Riders turned out in unprecedented numbers for the club Criterium Championships on Saturday. With medals up for grabs in age group categories some different looking bunches eventuated.
First away were the Open and U19 race. This was a race within a race with the first Under 19 rider awarded a prize as well as the first open rider. Criterium races are run on time not distance but this fact had escaped Kane Walker. Kane found himself doing most of the pace making in the race and when asked why after the race he said, “I just wanted to get finished quicker.” Time dilation did not happen as Kane motorpaced his bunch around lap after lap. Yes Kane it does not matter how quick you go, you still have to race for an hour!
Going up the hill the final time Kane managed to shake everyone but Simon Baxter. The under nineteen guys were not keen to chase as they were more concerned with their own medals. Baxter hung like a limpet to Kane down the main straight and managed to outsprint him to take out the open Championship. Kane’s record of choking in championship races continues.
The Under 19 race ended in a three way sprint. Jarryd Jones just prevailed over Charlie Davine with Jimmy Lalor in third place.
The Under 15/Under 17 race Winner was visitor Jerome Bechaz but first Warragul Rider home was Jayden Manintveld. He just beat Joe Patrick in the sprint. This trio had worked hard to displace Brad Venables and Jack Walk from the leading group.
The Masters 123 race was the fastest of the day. They lapped consistently quicker than the open field. The pace was mainly driven by the irrepressible Shane Stiles. Stiles had raced in Melbourne at 1.00pm and drove back to Warragul for the 3.30 race. Daryl Anderson and Brett Rollinson were happy to swap turns with Stiles when the pace came on. Visitor Craig McLean also joined in the fun. Anderson and Stiles kept the relentless pace on and one by one they cracked the field. Stiles led Anderson out in the sprint but Anderson would not be shaken and came home to take the Masters 123 Championship. Stiles was second with Brett Rollinson riding strongly to take Bronze. Pre race favourite (so he said) Jayman Prestidge finished a disappointing 12th of 13 riders.
The Masters 456 was raced at a pace in keeping with the 45+ age group. The old blokes rolled around for 50 minutes then had a sprint to decide the title. Only Graeme Patrick seemed keen to break the race up and he dangled off the front for a couple of laps. The sprint for the title was close but Pete Finlayson was just too quick for Rob Monk and Geoff Thomson.
The U13 and young U15 riders raced for 45 minutes. Guided by Paul Kennedy and Danny Dilger the youngsters raced well. In a sprint finish the race was taken out by Caelin Dasty from brother Riley with Ebony Dilger in third. Ellitot Kennedy was not far back in fourth spot.