Club Hill Climb Champs


By Rob Monk

Warragul Cyclists Contested the club Hill Climb Championships on Saturday. The race starts at the bottom of the Yarragon Hill and winds 7.5 km to the top with an average of 5% and a maximum of around 12%.  In a surpise move, this weekend’s racing kicked off before the advertised start time.  Someone’s watch must have been running fast. The combined Elite/Master 1-3 Championship race kicked off at 13:59.

Normally, for championship events, a low number of entrants means if you are the only rider, you get to win by default.  Being the welcoming and inclusive club that we are, we let Jayden Maninitveld race with the older 30-40 year old riders.  He hooned on up the hill faster than everyone else and over the race distance, was slowly reeled in by Leigh Hauxwell who was the first to the top, resisting the urge to Manitveld who established a big lead on the bottom part of the climb. Victory came comfortably and was a great effort considering he had a serious crash less than two weeks ago while training for the Mt. Baw Baw Alpine Reort Classic.

The remaining riders consisting of Matt Parkinson (3rd), Shane Wakker (4th), Jayman Presidge (5th) and Greg Sealby (6th) came in from two to five minutes off the winning pace.

The Masters 4+ bunch started the race at 14:01 and had “guest rider” Paul Yeatman.  The bunch stayed together for the first two kilomters of the race, then a surge by Alan McCulloch started droping riders. Frank Benstead, Grame Patrick and Colin Maninitvel were the first casualties.  Rob Monk was first off the back next and not long after, Paul Yeatman.  Next off was George Tambassiss and a short time later, Peter Baily. was just too strong for the rest and rode away to win by more than 30 seconds. Graeme Parker was second and Geoff Thompson was third.

Monk closed the gap to Yeatman who then stuck to his rear wheel like glue. This small group caught Tambasssiss and eventually rode away from him.  Meanwhile back in the main bunch, McCulluch was slowly extending his lead and stringing out the remaing five lead riders.

In the end, McCulluch prooved too strong, taking the win in 20:14. from Grame Parker and Geoff Thomson. Ross Henry was next in 5th, with Baily holding off the fast finishing Monk/Yeatman combo.  Monk beat Yeatman by a tyre, but thanks to the joys of Strava, Yeatman beat monk as he started at the back of the bunch.  Hooray for data! Had Yeatman ridden in his own bunch he’d have gotten third in MMAS1-3.  Tough luck.

In the womens section Robyn Baker rode well to take out first place a little under two minues ahead of Adelle Whelan.  Pam Bensted came third after puncturing 200m from the start.  She returned to the start line, fixed the flat and resumed the race.  In a great show of sportsmanship, a large bunch of riders headed down the hill post race to chaperone Pam in the final stages of her ride.

Elite & Masters 1,2 & 3

  1. 18.56 Leigh Hauxwell (Club Hill Climb Champion)
  2. 19.03 Jayden Manitveld
  3. 20.50 Matt Parkinson
  4. 22.22 Paul Yeatman (started with the Masters 4+ bunch so official time 24.22)
  5. 22.44 Shane Wakker
  6. 23.49 Jayman Prestige
  7. 25.16 Greg Sealby

Masters 4+

  1. 20.14  Alan McCulloch
  2. 20.45  Graeme Parker
  3. 20.52 Geoff Thomson
  4. 20.58 Peter Whelan
  5. 21.07 Ross Henry
  6. 22.14 Peter Bailey
  7. 22.22 Rob Monk
  8. 22.34 George Tambasis
  9. 22.50 Graeme Patrick
  10. 23.10 Colin Mantiveld
  11. 30.36 Frank Bensted

Women Masters

  • 28.46 Robyn Baker
  • 30.27 Adele Whelan
  • 42.32 Pam Bensted (punctured 200m from start, walked back fixed puncture and rode up the hill)

Thanks Mariah Dastey, John Davine and Terry Kelly for running the show.

In other cycling news

It was a big week for Warragul’s Elite Riders. In the National Road Series race in Adelaide Brenton Jones won a stage and was second in another finishing in 8th place overall. Kane Walker rode well also finishing 46th out of the field of 165 riders.

Cy Monk contested the Australian Junior Mountain Climb Championships in Bright on the weekend. He finished 14th in the time trial and 8th in the road race in the U19 Age Group.

Warragul Riders were also well represented in the Baw Baw Challenge on Sunday. Tristin and Gita Walker, Robyn Baker and Carolyn Turner were particularly strong and competed the 134k in a very fast time.

Next week is the Baw Baw Classic Race on Sunday. Rated as one of the hardest climbs in the world riders will leave Warragul and ride to the top of Baw Baw. Over 200 riders from around the country have entered so far and a large number of Warragul riders are on the online entry lists:

  • Peter Dennis (Masters A Grade)
  • Leigh Hauxwell (Masters B Grade)
  • Jayman Prestidge (Masters B Grade)
  • Shane Wakker (Masters C Grade)
  • Robert Waddell (Masters C Grade)
  • Paul Yeatman (Masters C Grade)
  • Andrew Jackson (Masters C Grade)
  • Rob Monk (Masters C Grade)
  • Graeme Patrick (Masters C Grade)
  • George Tambassis (Masters C Grade)
  • Peter Bailey (Masters C Grade)
  • Alan McCulloch (Masters C Grade)
  • Roger Bell (Masters C Grade)
  • Ross Henry (Masters C Grade)
  • Geoff Thomson (Masters C Grade)
  • Sam Abbot (Womens C)

Sixteen riders entered where a club race tends to scrounge up 20-15 riders is a pretty good figure.  Best of luck to our riders next weekend a a big thanks to those helping to run the event.

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