Race
After his return from the world championships, Warragul’s Wayne Kestle proved yet again that he is too fast with another win in. the Gippsland criterium series. Kestle took on old pro Dave McFarlane in the sprint and only just came through after being forced to take the lead for two laps. McFarlane made his move on me final corner and charged for the line but wasn’t quite quick enough and had to be content with second. These two riders established a good gap with four laps to go and only the Latrobe Valley’s Darren Spiteri was able to get across. He ended up a well-deserved third after some hard chasing to catch the more experienced riders.
Warragul’s Phil Gallagher finished fourth in raking the bunch sprint with Geoff Thomson, Aaron Nobelius and Murray Fenwick rolling through in the pack.
The B grade event saw Warragul’s Dale Grant nearly steal the race after a Leongatha rider who had a massive lead and was a certain winner punctured. This left the remaining riders in the bunch to sprint it out for victory with Grant not quite quick enough to the line. Grub Melnyk finished just behind these first few riders after losing contact late in the race.