Racing was hot on Saturday and a big field of 20 riders in the combined A and B grade field raced over 4 laps of the 17km long Shady Creek Circuit.
Kane “Carrot Man” Walker was doing some strength training so each time up the hill he would leave it in the big chain ring and grind up doing a power effort. This was just as quick as many could go in the small chain ring.
While Kane was doing strength training Jayman Prestidge was certainly not doing brain training. In his typical tactically inept style he bounced off the front on lap one. Scott Keeble was captain of the Bikeland boys for the day so he went with Prestidge for a while before quickly realizing that trying to ride away from eighteen riders on Lap one was probably doomed to failure. Prestidge was having none of that common sense thinking though and kept grinding away as Keeble retired safely to the peleton.
The Muppets Jimmy Lalor and Jarrod Jones looked threatening on the climb but JJ seemed content to cruise over the top most laps. Jimmy seemed torn between “having a rest period in his training” and taking off in a breakaway. In the end he did a bit of both and finished nowhere.
Kane would grind off the front on the climb and Shane Stiles would then chase him down on the flat. Meanwhile most of the field just sat on and did nothing. Notable non-contributors to the pacemaking were Rob Monk, Geoff Thomson, Pete Whelan, Simon Baxter and Graeme Parker. They were seen nowhere near the front on the first three laps.
At the top of Sthurs Road on lap 3 a potentially threatening break was allowed to roll away. Neil Walker, Graeme Parker, Jayman Prestidge and Scott Keeble formed an organised quartet pushing into the head wind going towards Shady creek. When Shane “bouncing around like a peanut” Stiles jumped over to them the rest of the field started to get a little anxious. Anxious enough for Brett Rollinson, Pete Whelan, Pete Finlayson and Clem Fries to start to chase hard. Thommo and Monk were still not anxious enough to do a turn.
The break was still going strong at the bell and had a 30 second break. Monk finally did a turn going down the hill and at the bottom of the climb Finlayson set a tempo that would make sure the break would be caught and those in the peleton would suffer.
Prestidge acted as an anchor for the breakaway on the hill. His immense bulk seemed to somehow burden his breakaway companions and before the halfway point on the hill they were caught and the race was all together. The second part of the climb saw Monk and Tambassis dangling precariously off the back but they managed to just hang on over the top ensuring they would be with the majority of the field to the finish.
Kane and Shane decided to do some attacking and now no one was too keen to chase. When Kane took off at the start of Sthurs Road everyone waved a collective good bye and watched the man in orange ride off into the sunset. He would win. The race was now for second.
Stiles led out the sprint and riders who had been in the earlier breaks did their best to sprint but had little left. A notable exception was Graeme Parker who proved very hard for Jarrod Jones to catch. Jarrod did get him on the line and took second, Parko was third. Rob Monk claimed fourth even though Thommo had beaten him over the line, all be it on the wrong side of the road. Then followed Clem Fries, Pete Whelan and Pete Finlayson.
Neil Walker, Scott Keeble and Jayman Prestidge are probably still coming but their whining about blokes not doing any work and sprinting for the minor placing’s could be heard from far off in the distance.
The C and D grade combined bunch raced the first lap together with no one missing a turn. Terry Kelly found the pace a little hot on the climb on lap two and decided to do some individual time trial training. Yeatman got dropped but got back on.
Ross Henry and Trev Rollinson were putting on the pace with Paul Yeatman. That was until Ross put the pressure on two thirds of the way up the climb on lap three. Only Trev could follow and the pair got into team time time trial mode, powering away over the apex of the climb. Ross did most of the work on the run home but Trev did his turns when Ross needed a break.
In the sprint Ross took off for home and try as he might Trev could not catch him although he was closing in on the line. Ross first with Trev second. Then followed Paul Yeatman 70 seconds back and then Kate Prestidge and Rod Cheyne another 80 seconds down.
Next week’s race is at Cloverlea. Club members are reminded the Christmas party is on Friday night at the velodrome.