After the triumph of Warragul Cycling Clubs Track Racing squad at the Vic country championships last weekend it was time for the trackies to leave the boards behind and get back on the bitumen. The trackies form was good but the boys on the road had not been doing nothing. The result was hard racing for all.
A and B grade combined with a field of 18 riders. Kane Walker is in base training phase for his pro Genesis team. This means doing long rides. Kane had already done 120km before the start of Saturday’s race but that didn’t mean he would take it easy.
Shane Stiles and Kane decided to do some “one-two” attacks off the front from the starting bell. Kane went early taking his father Neil along for the ride. After half a lap dangling off the front Neil was spent and he’d just been hanging on Kane’s wheel.
Stiles went next taking anyone with him who was keen. On lap three the most dangerous break of the race went clear. Stiles was joined by Pete Finlayson and Brett Rollinson. They quickly established a 400 meter gap on the bunch. Rob Monk did some organising and got the boys in the chase organised. Charlie Davine did some huge turns to bring the break back.
After nearly a lap away, the break was caught but Stiles immediately attacked again and this time Lalor joined Finlayson and Rollinson making a group of four. Luckily for the rest of the field they were not keen to press on so the whole group came back together after 4 laps.
With 3 laps still to race it was clear that some riders just wanted a break from the constant attacks. Charlie Davine was giving them no rest though as he went clear. Stiles bounced over to him like a blue heeler puppy who has chase everything down and soon the bunch was in pursuit mode again. Charlie didn’t last too long was after the catch was dropped and his race was over.
By lap 6, Peanut Stiles had finally bounced around enough and was happy to sit with the bunch and relax. His next trick was to let riders roll off the front and make other chase them down. Young guns Jack Walk, Joe Patrick and Jimmy Lalor got away with Greame Parker and Neil Walker as a result of Stiles letting them roll clear. After Stiles jumped over to them, those left behind looked to the man in orange to get them back. Kane “carrot man” Walker did the business, closed the gap and the race was all back together.
At the bell the starting bunch of 18 was down to 11. Passing the milk factory, with 2 kilometres left to race, Jimmy Lalor took off. A reluctance to chase from many meant he established a good break quickly. He looked the winner until Pete Whelan did a strong turn to reduce his advantage.
Rounding the home turn Whelan had Brett Rollinson on his Wheel. Rollinson started his sprint 500 meters from home and he passed Lalor as if Jimmy were peddling though sand. Stiles was further back and had to weave his way through weakening riders to get sight of Brett.
Rollinson, a state track champion, is used to long sprints and he powered to victory. Stiles got second with Graeme Parker just holding off a fast finishing Rob Monk for third.
C and D grade combined and Steve Muggeridge was keen to go fast from the start. He took off and managed to drop Col Manintveld before the top corner. Steve’s break was short lived as his seat pole was loose and he soon had his knees hitting his chest. His race was over.
Col Brown and Ross Henry took over where Steve left off, keeping the pace high and making sure no-one would get too much rest.
Trev Rollinson and Danny Dilger were conservative with their efforts and Paul Yeatman put in some short attacks,
Ross Henry put in a series of attacks at the end of Lap 5 and this saw the end of Tom Heard and Danny Dillger. This left Ross, Paul, Trev and Col to fight out the finish.
Ross led through the final bend but Trev had conserved his energy and and sprinted past him when he ran out of puff. Paul was happy with being third wheel into the lead up to the sprint which Trev started abut 300m out. Yeatman was the only guy with enough left in the tank to catch Trev but he had to give it everything to just pass the old bloke on the line. Yeatman first, Trev Second, Ross third with Col in forth.
Next week’s race is at Shady Creek.