Leongatha Junior Experience April 28/29 2012

The Club promoted its 15th Junior Experience weekend – a 2 day promotion aimed at the junior riders – Under 17, Under 15, Under 13 and Under 11 groups.  Once again there was a good turn out of riders with around 75 entries.  With another meeting at Wagga Wagga clashing the riders from the north of the state tend to head to Wagga Wagga.

The promotion involves races at the Wonthaggi Recreation reserve on Saturday involving 4 different events for each age group whilst Sunday sees an early start at 9.00am with the State Hill climb titles followed by a road handicap race.  Saturday the weather was fine but windy with the rain coming through around 2 hours after race completion.  Sunday was a clear and generally fine day with no wind.  Racing was completed without any falls.  The Leongatha club had 6 riders in action over the weekend with Saturday being there best day.

Austin Timmins in his first open meeting grabbed a third place in his criterium race and followed up with a fourth in his scratch race in a major learning experience but looks well capable of building on the outing.  This may happen in 2 weeks time when the club joins with the powerful Carnegie-Caulfield Club for racing at the Phillip Island Track.

Thomas McFarlane, back on the bike after a few weeks break from his successful tilt at the National Track Titles found the legs were a bit rusty as he tackled his first events. The first event of the day was a 1 lap handicap and Thomas had to settle for 2nd in this event.  He managed to pick up a second in his criterium and a win in his scratch race, looking better as the day wore on.

Will Lumby read the move in his criterium to be in a winning position but faded over the last 800m to finish third.  In his scratch race it was a similar outcome with another third.  It was a similar situation for Alexander Bennet as he also picked up a third in his scratch race.  Matt Minogue found himself riding well but in unfamiliar territory was a little tentative.  With the aggressive racing from the visitors he found himself chasing when he could have been better placed in the bunch.  He will benefit from the racing in close company.

On the Sunday morning, Alex chose not to race the Title event but to race the under 13 boys B grade event.  This proved to be a smart move as he came away with the win.  He followed up with a fourth in the handicap event as his bunch just failed to catch the leading trio.

In the Under 15 event, Hamish Bissett who had missed the Saturday rides fronted for the B grade hill climb and finished with a third pace just ahead of Matt Minogue with a fourth place ride.  In the handicap the club had 4 riders in this division.  Our riders finished in the main bunch but out of contention.

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