Club members had a taste of cold winter weather as they rode the new course from Hallston. The extra elevation at Hallston meant the riders had only 8deg.C at the top of the climb at Trida. The riders also had to contend with a shower as they raced down the hill toward Leongatha and the first turn point at Canavans Rd. With several riders racing at Bendigo and the track meet in Melbourne along with school holidays it was a reduced field for racing.
The handicapper sent Damien King away with a handicap of 22min ahead of a quartet on 14 min, followed by a 5 rider bunch on 7min. They were chased by a duo on 2 min and the lone scratch rider Brett Franklin. The first part of the race provided a 12km run basically downhill before the turn and the 18km climb up to Trida. With out and back runs the riders had 2 chances to gain a sighter on the other riders so were able to gauge their efforts. At the Trida turn with just a 10km run down hill to the finish it was still Damien King in front by around 2 min from Steve Allen and Lorcan Heneghan from the 7 minute bunch. However , just a further minute behind the was Rob Monk (7min), Matt Parkinson (2min) and Harrison McLean (2min) along with Mark Bensley and Tony Giles from the 14min bunch. It looked like it would be touch and go whether Damien would stay away.
However, Damien had sighted them on his return journey and he raced home to win with 1 min in hand. Steve Allen slipped away from Lorcan on the turn and also powered home with 2 min in hand to claim second from Matt who just out-sprinted Harrison for third. Next home in 5th was Rob Monk, then Lorcan, Mark Bensley, Tony Giles, the scratch rider Brett Franklin in 9th and fastest time – 1hr, 8min and 5 sec for the 40km. Rounding out the top ten was Gavin Slavin from the 7 min bunch.
With only Jack Allen and Kaleb Jans for the junior race things did not go smoothly. First off Kaleb punctured his tyre in a warm ride – he gashed the tyre and that need a temporary sleeve to get him to the start line. Kaleb had a gap of 30 sec on Jack at the Trida turn but disaster again struck as the tyre was going down. Jack made the most of Kaleb’s misfortune to chase him down and race home for the win whilst Kaleb made it to the finish on a flat tyre.
Next week racing will start at Tarwin Lower for the race out to Walkerville North and return.