Saturday racing was around the demanding Kernot/Woodleigh/Grantville/Almurta circuit with riders racing 2 laps of the 26km circuit. Fortunately for riders and officials it was a great autumn afternoon with just light winds across the ridge making the riders work a bit harder. The senior field had 19 starters with riders split into 6 groups with limit at 15min. Several riders were away at State Country titles whilst others were out of action following a Wednesday night training encounter with a wombat.
Scratch rider Brett Franklin had the benefit of a visiting rider Daniel Strauss to assist in the chase.
By the end of the first lap there were just 2 out of the limit group left in front with the 5 rider bunch from 10minutes just 200metres behind. Gary Campbell, Kerry Pritchard, Harrison McLean, Morgan Barnes and Geoff Cranstone were riding steadily and importantly, keeping the bunch together. Not far behind were a trio from the 7 minute bunch – Neil White, Austin Timmins and Phil Hanley – and they looked a chance to bridge the gap. In quick succession the remnants of the 6minute bunch passed before a large bunch of riders lead through by the scratch duo looked to be doing enough to catch the riders over the next lap.
Out front, Kerry Pritchard and Gary Campbell split the bunch on the second climb up from Woodleigh and set out for the finish. Phil Hanley having his first ride for the season dropped his co-markers and bridged across through the stragglers of the 10minute bunch.
However at the finish it was a 2 up sprint with Kerry very pleased to grab the win from Gary. The race for third saw Harrison McLean gain his first podium place ahead of Phil. They were just ahead of the fast finishing scratch duo with Daniel taking 5th and fastest time from Brett. They were followed in by Chris Rowe in 7th, Austin Timmins 8th, Morgan Barnes 9th and Geoff Cranstone taking 10th place. The winner’s time was 1hr 36min with fastest time at 1 hr 27min.
The junior race had 7 starters race a 13km race on an out and back course over undulating terrain.
Matt Winchester, having his first ride of the season was treated generously by the handicapper starting on limit at 7.30min with Oliver McLean. At 30 sec behind was Thomas Fitzgerald whilst at a 1.30 handicap were Grace McLean and Bernadette Fitzgerald ahead of the scratch duo of Aaron Fraser and Alex Bennett. Matt was on his own out front after the first hill and kept going all the way to the finish for the win and a drastic re-handicap for his next ride. Behind Thomas managed to chase Oliver down and win the sprint for the minor places. The girls were right behind but just failed to close the handicap out. Chasing hard behind were the scratch duo with Alex Bennett finishing 6th and fastest.
Next week, the Club has been able to re-instate the Tarwin Lower race as the expected Gippsland race has been cancelled. This is another race with flat country punctuated by the climb up the Walkerville hills. Tuesday night the club has a meeting at Kevin Feely’s residence. This will sort out arrangements for the 3 day tour in June and further details for the road season.
report by Lindsay Love
|Place||Senior 51.2Km||Handicap||Time||Av. Speed|
|1||Kerry Pritchard||10mins||1hr 36mins 41s||31.77|
|2||Gary Campbell||10mins||1hr 36mins 41s||31.77|
|3||Harrison McLean||10mins||1hr 36mins 57s||31.69|
|4||Phil Hanley||7mins||1hr 33mins 57s||32.70|
|5||Daniel Strauss||scratch||1hr 27mins 14s FT||35.22|
|6||Brett Franklin||scratch||1hr 27mins 14s||35.22|
|7||Chris Rowe||3mins||1hr 30mins 14s||34.05|
|8||Austin Timmins||7mins||1hr 34mins 46s||32.42|
|9||Morgan Barnes||10mins||1hr 38mins 38s||31.15|
|10||Geoff Cranstone||2mins||1hr 39mins 26s||30.90|
|11||David Bennett||15mins||1hr 44mins 26s||29.42|
|12||Rod Cheyne||6mins||1hr 36mins 08s||31.96|
|13||Tony Smith||3mins||1hr 33mins 08s||32.98|
|14||Brad Bouqet||6mins||1hr 30mins 08s||34.08|
|15||Neil White||7mins||1hr 32mins 12s||33.32|
|16||Michael Park||15mins||1hr 55mins 41s||26.56|
|17||Mark Bensley||6mins||1hr 47mins 29s||28.58|
|18||Geoff Fraser||15mins||1hr 58mins 18s||25.97|
|Place||Junior 12.8Km||Handicap||Time||Av. Speed|
|1||Matt Winchester||7.5mins||28min 39s||26.81|
|2||Thomas Fitzgerald||7mins||31min 55s||24.06|
|3||Oliver McLean||7.5mins||32min 32s||23.61|
|4||Bernadette Fitzgerald||1.5mins||26min 33s||28.93|
|5||Grace McLean||1.5mins||27min 25s||28.01|
|6||Alex Bennett||scratch||26min 16s FT||29.24|
|7||Aaron Fraser||scratch||26min 22s||29.13|