By Rob Monk
Warragul Cycling Club race was ruined last week by a dog. This week race director Neil Walker was the wrecker. He decided to move the finish line to the top of the hill ruining the chances of half the field. The sprinters would have no hope today.
The D grade field of 6 didn’t stay together for long. Louise Clark and Pete O’Donnell didn’t give the others a chance. In a WASP (Warragul Anti Social Peddlers) display they rode away from the others. For the next two laps, Pete O’Donnell tried to shake Lou on the flat but hold onto her on the hill. Lou was able to sit behind the human tonka truck on the flats. O’Donnell sat on a constant 18km/h up the hill but Lou average 18.1km/h. Lou took the victory from Pete with Adele in third. Robyn Baker was forth. Sue Elsdon did her usual trick and took a wrong turn.
The C grade race was dominated by Kate Prestidge who did most of the work on the front. She would have won if she’d just saved her energy for the final climb. In the end the final ascent saw visitor John Broeren surprised the locals by riding away. Paul Rowse climbed well for second place with Kate in third. Then followed Greame Patrick and Charlie Pragnell.
The B grade race was always going to come down to a sprint up the final climb between Roland Elsdon and Pete Finlayson. This didn’t stop Paul Yeatman from continually trying to jump off the front only to be reeled in by Stuart Battley and visitor Warren Howe. Ross Henry was never far from the front. The most promising break of the race was instigated by Brett Miller. He was joined off the front by Ross Henry and Stuart Battley. They held an advantage for half a lap but were reeled in on the hill. Jason Dastey launched his usual “death or glory” attack on the final lap. The field was all together on the bottom of the final climb. Dastey, Battley, Prestidge, Howe, Miller and Yeatman had all burnt too many matches to feature in the finish. – the men who were fresh would dominate.*
Roland Elstrom started the attacks on the final climb Pete Finlayson was next to go launching off the front. He established a 50 meter gap and looked the winner. Pete Whelan and George Tambassis dug deep and started the chase down. Roland was not done with either through and rode across to Finlayson and kept going. Roland went away to take the victory. Ross Henry was still strong and took out second. Finlayson weakened badly and took third. Then followed Pete Whelan and George Tambassis.
The A grade bunch of 9 rolled through strongly on the first 3 laps setting a cracking pace. Glen Marriott cracked as he could not go with them. James Henry tried to get away a couple of times on the final lap but Cy Monk and Graeme Parker were able to reel him in. The battle on the final climb was slow to develop. Everyone was waiting for James Henry to go but he was waiting for someone else. Greame Parker played his hand first. James and Cy were boxed in as he jumped and he established a small break. James got out and closed it down late. Cy was on his wheel and sprinted away to victory. Graeme Parker held on for second with Leigh Hauxwell making a welcome return to A grade taking third place.
Next week is the club Hill Climb Championship to be held on the Yarragon Hill course.
* I still had plenty of matches left. A pothole on the final lap took out my back wheel so I got to watch from the passenger seat of Shane Stiles’ car. Paul – Webmaster.