By Jayman Prestidge
A beautiful Saturday morning saw 27 cyclists race across four grades.
The A Grade race was a dour affair. Professional rider Cyrus Monk was in a class of his own. Whilst James Timmer Arrends and Matt Parkinson attempted to break the race apart they could not match the strength of Cyrus. On the third lap an acceleration in the bunch unhinged Leigh Hauxwell and Will Lumby. The remaining riders in the A Grade bunch would stay together until the final sprint.
The only rider to not attempt any move was Graeme Parker. He had a simple strategy – sit on Cyrus’s wheel and do nothing. In the final sprint it nearly paid off with Graeme sprinting to third place behind Brett Rollinson in second and Cyrus in first. The instigators of the race were too tired to contest the sprint and were relegated to the lower positions.
The B Grade race was akin to a Fawlty Towers movie. Neil Walker took the lead role as ‘Basil’ from the start and despite a mid-race consultation with his Director Sportif (Shane Stiles) still managed to let the winning move go. Whilst several riders including Peter Whelan and Rob Monk attempted to break away, their efforts were thwarted each time by Col Brown and Ross Henry who took on the role as domestiques in a non-teams race. It all ended with Peter Whelan rolling off the front with 3 kms to go. He won! Rob Monk sprinted in for a distant second and with Ross Henry in third. ‘Basil’ Walker was off form this week and will return after taking tactical advice from Chris Froome and Richie Porte at the Avanti Team camp.
The C Grade race included an interesting mix of riders who worked well. Only Nicole Summerfield and Greg Sealby were dropped by the bunch. In a straight up sprint Colin Manitveld beat Rob Waddell into first place with Haydn Johnstone rolling in for third. Nicole was first female finished.
The D Grade bunch was an all female affair with Kerryn Milner, Nicki Ishikawa, Macca Parkinson and Adele Whelan all taking to the start line. Adele did not finish the race siting some heavy partying the night before. Macca Parkinson is improving greatly and commenced her sprint approximately 500 metres from the line. She is strong, and held off strong rider Nicki Ishikawa who finished in second place. Kerryn Milner took third place.
Racing is at Endeavour Street in Warragul next week at 2.00pm. It’s a Come and Try day so all new riders who would like to race should roll up to the Warragul Cycling Club velodrome at 1.45pm to register.