The 2019 road racing season kicked off with racing at Pound Creek on Saturday. It was a great autumn afternoon – minimal wind and pleasant temperatures as the senior riders were split into A and B grade for the 2 laps of the 26km circuit. The club welcomed new riders – Jesse Riley and Armadeep Pannu along for the racing.
The A grade field included Alex Dunbar and Ollie McLean who have been going well in the State racing series so the others in the 7 rider field were in for a hard time. After the first lap, there were just 4 left in the bunch with Syd Jackson and Leigh Stott finding the pace over the golf course hill too hot for them. Tom Fitzgerald made a brave effort but was un-hooked just before the hilltop so was chasing around 30 sec adrift after the first lap. The pressure was again applied on the second lap and at the end, there were just 3 riders contesting the finish. Alex Dunbar lead out early which suited Oliver McLean as he came out of the slipstream to take a narrow win at the line ahead of Alex whilst Jesse Riley, on the come back from glandular fever was pleased to be just behind in 3rd. Harry McLean was a further 1 minute behind in 4th. The other bunch members finished with the B Grade bunch.
In the B grade bunch, the club also saw the return of top junior Austin Timmins who has been finishing his secondary college studies and doing surf live saving for a couple of years. Austin worked well with Peter McLean and Kevin Feely on the first lap to split the bunch leaving Bernadette Fitzgerald and Armadeep Pannu to chase on their own. The dropped A grade riders helped this trio cover the last lap in pretty good time. The dash to the line was another close affair with Austin just pipped on the line by Peter McLean to make it a McLean double act for the day. Kevin Feely trailed in a further 1.30 adrift for 3rd place. Armadeep took 4th and Bernadette 5th.
After having several juniors in the previous weeks the school holidays left just Bastian Jefferies as a lone rider. He was given a 6km time trial and recorded 17.49 min so that should help the handicapper in coming weeks.
Next week the racing will start at the Leongatha North tennis courts. The seniors will ride to Trida and return whilst juniors will get a run down the hill to Spencers Rd so hopefully, Easter will allow for plenty of riders to partake.