The Leongatha Cycling club promoted its 19th Junior Experience weekend with the help of major sponsorship from the Bendigo Bank Inverloch Community Bank with riders coming from near and far. Riders from Mt Gambier, Wangaratta, Echuca-Moama and Shepparton joined with a large contingent from Melbourne clubs to make it another successful weekend. There were a large number of riders having their first experience at Open competition.
The weekend format of 4 events on Saturday on closed circuits – time trial, straight line sprint, criterium and scratch race plus Sunday on the road – State Hill climb Championship and road handicap, enable riders of all abilities to find a niche and perhaps experience success. The Leongatha works hard to make it a good initiation for all groups. After some comments over recent years where race distances have tended to increase, the Club has responded with increased distances for the Sunday handicap.
The track was damp and a little greasy for the first race – a 1 lap time trial over around 800m which meant some of the M17 riders were a little hesitant and pushing the extremes of tire adhesion. Will Lumby who has shown good recent form started the day well winning The Crossover Cycles Wonthaggi time trial from Ryan Koraknai and Austin Timmins. Will continued on winning the straight line sprint, the race 1 criterium and the A grade scratch race. Behind him the places were shared around. Ryan Koroknai prevented a clean sweep by winning the straight line sprint.
In the W17 division the results were spread over the competitors. Grace McLean grabbed the time trial, Abigail Taylor the straight line sprint, Molly Bridger the Cycling Express A grade criterium and Macca Parkinson the A grade scratch race. In W15 the honours were shared between Elizabeth Nuspan and Madeleine Currie. The M15 was also hotly contested especially the time trial with hundreds of a second between the first 3. However, the top rider was Graham Frislie winning all events.
The M13 division James Anthony hit the front in all events when it all counted – at the finish line and against the clock – winning all events. James Brazier was a close second in most events. The W13 group all displayed plenty of tenacity and eagerness and the rider going best at the Saturday racing was Alyssa Polites winning all events. The minor places were split between Madeleine Starling and Jasmin Eddy.
The Under 11 group saw 5 starters racing and a few were showing signs of having watched some older starters. Eddie Jirovec came back well after the time trial to win the other 3 events however the time trial went to Belinda Bailey.
The Sunday racing at Outtrim follows the more traditional road racing format. However, a fine Sunday morning starts off with the State Hill Climb Championships with a run up Mt Misery. The under 11’s race 1km, the 13’s and 15’s race 2km and the Under 17’s race 3km. Even with an early start riders are well warmed up before the lung busting dash up the hill.
In M17 Liam Pino won from Liam Edwards and Will Lumby. In the W17 it was Elly Rose Ogden winning from Macca Parkinson and Edie Haley. In the M15 division it was Graeme Fislie from Sam Warren and Harry Morgan. The W15 division saw a win toe Elizabeth Nuspan from Madeleine Curry. In M13 it was James Anthony winning from Boyd Makepeace and James Fountain. For W13 Alyssa Polites won from Madeleine Starling and Cameron Bailey. Belinda bailey was the W11 champion whilst in the M11 it was Eddie Jirovec from Xavier Starling and Campbell Bailey.
The Port Melbourne Cycles sponsored road handicaps were run in great conditions. The out and back terrain for the J15’s, J13’s and J11’s suited the newer riders to have their first rides. In the M13 division, Robert Lamont won from Heath Foster and Callum Davidson, James Anthony took fastest time. In the W13 division, Lauren Wilson was the winner. Second and fastest went to Alyssa Polites and third to Madeleine Starling.
In the M15 division, Joel Baron was the winner ahead of Ben Rawlings and Angus Vander. Fastest time went to Graeme Frislie. Elizabeth Nuspan won the W15 from Madeleine Curry. In the J11 division it was Luke Bailey winning from Xavier Starling and Belinda Bailey.
The M17 and W17 raced over increased distances this year. The M17 race included 6 hills as wells as some flats. Hugo Morgan was the winner from Angus Mennen and Liam Edwards grabbed third and fastest. The W17 group saw Grace McLean take first from Molly Bridger and Danielle Quinlan whilst fastest time went to Ally Rose Ogden.