Leongatha North Race Report – May 29th 2010

Club racing on Saturday was around the tough Leongatha North circuit with the race starting and finishing atop the hills at Leongatha North adjacent the tennis courts.  The senior race was over 2 laps (38km) and was raced in reasonably still and warmish conditions.  The senior field had 21 starters with one virtual scratch rider (at 1 min) giving a 3 rider limit bunch a start of 11 minutes.  However, all the action came from those behind the limit riders.  There were starting bunches at 9min, 6 min, 4 min and 2 minutes.

Over the first lap gaps closed slowly until the road headed upwards to Leongatha North.  First move was the 9 minute bunch catching the limit riders and then the 4 minute bunch of Jason Scott, Elliot Gin, Paul Taranto, Tony Clark and Clem Fries catching the 6 minute bunch of Steve Allen, Steve Wilson and Neil White half way up the main climb.  This bunch of 8 riders then powered down the hills back through Leongatha picking up the limit bunch and 9 minute bunch.  Some of the caught riders were enjoying a bit of time on the back of the fast moving bunch.   The 6 rider bunch on 2 minutes was having trouble closing the gap whilst the lone scratch rider had not managed to bridge the 1 minute gap and was out of contention.

The second time up the climbs to the finish saw the lead bunch shrink from 12 riders back to a bunch of just 5 riders for the dash to the line.  Steve Allen, having had an easy ride in the bunch found the uphill finish to his liking as he claimed the win just ahead of Clem Fries, Tony Clark, Paul Taranto and Steve Wilson.  The winning time was 57.42minutes.  Next home in 6th was Jason Scott, followed by Neil White and then Mark Dixon from the 9 minute bunch in 8th place with a good finish up the hills.  Perhaps Mark living just down the road helps with his climbing.  Then it was the 2 minute bunch finishing and chasing the fastest time honours.  In a close finish Eamon Feely picked up 9th and fastest time whilst Tony Smith rounded out the top ten.  Fastest time was 55.14min.

In the junior race the riders raced down the hills towards Leongatha before turning at Spncers Rd and racing back up the hills for the finish.  First away was Mathew Minogue with a 6 minute start.  He was chased by the scratch duo of Mitch Gin and Thomas McFarlane. By the time the riders started on the climb back up through the trees of Hannam’s bush the field was all together.  Mitch Gin proved to be the strongest up the climb as he gained a small break and went on to win and claim fastest time.  He was followed home by Thomas and Mathew.

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