The heat was on in the Warragul Cycling Club races on Saturday. Hot conditions greeted riders on the Shady Creek circuit on Saturday. The highlight of the day was Glen Marriot’s maiden victory in C grade.
A and B grade combined to make a group of fourteen riders. They would do four laps of the Shady Creek circuit which features a 1.6km climb. On the climb on lap 1 and 2 lightweight, youngster Jayden Manintveld put the pressure on with constant attacks. Shane Stiles encouraged the young fellow and on lap two the pace on the climb was too much for Jayman Prestidge.
Prestidge has lost all form and in race horse terms he clearly needs a spell. His ribs are showing; his coat is dull. He has lost all condition and form and needs to find a good paddock to rest in.
A man with his form moving in the opposite direction is Shane Stiles. Stiles, 3 run in from a long spell, was starting to regain some of his strength. He is still carrying some condition but will fine down quickly. He joined young Manitveld going over the top of the hill on lap 2 and towed him away from the bunch. It took some strong work from Brenton Jones to bring them back. Rounding the corner on Stur’s road on lap three Stiles rolled off the front, looked back and saw he had a gap and took off. In the past this would have been “race over” for everyone else but his solo breakaway only lasted 15 km. A disappointed Stiles was heard to comment after his capture, “I feel like a super hero who has lost his powers.” The super powers are slowly returning Shane it won’t be long.
On lap 4 the group was surprised when Rob Monk put in a surge on the second half of the climb. Monk noticed that recently promoted to B grade ride George Tambassis was suffering so bragging rights for dropping him on a climb were up for grabs. Tambassis had done too much work early in the race trying to show his strength to the A and B graders. When Monk attacked Tambassis was dropped as was Col Aitken.
The bunch seemed destined to fight out a sprint finish but Rob Monk and Pete Whelan tried to surprise the sprinters. Three kilometres from home they establish a small break but Brenton Jones again closed down the gap.
Stiles led out the sprint with the Jones boys on his wheel. Brenton was struggling and his younger brother Jarryd showed him a clean pair of heels in the sprint taking it easily. Pete Finlayson finished well for second with BJ in third. The younger brother was too good this week and looks to be improving rapidly. The title of best cyclist in the family may change hands soon. Neil Walker rode economically all race and finished fourth. Monk hung on for fifth. Then followed Shane Stiles, Jack Walk, Pete Whelan, Jaiden Manintveld and 3 minutes later George Tambassis finally arrived. He needs to take note of Neil Walkers race tactics if he is to stay with bunch for the whole race.
C and D grade combined. Many regular C graders were missing. Tom Heard, Glenn Mariott, Zvonko Maric and Andrew Jackson stayed together on lap one but Marriot put the pressure on, on the climb on lap 2 and Heard and Jackson were dropped. Maric would prove more difficult to shake and he stuck with Glen the whole race. Despite having some trouble with cramps in the sprint Glen was able to kick away from Zvonko on the slightly uphill finish. This was Mariott’s first race win and earns him promotion to B grade.
The D graders had an eventful race. They were first delayed when Matheson Jenkin had a mechanical mishap that ended his race. Then Greg Horbwitz had a crash. Gentlemen Ray York waited for the victim on both occasions and then had to chase back onto the group. In the finish Andrew Gordon was too strong for big Yorka. He attacked on the rise 3km before the finish and managed to hold off Ray to the finish. Colin Manitveld finished third.
Next week’s race is at Cloverlea at 2.00 pm.