Roads, Tracks and Hills

Handicap Road Race

On Saturday morning at 9.00am 27 starters took to the line for the Drouin Cycles Handicap race. Riders were met with great weather and enjoyed the sunshine as they raced around the Darnum circuit 5 times. With visiting riders from Leongatha and Latrobe Valley Cycling Clubs there was sure to be some hot competition.

Pam Benstead was on limit and needed to complete 4 laps whilst all other riders needed to complete 5 laps. Pam held in well for several laps and wasn’t dropped from the bunch until the end of the third lap. With her cornering skills and speed improving we look forward to seeing Pam progress through the bunches.

The second group off were strong and worked well together after some coaching from one of the other more experienced riders who had dropped out of his bunch. Greg Sealby and Duane McDonald were the ring leaders in organising their group and did a great job to keep the pace high.

The remaining three bunches were up for a challenge with some healthy time gaps between each of them.

At the start of the last lap the bell rang and it was apparent that only the bunch lead by Rob Monk, George ‘The Greek’ Tambassis and Geoffrey Thomson would have any chance of catching the Greg Sealby and Colin Manitveld bunch.

In a case of near perfect handicapping it was a great sight to see the Monk bunch bearing rapidly down on the Sealby bunch in the finishing straight. The limit riders held on however, with Colin Manitveld sneaking his wheel across the line in first place, Duane McDonald finishing strongly in second place and Greg Sealby in third. Rob Monk, Geoffrey Thomson and George ‘The Greek’ Tambassis rounded out the next three paying places.

Cross Race

On Sunday morning at 10.30am the Club also ran a CX race on the in-field of the Warragul Velodrome. With the Club’s ‘Café Velo’ open to serve coffee and muffins many riders enjoyed the spectacle of the Clubs second CX race. CX racing sees riders having to jump or lift their bikes above obstacles, ride through dirt and up steep ramps, all on a tight and twisty 1.8km circuit.

A strong Shane Stiles applied his skills and strength to win the A Grade race ahead of Brett Rollinson and Jarryd Jones. In B Grade it was terrific to see George Tambassis to take a rare victory over the Club’s Ironman member Jason Dastey. Rounding out the B Grade podium it was great to see Phil Gallagher returning to racing. In C Grade David Healy won over Frank Benstead.

In the women’s race Kristen Theile was first with Pam Benstead second and Kristy Rollinson having her first race and finishing third.

Mount Everest

Whilst it wasn’t a race, Cyrus Monk and Jayden Manitveld took on the world renowned “Everesting” challenge on Sunday.

‘Everesting’ is a recent phenomenon of riding the same level of elevation of Mt Everest – 8,848 metres. At 17 and 18 years of age respectively the young Warragul cyclists commenced assault on the challenge at 6am. Their mission was to ride up and down the Old Leongatha Road hill just South of Warragul 27 times……that’s right, 27 times.

The hill is approximately 4.3kms long with an average gradient of 8%, with one section peaking at 21%. For them to ‘climb Everest’ they would need to cover a distance of 233 kms.

After 13.5 hours of riding, eating 2.0 kgs of bananas, 6 donuts, 4 cans of coke, 15 water bottles and 50o grams of Sultanas, Cyrus Monk was first to finish in the dark at 7.30pm. He is the youngest rider in the world to complete the ‘Everesting’ challenge.

Jayden Manitveld also completed the challenge in a time of 17 hours in the saddle.

For two young people it was an inspiring achievement, with many local riders sharing one or two ascents with them.

All in all, the weekend was a wonderful celebration of the different forms of cycling that our local Club embraces.

Coming up This Week

Thursday sees the Australian Masters Championships kicking off in Ballarat.  Day one sees five of our members competing in the individual time trial.  On Friday, club members will be contesting the criterium.  Satuday and Sunday wraps things up with road racing over the famous Australian Natonal Buningyong race circuit.

Locally, we have a criterium starting at 2pm on Saturday.  The venue will be annoucned during the week.  It will either be held over the Endevor Street or Burke Street courses.