by Rob Monk
Warragul Cycling Club racers took on the challenging Lardner Park Circuit on Saturday. The circuit featuress a 6k long ascent on Torwood Topiram Rd and a brutal uphill finish on Burnt Store Rd. It is not a circuit for the heavy weights.
The A grade field was swelled with 3 regular B graders – Thommo, Rob Monk and Jayman Prestidge who promoted himself to A grade as his plan was to beat Monk. In response to the derision in the A grade peleton a combative Prestidge took off early in lap one and established a 30 second break. He was reeled in easily on the climb and was then dropped on the next hill, never to be seen again so it’s back to B grade for Jayman. Ambition needs to be matched with ability to race with the fast men.
Rob Monk also struggled to stay with the A graders and was distanced on the climb the second time up. Shane Stiles towed Rob back on to the bunch on the decent. Approaching the final turn in Burnt Store Rd, Brett Rollinson rode off the front and Monk used his remaining energy to close the gap on the last decent. On the final climb Rollinson appeared to be stuck to the road as Leigh Hauxwell and Matt Parkinson flew past him. Hauxwell had to work at his maximum to shake off Parkinson and he took the victory. Matt was second and Thommo was third ensuring he will not return to B grade in the near future.
The B Grade the race was marred by a fall. Greg Spence was knocked off by Jimmy Lalor on lap two near the top of Torwood Topiram Rd. This allowed Paul Yeatman who had been distanced on the climb both times to get back with the leaders. Yeatman claims he was just helping Zvonko Maric get back to the bunch. Col Brown, a consistent non winner, looked to have Yeatman’s measure at the end of the race. Brown and Yeatman had dropped all others and Col looked the winner 20 meters before the line. Yeatman had some energy left though and made sure Cols losing record would remain intact. Jimmy Lalor was third with Zvonko well back in 4th
C grade had a good field and also had a crash. Matt Williamson had a tyre malfunction and hit the deck. Dwaye McDonald did not enjoy the topography of Lardner and completed some quality individual time trial training. John Batten continues to rediscover old form and is getting better each week. The finish was an epic battle between the oldest man in the field Trev Rollinson and the youngest Matt Dutneall. Trev made Matt earn it but in the end they younger man was just too quick. Matt first by half a wheel with Trev second and John Batten third.
Adele Whelan was at her aggressive best in the D grade race. After only 2km into the race Adele Whelan attacked Frank & Pam Bensted only to have Frank shut it down with Pam hot on Franks wheel. Three kms up the road, Frank was on the front when Adele attacked again but to no avail. After turning the corner and starting the climb Frank was quick to get into a steady rhythm but Adele was not happy with this so she attacked again and managed to dislodge Pam Bensted. Frank was able to shut it down. Half way up the climb Adele attacked Frank again but Frank was quick to find Adele’s wheel, now with a massive burst of speed it was Frank’s turn to attack and Adele was not able to go with him. Frank rode away for a strong win hitting speeds of over 55km an hour on the down hills. (Frank wrote this bit).
Next week WCC members are invited to race with Caulfield Carnegie Cycling Club. Entries taken from 12.30pm at the Modella Hall.
In Other Racing
Warragul Cycling Club Members also performed well at the Tour De River on Sunday.
Cy Monk was the overall winner of the Kelvin Bridgman Memorial Shield. Jayden Manintveld was second. In B grade Paul Yeatman was first with Geoff Thomson second and Rob Monk third. Michelle Scurr was first in C grade.
Mich Jones racing in the U15 Victorian Country Championship out sprinted a quality field to take out the Vic Country Championship.
Brenton Jones came 5th in the Tour of Japan prologue.