Local Riders Excel at Gippsland Championships


Warragul cycling club hosted the Gippsland road championships at the Shady Creek circuit on Saturday. Five races were contested for the various championships with honours being shared fairly evenly between the Latrobe City Cycling Club and the Warragul Cycling Club.  Half the course was dry, half wet, all was windy and towards the end, the weather was getting quite cold.

In the open championship race contested over 5 laps or 85km an early break saw Kane Walker (WCC), Charles Howlett (LCCC) and Nic Aitken (Leongatha) establish a good break. Most of the experts thought they would not be reeled in but no one banked on the determined chase by Chris Joustra, Brenton Jones (WCC) and others. At the top of the climb on the last lap there were 5 in the lead group. Joustra tried to get away but Walker, Aitken and Howlett would not let him go. In the sprint Howlett was just too quick for Kane taking the race by half a wheel. Brenton sprinted well to take 3rd overall.

The masters 123 saw Tony Clark (Leongatha) make the initial break up the main climb.  Towards the end of Stuhrs Road , Shane Stiles (WCC) attacked and took Darren Spiteri (LCCC) with him. The remaining 7 riders tried to chase but could not get organised.  By the end of Lap 2, Rob Monk (WCC) who had been looking good was dropped leaving Paul Yeatman (WCC)  and Dave Gaffa (LCCC) the only chasers.  On the fourth and final time up the Shady Creek hill, Stiles Spiteri and Clark behind and time-trialed the remaining 10km to a comfortable victory. Darren out sprinted Tony to take second. Paul rolled through with Dave several minutes back.

The masters 456 completed 51km and Jim Timmer-Arends (LCCC) surprised the bunch with a well timed attack 2km from the finish. Big Jim put the hammer down and no one in the leading bunch of 8 riders was prepared to chase him down. In time trial mode (his speciality) Jim would not be caught. Geoff Thomson (WCC) took out second in the bunch sprint from Dave McFarlane (L’gatha)

Shannon McCurley (LCCC) won the 51km women’s event from Karen Munro (WCC).  The women started with the Masters 123 group.

The junior under 17’s raced over 2 laps or 34km. Warragul CC rider Jarryd Jones won from Tom Dudley (L’gatha) and Ross Honicke (BRCC) 3rd.

Thomas McFarlane completed one lap (17kms) to take the U/13 section.

2009 Gippsland Road Champions

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