During the week preceding the Race Jayman Prestidge talked up his chances and waxed lyrical about the damage he would do to the A grade bunch on the Burke Street circuit on Saturday. He talked up his form. He knew Stiles was on a heavy training schedule and Simon Baxter’s EPO trail was beginning to wear off. If Jayman was to win an A grade race today was his chance.
A and B grade combined in a bunch of 12 riders. The race had added spice with the entry of four Latrobe City riders. The valley boys would not be given an easy ride by the locals.
The race started at a solid pace set by Prestidge. He tried to walk the talk of earlier in the week but the first serious move of the race was from Simon Baxter. He time trialed off the front for two ambitious laps but the LCCC team would not let him go. Roland Elsden, Chris Joustra and Shane Pettingal dragged him back as the Warragul boys sat in and let them do the work.
Pestiage was next to go and Baxter again worked across with him. Joustra and Pettingal were doing the lion’s share of the chasing for the LCCC team.
The pulse rates we rising as the pace was pushed up the king Street Hill. Rob Monk took a fly next for team Warragul and after doing a lap on his own the LCCC team had lost Pettingal. Prestige was still talking the talk and launched a solo attack and this caused the bunch to split. At the pointy end was Baxter, Prestige, Tristan Marut and Chris Joustra. Struggling were Monk, Col Brown and Justin Prestiage, but also split from the leaders were the LCCC pair of Elsden and Adam Lancaster.
Shane Stiles, who was feeling the effects of a 180 km training ride in the morning, still had enough left to jump from the trailing group to the leaders with two laps to go. At the bell the two groups were 200 meters apart.
Jousta was now isolated in the main group. He was the only LCCC rider with four WCC riders against him. He tried to shake the Warragul boys at the top of the King St Hill but they were having none of that. No-one was keen to lead into the head wind on Burke Street. Stiles decided to lead it out from corner and he put in into overdrive from 600 meters out.
Prestige’s moment of truth had arrived. Time for talking was over. Stiles hammered for home with Baxter on his wheel, Prestige in third wheel was ideally placed but he’d wasted too much oxygen on talk before the race. When the time for talk was over and the time for sprinting was nigh, the big man simply didn’t have it. Stiles, the leadout man, just kept hammering for home and no-one could come over him. Marut who had managed his reserves of energy in a miserly fashion, flashed home for second and the big talking Prestige could only manage third. A tiring Baxter took fourth place and the most combative rider prize for the day prize. Jousta was the first LCCC rider home. Rob Monk took the sprint for sixth 30 seconds later from Col Brown, Adam Lancaster and Rolan Elstom.
C and D grade had a combined bunch of 11 riders. The bunch stayed in tact for the first half of the race. Some short lived attacks by Chris Henne and Dave Baily were chased down by the bunch.
Dave Bailey layed off the bunch on Burke St and surged by the group. Most of the bunch looked at each other trying to encourage someone else to do the chasing. By the time the group was organised Bailey has established a 200 meter break. “Husband and wife” combination of Steve Muggeridge and Karen Munro finally initiated a chase. This caused a major split in the field with Steve, Karen, Jayden Manintveld, Cy Monk, Chris Henny and Tim Van Der Schans forming a chasing group. Split from the chasing group at this stage were Wayne Tunks, Ken Whittaker, Colin Aitken and Paul King.
Henne tried twice to bridge over to Bailey but was unable to. These increases in tempo caused Cy Monk and Time Van Der Schans to lose contact with the chasing group.
Bailie toiled on in time trial mode with the bunch chasing but making little impression on his lead.
Baillie took out the win in strong fashion. In the sprint for second Jayden Manintveld led out from a long way from home but was just passed by Chris Henne on the line. Karen Munro took forth from Steve Muggeridge.
Next week’s race starts at 5.00pm on the Burke Street Circuit.