By Rob Monk
Race two of the Parkinsons Refrigerated Transport Handicap Series attracted a big field despite less than favourable conditions. Light drizzle greeted riders for the warmup.
First away with 10.5 minutes on scratch were Mark Oakley Brown and Nicole Summerfield. They stayed away from the chasers till the final lap where Nicole was not intimidated at all by the fast men and put herself right near the front of the bunch.
Chasing them were the 8 minute group of Shane Wakker, Roger Bell, Colin Manintveld, Andrew Jackson, Graeme Patrick, Neil Edwards and Samantha Abbot. Last weekend Samantha won the Tour of East Gippsland and on Saturday she was one of the strongest in this bunch.
Starting 6.5 minutes in front of scratch were Bruce Staben, Grant Neilsen, Zvonko Marik and Geoff Thompson. They were able to stay away from Rob Monk and Ross Henry who started 2 minutes behind them. Ross and Rob were supposed to have Paul Rowse to help but he missed his start.
Prerace, the group tipped to win were the large group 3 minutes in front of scratch. Handicapper Finlayson surrounded himself with Pete Whelan, George Tambassis, Glen Marriott, Darren Cook and Craig Skinner. Rowse just added to the firepower.
On the chopping block 1.5 minutes in front of scratch were Graeme Parker, Matt Parkinson, Leigh Hauxwell, Jim Timmer Arends and Paul Makepeace.
The scratch trio of Cy Monk, Justin Gravitt and Jayden Manintveld really had their work cut out for them trying to catch these guys.
At the beginning of lap 3 the three minute bunch had picked up Rob Monk and Ross Henry so had eight willing workers. That would be if Darren Cook would work. Cookie decide he was having an asthma attack and dropped off the back. By the mid point of lap 4 the charging chopping block group had caught most before them and were looking like winners.
The scratch crew were still a minute behind and were not making ground. Frank Bensted and Robin Baker were caught now as they started in front of scratch but only had to do 4 laps.
Despite some urging from Leigh Hauxwell and Jim Timmer-Arends the impetus seemed to go out of the leaders after the bell. This slackening of pace was all the scratch men needed. By the midway point of the bell lap scratch were on the back of the bunch of 20 riders and the race was really over for most.
Cy Monk bided his time, easily covering the predictable Makepeace and Hauxwell surge up the final hills. Craig Skinner, unaccustomed to the finish thought he could sprint from 400 out and was looking good for awhile. Cy was safe and sound on his wheel and when the big man started to weaken Cy sprinted away for an uncomplicated win.
Graeme Parker was clearly satisfied with second as he hadn’t done any work on the final lap to give himself a chance of winning. The hard working Leigh Hauxwell took a well earned third spot. Matt Parkinson was fourth and he was in the Parker camp. He seemed content enough to let scratch catch rather than bury himself on the final lap to ensure someone in his bunch would win.
Then followed Skinner, Markpeace, Manintveld, Finlayson. Darren Cooke made a miraculous recovery from his asthma attack and was able to join the sprint finish despite being too weak to do a turn with any of the groups he’d sat on for most of the race.
1st MONK Cyrus Scr
2nd PARKER Graeme 1.5 mins
3rd HAUXWELL Leigh 1.5 mins
4th PARKINSON Matt 1.5 mins
5th SKINNER Craig 3 mins
6th MAKEPEACE Paul 1.5 mins
7th FINLAYSON Peter 3 mins
8th COOK Darren 3 mins
9th THOMSON Geoffrey 7 mins
Race three of the series is on next Saturday, 9.00 am at Darnum.
In Other News
Six our of club represented Warragul at the Victorian Masters Track Championships held at DISC over the weekend. Two of our men and two of our women took home medals from the Individual Time Trial, Pursuit, Scratch Race and Sprints:
Andrew Gordon (MMAS1): Silver: ITT, Gold: Pursuit
Sharon Gordon (WMAS1): Gold: ITT, Gold: Pursuit
Mariah Dastey (WMAS3): Bronze: ITT, Silver Pursuit
Trevor Rollinson (MMAS8): Bronze: ITT, Gold: Pursuit
Andrew Gordon (MMAS1): Silver: Sprint, Silver: Scratch
Sharon Gordon (WMAS1); Gold: Sprint.
Clint Wilson also set a PB or two, so things are looking good for the Australian Masters Track Nationals in a month at DISC.