Gippsland’s cyclists gathered at Poowong North on Sunday to contest the Gippsland Road Race Championships. Cold, wet and windy was the only way to describe the conditions.
The elite and Masters 123 group raced together for the title of Gippsland Champion. Leongatha’s Brett Franklin was keen to make it a hard race and he took off from the start. Warragul’s Cy Monk worked with Latrobe City riders Paul Makepeace, Justin Gravett and Danny Gaffa to make sure Franklin didn’t get too far off the front. On the steep section of Timms Rd on lap 2, Cy Monk bridged over to Franklin and the two of them swapped turns for most of the final lap. Cy was able to ride away from Franklin on the final run up to the tennis courts to take the title for the second year in a row.
Franklin finished second to take the masters 123 title with Gravett third and Makepeace in fourth.
In the masters 4+ race Chris Joustra and Jim Timmer Arrends from the Latrobe club made a quick start on the climb up to Poowong on lap one. They were joined by Kevin Feely and David Supple from Leongatha and Alan McCulloch from Warragul. Tailed off were Geoff Thompson and Rob Monk from Warragul, Phil Handley and Neil White from Leongatha. The chasers worked hard and the lead group were still in sight at the end of lap 1. Joustra picked up the pace on the way up to Poowong and had the field strung out. He and Timmer Arrends were slightly stronger that the rest of the field and they managed to maintain a small advantage till the final climb. Here Timmer-Arrends powered away to take the victory Joustra was second with Leongatha’s David Supple in third.
The U17 race was a draw when both Patrick Brett (Warragul) and Austin Timmins (Leongatha) crashed on the Main South Rd decent. The exuberance of youth needs to be curbed on wet roads.
Around the traps
In recent weeks Warragul Cyclists have performed with distinction in state and national level races. Cy Monk managed a 5th place in the U19 State Time Trial Championship and a Bronze medal in the road race.
In the Tour of the Murray, a National Road Series race, Warragul’s Brenton Jones won two stages and except for a dropped chain on the final stage, would have won the tour. He finished third overall. Kane Walker also finished third on stage four of the Tour of the Murray.
Warragul’s elite cyclists continue to impress on the wider stage.