Sometimes the unexpected attempt to breakaway before the end of the bike race pays off. Most of the time the late breadaway is mown down near the finish line but on Saturday the breaks stuck in all grades.
Small numbers of racers, 16 riders in total, meant a mass start was the order of the day.
James Lalor was keen to race after completing his VCE exams so he decided to attack from the gun meaning the field quickly split up. Matt Kennelly was also willing to work with Lalor but the pair were caught easily mainly by the work of the Ferrari engine of Brenton Jones who towed the field up to the early leaders. Paul Yeatman provided some token assistance.
Brenton allowed the others to sit on his wheel for most of lap one and two but then decided he needed to train with more intensity so dropped the bunch and rode away on his own. The chasers tried to roll some turns to keep BJ in sight but it was all in vain. By lap 4 he was out of sight and he went on to win the race by just under 4 minutes.
The race for second and the win in B grade was much closer. Early casualties on lap one were Jayman Prestidge and Matt Kennelly. They tailed off in the run to the first corner. Jarred Jones put in a surge on lap three that saw the end of James Lalor and almost Yeatman, who fought back after being dropped.
Lap four was uneventful as renowned fast finishers Pete Finlayson, Geoff Thomson, Rob Monk and Jarrod Jones seemed content to allow a bunch sprint to determine the race. Approaching the end of the final lap Steve Muggeridge had other ideas. Steve put the pressure on going up the hill before the final bend. The bunch let him go. Only Pete Whelan jumped over to him. Still Thomson, Monk, Jones and Finlayson looked at each other hoping someone else would do the chasing. Paul Yeatman did his best to close the gap but was getting no help. Muggeridge cracked with 500 meters to go but Whelan had plenty left and headed for home. Finally Monk mounted a chase but it was too little too late. With 400 meters to go Whelan was home. The fast men Jones, Finlayson and Thomson sprinted for 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively but Whelan took out the victory in strong fashion. Then followed Monk, Yeatman and Steve Muggeridge.
A lap down the D graders were staging a battle of their own. Continuing the day of breakaways Colin Manintveld broke away on lap 2 and stayed away to win by 5 minutes. Danny Dilger and Matheson Jenkins staged an epic spring for second. Such was the extent of the exertion by Matheson that he was physically ill after the finish. Danny suggested this was an appropriate introduction to cycling for the young fellow.
Andrew Da Bona and Karen Munro staged their own sprint for 4th and 5th with Andrew prevailing. Karen continues to inspire everyone in the club with her own personal battle with illness. Keep it up Karen you are winning this race.
Next week we try a new circuit for the first time. The Araluen Road circuit will be one for those silly souls who like to climb hills. The race will twice scale the climb on old sale Rd up to Shady Creek. It starts at Shady Creek. Let’s hope for good weather and a good rider turnout.