Dumbalk 7th May
Club racing used a new course on Saturday with racing starting at Dumbalk and riding through Mirboo up the Limonite hill and then out toward Boolara Sth before turning and retracing the route. With riders enjoying fantastic autumn weather they were well and truly warmed up after the climb to the turn.
The numbers were down for the Saturday racing with a number of riders racing at the Ararat Junior tour. The handicapper had 16 entries. This saw 2 start at 20 min – Sally Head and Graham Jans, followed by Mark Bensley, Rod Cheyne, Tony Giles and Kerry Pritchard at 14 min. The middle markers were Gavin Slavin, Bernadette Fitzgerald, Kevin Feely and Rob Monk (Warragul) on 7 minutes whilst there was a 6 rider scratch bunch of Thomas McFarlane, Stefan Kirsch, Brian Sing, Harrison McLean, Clem Fries and Will Lumby. At the turn the leading trio were Sally, Rod and Tony with a gap of 2 minutes over Graham and Mark with a further gap to Kerry, Rob and Kevin Feely at around 3 minutes. Gavin Slavin turned just ahead of the scratch bunch survivors, Thomas, Stefan, Brian and Harrison who were still 5 minutes adrift.
The mainly down-hill run back to Dumbalk saw the scratch bunch pick up all but the leading trio. The scratch bunch started to watch each other and not continue to work as they neared the end and this allowed the leading trio to come in around 200m ahead of the scratch bunch. In the dash to the line Sally Head took the win from Tony Giles and Rod Cheyne. Thomas McFarlane took out the bunch sprint to take 4th and fastest with a time of 1hr 12.1 min for the 46km. Next in was Harrison just ahead of Brian, Stefan, Rob, Kerry and rounding out the top 10 was Gavin Slavin.
The B grade field was down to just 3 riders with the other juniors away at Ararat, This trio raced 24km out to the Turton Creek Rd junction and return as a scratch race. In the dash to the line it was Kaleb Jans winning from Zach Stubbs-Taylor and Greg Bradshaw,
Next week Club racing will move westward with racing starting and finishing at Kernot. However, the field may again be small as there is a major tour on at Warrnambool – this time for the senior riders. At Ararat, the club members were in big fields with a large contingent of South Australian riders in attendance. Thomas Fitzgerald (M15 B Grade) was 6th in the opening time trial as was Oliver McLean in the M15 A grade field. Grace McLean riding in the W17 field ran 13the whilst Austin Timmins in the M17 field was 5th in the time trial. With the tour decided on the overall time the riders would have to do well in the remaining 2 road stages to finish up well in the overall classification. However, Stage wins would always be welcome.
In the Saturday afternoon road stage both Austin and Thomas were second in their respective races. Austin managed to gain time on several of the riders in front of him to move into second overall whilst Thomas was right back in contention. The Sunday road races again saw Austin run second and secure second overall in the tour whilst Thomas finished 4th but lost several seconds to his main opposition and this left him just off the podium. Oliver was always in the mix but had a few riders ahead of him in each stage. Grace succumbed to some difficulties and could not start all her stages. Well done riders and I am sure it was great learning experience for Thomas and would be pleasing to Austin to see he is very competitive in his age group.
report – Lindsay
Ararat Junior tour overall General classification