By Jayman Prestidge
Thirteen riders raced at Shady Creek on Saturday afternoon in appalling weather conditions. With strong winds and rain lashing the riders it was certain that the race would be a war of attrition. The war was to be battled out in a Teams format, where the team with the most points would win the race.
The war commenced before the race started when Rob Monk announced the teams that would go out and do battle. He had selected Cyrus Monk, the strongest rider in the field to be on his team, along with the ever improving Neil Edwards. Despite it being Derby Day, the odds were not going to be good for the other three teams if this combination worked well together.
Brett Kennedy, Macca Parkinson and Nicole Summerfield from the Green, Blue and Orange Teams respectively set off on the 51km journey with a ten minute advantage over the rest of the field.
The main field left the start line with the first attack coming some 2kms later as the bunch commenced the climb up Shady Creek hill. Shane Stiles from the Green Team jumped away from the bunch. At the top of the climb he had a 50 metre break from Matt Parkinson of the Blue Team. Sensing the threat of two strong riders establishing such an early break, the red team of Neil Edwards and Rob and Cyrus Monk hatched a plan. Cyrus Monk drove the pace so hard along the flats of the Nilma-Shady Creek Road that four riders were dropped within six kilometres of the race start.
Geoff Thomson and Jayman Prestidge, both of the Blue Team were dropped, which put their remaining team members Matt and Macca Parkinson in a desperate situation. Ross Henry of the Green Team and Neil Edwards of the Red Team were also dropped. These four riders would work together until Ross Henry was unhitched at the end of Lap 1 and Jayman Prestidge at the end of Lap 2.
Shane Stiles was riding strongly and held off the remainder of the chasing bunch for two full laps. Having had back problems for much of the last two years it is great to see him returning to a level that sees him agitating races.
The chasing bunch passed the early starters and continued on their way. Brett Rollinson, Rob Monk, Matt Parkinson, Cyrus Monk and Graham Parker worked hard to limit the advantage of Shane Stiles who they could see up the road. It wasn’t until the last lap that the Red Team played their final and decisive card.
Cyrus Monk used his superior strength to tow his ageing father Rob Monk across to Shane Stiles and in the process dropped the remaining riders with them. Rob and Cyrus Monk then toyed with Stiles with small attacks until Cyrus Monk launched the final assault on Stiles to be the first rider across the line. Shane Stiles and Rob Monk were the second and third riders across the line.
1st Place – Red Team:-
Cyrus Monk, Rob Monk and Neil Edwards
2nd Place – Green Team
Shane Stiles, Brett Kennedy
3rd Place – Orange Team
Graeme Parker, Brett Rollinson, Nicole Summerfield
4th Place – Blue Tema
Matt Parkinson, Geoff Thomson
Racing returns to Shady Creek next Saturday with another ‘Come and Try Racing’ day.