The grim weather forecasts for Saturday afternoon had club members in trepidation for the afternoon race however the weather gods sent the weather around the Kernot valley venue and racing was held in reasonable conditions. A small shower impacted some riders at the start whilst elsewhere around the Woodleigh-St Helier-Grantville-Almurta circuit it remained fine for the 2 laps of racing. There were 16 starters for the senior race and only 2 starters for the junior ride as the school holidays and a junior tour at Eildon impacted numbers.
The scratch duo of Brett Franklin and Thomas McFarlane were chasing riders at 4min (4), 10mins (5), 15 mins (3) and a duo on limit at 20min. The trio on 15min – Steve Wilson, Morgan Barnes and Kerry Pritchard had almost caught the limit duo after the first lap and still had a gap of around 6 min to scratch. However, they still had 1 more climb up the hills at St Helier. In their favour was the loss of scratch rider Thomas McFarlane for the last lap leaving Brett to chase down the 4 min bunch alone. At the Grantville turn on the last lap, Steve Wilson was leading Morgan Barnes with Kerry Pritchard 15 secs in arrears. They had a gap of around 2min on the survivors of the 4 min bunch – Will Lumby and Peter Hollins with Brett Franklin just about to make contact. That small lead was enough to see them sprint for the win with Morgan Barnes taking the win in 1hr 25.43min from Steve Wilson. Brett Franklin sprinted in for 3rd and Fastest time – 1hr 22.02min ahead of Will Lumby and Peter Hollins. Next home in 6th was Kerry Pritchard, followed by Rod Cheyne, Michael Park, Leigh Stott and rounding out the top ten was Bernadette Fitzgerald.
The 2 juniors rode 1 lap of the circuit with Thomas Fitzgerald sprinting to the win ahead of Kaleb Jans. Their time was 1hr 2min 50 sec.
Next weekend the club will be running time trials at Outtrim followed by a hill climb up Mt Misery. The club will also run State Time trials for the para cyclists. The clubs Alex Welsh will be hoping for a win on home turf. The flat run to Leongatha South and return should be a breeze compared to hand cycling up the hills to Mardan.
Over the weekend Harrison, Oliver and Grace McLean and Austin Timmins raced the Eildon Junior Tour. This is a well supported event with some riders coming from interstate and along with the cold conditions over the weekend it was a challenging race outing . Oliver placed midfield in the Men 15 B grade field, Grace slotted in at around the 7th placed rider in the women 17 field, Harrison rode well in his Men 19 Time Trial with a 9th place, punctured in the second stage and had a 3rd in the last stage. It was a similar mix for Austin in the Men 17 with an average time trial followed by a 2nd place in stage 2 and leading the sprint out early in stage 3 but fading to 6th place – well done riders.
report by Lindsay