Great conditions greeted Warragul Cycling Club members for Saturday’s race at Shady Creek.
A and B grade combined and the 9 riders stayed together for the entirety of the the first 2 laps. The A graders took it easy on the boys going up the Shady Creek climb and their benevolence was repaid as the B graders were prepared to do a few turns on the flats.
The third time up the hill saw Rob Monk taking a fly off the front of the group near the top of the climb. No-one seemed that concerned but Brett Rollinson set a tempo that meant Rob would not be too far in front at the top of the hill.
Steve Muggeridge and Paul Yeatman were off the back of the group by the top of the climb but a gentle descent from the group meant Yeatman was able to rejoin at the base of the hill.
Yeatman went straight past the bunch and joined Ross Henry who had been allowed to dangle off the front. The pair worked hard to establish a small break. Chris Joustra’s tolerance for riders going up the road didn’t last long and he dragged the bunch back together quickly.
Ross attacked again near the top of Sthurs Rd but was again brought back to the fold by Joustra and Rollinson. Yeatman and Henry did the majority of pace making in home straight.
Brett Rollinson took over 1km to the finish setting a solid tempo. Shane Stiles drove the lead-out train to within the shadows of the finish. Rob Monk was attached to the Stiles express but when it came time to drive past the locomotive he had nothing left. Thommo who’d worked across a small gap to get to Stiles and Monk flew past to take the win easily. Monk rolled over the line exhausted to take second while Stiles yelled at him to keep going while taking third. Then followed Paul Yeatman with Joe Patrick a tyre width behind.
C and D grade also combined. Greg Horbowicz did his usual death or glory attack from the start. Young guns Cy Monk and Jayden Manintveld were not worried about that though and waited till the first hill to reel him in and pass him.
Jayden flew up the hill but senior riders Paul Kennedy and Matt Williamson were not going to be drawn into chasing him too hard. They would use their superior descending skills and physiology to catch the flyweight on the way down the hill.
This pattern was repeated on the climb of lap two. Manintveld established such a break that he choose to wait for the others to catch up rather than fight the winds on his own. Kennedy, Williamson and Justin Cox worked hard on the flats while Monk and Manintveld did the occasional turn.
The group was together at the base of the rise to the finish line. From fourth wheel Paul Kennedy was first to head for home. He sprinted strongly for the line and while the other thought he had gone too early Kennedy had other ideas. Cy Monk tried valiantly to get over him near the line but Kennedy had just enough to finish with the win. Cy came in a close second with Manintveld in third. Justin Cox finished well for forth. Then followed Williamson, Horbowicz and Renee Patrick.
Next week’s club race is cancelled as many riders are heading to the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit to race there on Saturday Afternoon.