Leongatha Junior experience 28-29th March
The Leongatha Cycling club promoted its 19th Junior Experience weekend with the help of major sponsorship from the Bendigo Bank Inverloch Community Bank with riders coming from near anf far. Riders from Mt Gambier, Wangaratta, Echuca-Moama and Shepparton joined with a large contingent from Melbourne clubs to make it another successful weekend. There were a large number of riders having their first experience at Open competition.
The weekend format of 4 events on Saturday on closed circuits – time trial, straight line sprint, criterium and scratch race plus Sunday on the road – State Hill climb Championship and road handicap, enable riders of all abilities to find a niche and perhaps experience success. The Leongatha works hard to make it a good initiation for all groups. After some comments over recent years where race distances have tended to increase, the Club has responded with increased distances for the Sunday handicap.
Local riders were in the action over the weekend. In the Men 17 section Will Lumby won 3 out of 4 events on Saturday whilst Austin Timmins picked up several placings. In the Women 17 division, Grace McLean started the day well with a time trial win and took out an intermediate sprint in the criterium but was just missing in the other races. Mitch Harry having his first race day rode well and learnt plenty from the outing.
In the Men15 division, Oliver McLean grabbed a win in the B grade scratch race to finish the day of well after placing in an earlier criterium. Thomas Fitzgerald being a teenager who has yet to have a growth spurt, found he was shunted out of position by some bigger riders but fought back well to run fourth in his scratch race.
The club had 3 riders having their first outing in the Men 13 group. Kaleb Jans was able to step up and compete well and grab places in the criterium and B grade scratch race. He messed up his time trial as he missed the starting time by around 5 seconds. Max Slinger and Michael Eastwood were like Mitch Harry in the M17 – on a big learning curve.
Sunday brought a sunny autumn day and riders keen to tackle the Hill Climb Title. Will Lumby was the only Leongatha rider to feature taking the bronze in the M17 division. Sam Warren, son of former Club champion, Paul Warren, and who rides with Brunswick took out the silver medal in the M15 division.
After a short break it was into the road handicaps for the various divisions. It was a mixed day for the club members. Kaleb Jans and two other riders in the M13 section touched wheels and hit the deck was probably the worst of it whilst Grace McLean came through to win the W17 race over 30km and was just 14 sec in missing fastest time which was a fantastic ride. Max Slinger having his first ride in open competition rode well to come home in 6th place in the M13. Oliver McLean was 8th in the M15 division and Michael Eastwood and Thomas Fitzgerald missed on a top 10 place.
In the M17 division, Austin Timmins was on second scratch and Will Lumby was in the scratch bunch. Neither bunch was able to catch the winning bunch but Will managed to take the second fastest time prize. Mitch Harry, riding from the limit mark and having his first ride over the 48km distance was pleased to complete the journey and prove to himself that he can manage racing – well done Mitch.
With Easter next weekend there is no club racing. The next club race is April 11th at Tarwin Lower followed by the John Sauvarin Memorial ride/walk and BBQ at Koonwarra Recreation Reserve on Sunday April 12 from 10.00am. This is a charity day and funds raised go to the Heart Foundation.
event images (300)
Digital print copies of images are available with the compliments of Leongatha Cycling Club.
Leongatha Cycling Club would like to thank the following sponsors for support to this event.
Inverloch and District Community Bendigo Bank $2000
Cycling Express over $400 of credit vouchers at their online store
WheelHeat for $600 of items at cost price
Crossover Cycles for $600 of items at cost price
Port Melbourne Cycles for 3 free bike fit and service vouchers
Bunnings Hardware for 100 drink bottles.