Twenty-two riders raced the Labertouche circuit in overcast conditions on Saturday afternoon. The 3.5km course is graced with two short and punchy climbs towards the middle of the lap, and then a fast finishing straight ideal for sprinters.
The C Grade field consisted of Terry Kelly, Nicole Summerfield, Glen ‘Tex’ Walker and Kerryn Milner. They were racing for 40 minutes plus three laps and stayed together for the entire race. Terry Kelly is a very experienced ex-professional rider and put a style and grace clinic on for those riding with him. No attacks were made by any riders until the last 300 metres. It was then that ‘Tex’Walker, with guns out, tapped his gear lever twice, and accelerated away.
Click, Click , Bang went his bike! He launched from the group like a silver bullet and shot away from his riders. He finished with an easy victory, with plenty of bullets left for his next race in B Grade. He should be proud of his efforts in such a fast promotion to B Grade. Terry Kelly rolled in for second place with Kerryn Milner in third.
The B Grade field included a returning Bruce Staben, Cody Orgill ,Brett Kennedy, Jayman Prestidge, Neil Edwards, Geoff Thomson, Jason Tubnor and Paul Rowse. The fifty minute plus three lap race commenced with Geoff Thomson deciding to set a solid pace for the first three laps, with Brett Kennedy also contributing. Despite several gaps being created up the largest hill on the circuit, Brett Kennedy did not have the power to drop his B Grade competitors. They simply rode across and sat on his wheel! Unlike Tex there will be no promotion for Kennedy!
The race started when Cody Orgill launched a decisive attack up the hill on the final lap. He had a 100 metre lead at the top and no one in the bunch wanted to spend energy chasing. With turmoil at the front of the chasing bunch Jayman Prestidge launched an attack up the inside of the unco-operative bunch. Whilst he reduced the gap to Orgill to 30 metres within 500 metres to the finish line, Prestidge was done. Orgill was away and would take victory. The bunch swamped Prestidge within metres of the line. Brett Kennedy sprinted to second place with Geoff Thomson on his heels in third.
A Grade included Cyrus Monk, Robert Monk, Shane Stiles, Leigh Hauxwell, Peter Finlayson, Graeme Parker, Peter Whelan and Paul Yeatman. The 60 minute plus three lap race was broken up after an initial attack by Shane Stiles and Leigh Hauxwell was countered by Cyrus Monk and Leigh Hauxwell. The latter two worked hard to establish a half a lap lead. In the chasing peloton an in form Rob Monk was in an attacking mode and endeavoured to shake some of his fellow competitors. Whilst some frustration was vented in the bunch towards Monk’s antics, Stiles and Parker outsmarted Monk, and rode away in pursuit of Cyrus and Leigh.
In a sprint for the finish line Cyrus ‘gifted’ the victory to Leigh Hauxwell who had worked some solid turns. Graeme Parker finished strongly in rounding out the podium. Yeatman was 200m off being lapped. Fino punctured 7 laps in.
Racing will return after the Easter break with a combine event with the Leongatha Cycling Club on 18 April, 2015.