In hot blustery conditions, Warragul Cycling Club members completed their spring series competition with an open 30 km handicap last Saturday. Nineteen riders took part in the race which was run over the small Burke and Wills Streets Criterium course with another “smokey” leading all the way for victory. With veterans Ted Dunn and Vic Spunner, newcomer Hayden Marcollo rode off the eight-minute limit and after dropping the two veterans 12 km into the event, rode through strongly to score by over two minutes.
The five-minute middle marker group of nine riders included promising 13-year-old juniors Stephen Fenwick and Daniel Dilger, and 15 year olds Jason Boxall and Scott Keeble. Also in that group were the consistent Anthony Vogrig and Peter Bailey, new members Matthew Hall and Stephen Twining and a resuming Stuart Cuckson.
Off the backmark, Geoff Thomson took six other riders in Paul Yeatman. Dale Grant, Ross Henry, Anthony Radcliffe and the reluctant Murray Fenwick and Aaron Nobelius with them. While Marcollo kept a steady pace in front, the nine-minute boys – after a quick first lap – steadily fell apart with Bailey and Hall being the early breakers.
The mountain biker Hall found the conditions not to his liking and pulled in after 12 km leaving the resilient Bailey to chase on his own. After taking wrong turns and covering more early ground than required, Dilger also came out after 12 km and Boxall retired at the end of 18.
The backmarkers also split early with Thomson and Radcliffe, buoyed by the last minute inclusion of Fenwick and Nobelius, cleared away from the other scratchies. Through the halfway mark, Marcollo had worked hard to maintain his three minute lead on Bailey who still had Spunner and Dunn a minute in front of him and Keeble and Stephen Fenwick working hard to stay in touch on smaller gears 30 seconds behind.
The leading scratchies had picked up three and a half minutes but were finding the hot conditions tough going as the remaining riders gradually dropped out of contention. Marcollo continued his even pace in front and despite some strong late chasing held on to score very comfortably by just over two minutes from Bailey in a race time of 51.33.
The battle for fastest time took on a new twist as the scratchies reeled in all other riders and headed for the sprint for third.
The spring series points award was wide open at the commencement with Keeble having a two point lead on Stephen with Murray a point further back. With Scott and Stephen watching each other back in the field and out of contention, the opportunity fell for Murray to finish third and take out the series. However he did not have the kick to match Thomson whose net time of 45.49 also gave him fastest for the day. Nobelius took fourth with Murray just holding out the improved Radcliffe for fifth and as a result pipping his younger brother for second in the series. Twining came through in a good ride for seventh with Keeble sprinting clear for eighth.
Sixty three year old Dunn in another gutsy effort got off the saddle to out sprint Spunner with the very much-improved Stephen coming through just behind them and in front of Bogrig.
Yeatman led in Grant and Henry with Cuckson using the last few laps as a good training workout. Keeble’s consistent attendance and performances gave him a well-deserved series victory with 44 points ahead of Murray 43, Stephen 42 and Nobelius and the absent Ben Fleming 40 each.
Seven novice juniors turned out for two spirited events with Matthew Young taking out the 4.25 km under 11 event in another close battle with Shane Boxall. In the wider 13 event, Clinton Knoll, in his first ride, pulled away from the consistent Michael Maunder over the final kilometer of a 7.25 event to score an impressive victory by 20 seconds. Ryan Honeyman rode well for third just ahead of youngster Trent Tapscott with Anthony Young battling on very well despite feeling a little off color.
Members and supporters are advised that track cycling will be at Leongatha next Friday night with Warragul’s next meeting to be held Friday, January 7 ahead of the Track Open Carnival on Australia Day (Wednesday 26th).
The summer road series is scheduled to commence from the netball courts in Burke St on Saturday January 8 and all interested riders are very welcome to come along and roll around with the club.
In closing we wish to thank Peter Gallasch and the Warragul Gazette staff for their support of the club during 1993 and we wish all supporters and members a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.