Club racing was held at Kernot on Saturday. This was a new location for the club and racing involved a 26km circuit from Kernot, via Woodleigh, up the hill to the Gurdies- Almurta Rd, across the ridge top to the Grantville- Glen Alvie Road then back via Almurta and past the top of the reservoir for a finish at Kernot. Saturday proved to be a difficult day to work with as rain at 1.30pm looked like cancelling the race. However the rain cleared and the 22 riders were sent on their way.
The 2 scratch riders were chasing a 5 rider bunch on 2 minutes, 6 riders on 4 minutes, 5 riders on 7 minutes and 4 limit riders on 13 minutes. The first lap saw the bunches stay together however the gaps shrunk between the groups. The seven minute bunch of Phil Hanley, Rod Cheyne, Steve Wilson, Neil White and Morgan Barnes had cut their chase from 6 minutes to under 2 minutes whilst the big movers were the 4 minute bunch of Steve Allen, Elliot Gin, Paul Taranto, Tony Clark, Clem Fries and Steve Piasente. Missing in action was the scratch duo who took the wrong turn at Woodleigh.
Up the Woodleigh hills second time around there was a big change in the race. The 4 minute bunch swept up the rest of the field. With the bunch hitting the front Paul Taranto attacked on the last part of the climb and opened up a gap of around 400m but still had around 12km to race. The attack left only 6 riders scrambling together into a chase bunch. To add to their woes it began to rain as the riders descended from the Grantville hilltop. With temperatures of only around 9C, riders were starting to struggle with the conditions. A big effort from Tony Clark had bridged the gap to around 50m as the riders reached the Almurta climb. However, Paul powered over this hill to again open up a gap of around 200m which he held until the finish to score a courageous and deserved win. Tony Clark finished strongest from the chase group to claim 2nd ahead of Steve Wilson 3rd. Then it was Phil Hanley, Neil White, Elliot Gin and Clem Fries. They were followed home by Morgan Barnes finishing just ahead of the 2 minute bunch where Tony Smith claimed 9th and Phil Camenzuli 10th. The second lap saw Rod Cheyne, Eamon Feely and Kerry Pritchard all puncture.
Pauls efforts up the hill and driving the 4 minute bunch saw him take the win and fastest time clocking 1hr 27min 48 sec for the 52km race.
In the junior race Thomas McFarlane and Mitch Gin gave James Scott a 5 minute lead on the 12 km ride out and back towards Woodleigh. At the turn the chasing duo had a good chance to see how their chase was going. By half way back they had picked up James and as they were heading up the hills through the big “S” bend Mitch saw that James had dropped off a length with Thomas behind him. Mitch saw this as a chance and sprinted up the hill to open a gap that Thomas could not bridge. At the line it was a clear win to Mitch, from Thomas and James. This makes 2 consecutive wins for Mitch and probably a stint as sole scratch rider.