A small turnout of riders for Saturday’s race meant plans for the day had to change. A handicap race was hastily arranged and what it lacked in distance it made up for in intensity.
With 2 laps of the 17km course to be raced the group that could work together best would win the race. First away were the C Grade group of Cy Monk, Jayden Manintveld, Greg Horbowicz and Paul Kennedy. They struggled to stay together on the hill the first time up but all waited for Greg to get back on to the group.
The B grade group was comprised of 9 Riders. Rob Monk, James Lalor, Neil Walker, Joe Patrick, Jason Dasty and Matt Kennelly were joined by Caulfield Carnegie visitors Tim Lee, Zander Hitchcock and Scott Walkerden. They stayed together on the climb and once over the top Monk stated shouting to get the group organised. Everyone started to roll through sharing the pace making and soon the group was making quick time along the flats.
Giving B grade 5 minutes head start was the A grade group composed of Kane Walker, Geoff Thomson, Paul Yeatman, Daryl Anderson and visitor David Wereszczuk. They struggled to work as a group and by the end of lap one only Walker, Anderson and Thommo remained together. Despite this they had managed to take 2 minutes out of the B graders on Lap 1, averaging an impressive 40km/h for the lap.
B grade caught C grade before the end of Lap one. Kennedy and Manitveld managed to hold the passing B grade train. B Grade averaged 37.4 km/h for Lap 1.
Tim Lee, Matt Kennelly and Scott Walkerden could not hold on to the group on the second time up the Shady Creek hill so over the top the B grade group was down to only 6 riders.
Three minutes back A grade were in difficulty too as Daryl Anderson lost contact on the hill. This left Walker and Thomson to chase B grade on their own.
B grade continued to work well together. Dastey, Monk, Patrick, Lalor and Hitchcock did the lion’s share of the turns with Walker and Manintveld hanging on. The group knew they had weight of numbers on their side but the A graders would be coming.
Kane Walker drove on in pursuit with Thommo taking a turn when Kane needed a break. B grade split on Stur’s Road when Rob Monk put in a surge off the front. He was joined by Zander Hitchcock but the pair were soon reeled in. This acceleration saw youngster Jayden Manintveld detached from the group.
The B graders knew they had it won when 4km from home the chasing A graders were still not in sight. Riders started to save themselves for the finish and were less keen to roll through and do a turn.
James Lalor led out the finish doing most of the last kilometre on the front. Riders seemed to be reluctant to open up the sprint which played into Rob Monk’s hands. He prefers a short sprint and when he jumped for home first with 250 meters to the line and no-one was able to go with him. Joe Patrick just passed Zander Hitchcock on the line to take second. Neil Walker finished fourth. Then followed Jason Dastey and James Lalor. B grade completed the race with an average speed of 37.5km/h
One minute later A graders Kane Walker and Geoff Thomson were the next to finish. They had averaged 40.4km/h for the race.
Warragul was well represented at the Latrobe City Cycling Club Race at Yinnar on Sunday. Geoff Thomson finished second in A grade with Simon Baxter taking third. Rob Monk won the B grade race making it two wins for the weekend. Cy Monk found some form to take second in C grade.
Next week’s club race is at Darnum on Saturday. WCC will also be well represented at the Autumn Classic “Sale to Bairnsdale” race on Sunday.
At the Australian Masters Track Championships being held at DISC, Brett Rollinson took out gold in the Master 1 scratch race. Brett won gold at the state master titles recently for the same race. Also at the nationals, Brett has finished second in the 1000m TT as well as the 3000m pursuit. Nice job.