By Rob Monk
Twenty Eight riders joined in the fun for the Warragul Cycling Club Teams race on Saturday. Riders were dived into teams of 7 riders. The first 10 riders over the line would score points for their team so race tactics were all important.
To spice up the format even further there was a handicap element to the race. With 6 minutes head start were Graeme Patrick and Col Manintveld (Orange Team), Neil Edwards and Greg Sealby (Blue Team), Hayden Johnstone and Duane McDonald (Green) and Mark Oakley Brown and John Beech (Red)
The orange team decided that they were happy to not catch the outmarkers as they though their men in the early bunch were strong enough. The blue team had the same plan.
The majority of the field started next. Team Captains started 1.5 minutes behind the large bunch. Kane Walker (Blue). Brenton Jones (Red), Jayden Manintveld (Green) and Jarryd Jones (Orange) chased hard and caught the main field on lap two. From that moment on the race went from full on attacks to dawdling inaction for 3 laps. Meanwhile the limit group held on to most of their 6 minute head start. With two laps to go they still held a 3 minute lead.
Green team captain Jayden Manintveld was the only team captain who tried to jump over to the early starters but was twice reeled in before he could bridge.
The red team suffered an early setback when John Beech punctured. The blue team also lost Greg Sealby from the early group.
With two laps to go the pressure was really on in the main field and a breakaway consisting of Geoff Thompson (Green), Matt Parkinson (Blue), Graeme Parker (Orange) and Pete Finlayson (Red) got off the front. As each team was represented, the bunch seemed to go into shutdown mode and didn’t chase too hard. With 10 riders up the road all the points were taken and the chase group gave up. The only interest was when the Orange team captain asked Zvonko to try and bridge to the break. He did his best but didn’t make it.
The final placings were 1st Hayden Johnson (6min) Green, 2nd Graeme Patrick (6min) Orange, 3rd Mark Oakley Browne (6min) Red, 4th Colin Manintveld (6min) Orange, 5th Neil Edwards (6min) Blue, 6th Duane McDonald (6min) Green, 7th Matt Parkinson Blue, 8th Graeme Parker Orange, 9th Geoff Thomson Green, and 10th Peter Finlayson Red.
The final tallies for the teams prize were 1st Orange 19 points, 2nd Green 17 points, 3rd Blue 10 points and 4th Red 9 points
Next week’s race is a scratch race at Shady Creek where the finish will not be on the top of the hill. Race starts at 2.00 p.m.