Gippsland Championships 25th June 2017


Elite Men on the Mardan road ‘pinch’

In a busy weekend, Club members were again in action for the Gippsland Road titles, raced around the Nerrena and Mardan circuit.  The seniors and masters raced over 2 laps whilst the juniors and women raced 1 lap.  Again, the Sunday morning start saw temperatures at 8C and with a strong north westerly wind blowing.  This resulted in riders having a headwind up the Mardan climb and then a strong headwind down the hills back into Leongatha.

IMG_2492In the Elite Men division, Brett Franklin went on the attack in the first lap and carried a lead of around 1min over the line the first time.  However, the bunch kicked into gear with the tail wind and down hill run out of Leongatha.  By the time the riders reached the climb up to Mardan Brett had been reeled in and Daniel Furmston of the Latrobe Valley Club went on the attack. Just before the first 2km climb eases there was a shake out in the bunch as Chris Joustra (Latrobe) and Thomas McFarlane surged up to the leader. This saw just 3 riders left chasing – Will Lumby, Harrison McLean and Paul Collins (Latrobe) with the others scattered along the climb.  The leaders kept the pace going and slowly built their lead and reached the finish line with a 2 minute gap. The downhill dash to the line saw Thomas McFarlane take the title ahead of Daniel and Chris. Paul Collins led home the chasers with Harrison McLean 5th and Will Lumby 6th. Matt Parkinson (Warragul) was 7th, Brett Franklin 8th, Glen Marriott (Warragul) 9th and Connor Bagot (Warragul) 10th.

In the Masters race, there were just 2 riders in the over 60 group and they raced just the 1 lap.  Kevin Feely, who did not race on Saturday, had the fresher legs and took the win whilst Phil Handley did not back up so well on the second day had to settle for 2nd.  In the 35 to 55 grouping, racing over 2 laps, the field was all together at the top of the climb to Mardan but split on the headwind and downhill run back into Leongatha. Shane Stiles and Rob Monk, both from Warragul were the chief protagonists and soon had the race to themselves. At the finish it was Shane narrowly over Rob. Leigh Stott from the Leongatha club managed to pick up some help from dropped elite riders as he raced back to Leongatha for a hard won 3rd.

IMG_2489In the Junior race, also over 1 lap, Oliver McLean and Thomas Fitzgerald soon raced away. They powered up the hill to Mardan, catching the Masters field ahead before easing and waiting for the sprint to the line. Oliver saluted in first with Thomas 2nd and Kaleb Jans in 3rd.

The Womens race was also run over 1 lap. The women were happy to support each other and make sure all survived the conditions and reach the line.  The down hill dash saw Felicity Waddell win from Bernadette Fitzgerald whilst Kerry Fitzgerald took 3rd place.


event images

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