The 3 day weekend saw our senior riders racing in the 3 day Gippsland Tour with riders in all 3 grades. The Saturday racing was at Leongatha around the tough Nerrena/Mardan circuit with the start and finish at the Secondary College. In A Grade the Club was well represented and Stuart Smith took 2nd place on the stage. Austin Timmins, Brett Franklin, Harrison McLean and Thomas McFarlane were all in the early finishers. I n B Grade Phil Hanley was performing at his usual high standard and marveling at the performance of the son of former club champion Paul Warren. Sam Warren won the stage in a 2 up battle up the Horn St hill to the finish and put himself in a good position to race the remainder of the weekend. Michael Park and Dylan Adams were also in the first bunch to finish and give themselves a shot at the overall. In C grade Grace McLean finished 3rd in the stage after a good ride.
Sunday saw the riders race 2 stages at Warragul. Warragul rider, Cyrus Monk continued to dominate the A grade field. However, Austin Timmins and Thomas McFarlane placed equal 2nd on Stage 2 whilst Stuart Smith was 3rd and Brett Franklin was 5th. In Stage 3 – a short time trial, Stuart was again 2nd and Brett Franklin grabbed 3rd. The overall classification at the end of Sunday was Stuart 2nd and Brett 3rd. In B Grade Phil Hanley was consistent with another 3rd in Stage 2 and a win in Stage 3. This put him level with Sam Warren as joint leaders at the end of Sunday. In C grade Grace McLean took at 3rd in both Stages to keep her in third place overall.
By the Monday final stage at Heyfield, the wind was blowing hard and in the A grade field a breakaway group formed and Harrison McLean snared a 2nd for the stage. However, the overall classification saw Cyrus Monk take the honours from Stuart Smith in 2nd. Brett Franklin secured 4th place overall. In the B grade field, Sam Warren took the overall honours with Phil Hanley in 2nd place. Grace McLean kept covering the moves in C grade and came out with 3rd place in the final classification.
Also on Saturday our Juniors had a Club race out through Nerrena and back over a 20km distance. After showing some good form over recent weeks Alfie Herbert (10Min) dropped his co-marker – Michael Eastwood, and chased down brother Sullivan Herbert (14 min) and kept the pace on to come home just ahead of the chasers to take the win. Boyd Makepeace (Latrobe) riding of 2 min was next home for 2nd. Boyd managed to slip away from his co-marker Kaleb Jans at the turn when Kaleb ran wide into the gravel and the down hill run from the turn saw Boyd stay just out of reach. He managed to catch Sullivan just before the line however, Sullivans efforts were enough for him to grab 3rd place. Kaleb was next in in 4th, Oliver McLean (scr) was 5th and fastest time although the hills are not Oliver’s favourite terrain whilst Michael was 6th.
Next week Club racing is again in the hills with racing starting at Leongatha North. Riders who have raced the 3 day weekend will be going well and along with an expected Warragul contingent should give the handicapper plenty of headaches.
report by Lindsay