Saturday racing was around the Leongatha North circuit and members were very lucky with the weather. At 1.00pm officials were enjoying sunshine and around 18C temperatures but watching clouds head toward Leongatha. The radar was not looking promising and riders who had come from Wonthaggi reported rainy conditions. This prompted the erection of the club marquee just in time to see the rain come and the temperature fall to 12C. However, by 2.00pm the rain had cleared and racing was started with 15 riders competing. Lone scratch rider Brett Franklin had 3 riders on 1minute, 4 riders at 3min, 3 riders at 6 min, then 2 at 9 minutes and two on limit at 11 min.
At the end of the first lap as they came past the start point at the Leongatha North tennis courts the 4 riders in the 11 and 9 minute groups were all together with Michael Park leading the group. However they had the trio of Kerry Pritchard, Steve Wilson and Mark Bensley closing in. Not far behind the 3 minute quartet had a narrow lead over the back markers so it was looking like a win to the back markers.
However, after some early season rides where Michael could not manage the tempo of road racing, he was keen to put last weekend’s 3 day tour riding to good use.
After 2 laps it was a dogged Michael who crossed the line just ahead of the fast finishing Brett Franklin and Will Lumby to claim his first win in a time of 67min14sec. Brett claimed 2nd and fastest time in 57.15 whilst Will also rode well up the hills for 3rd in 59.15. Next home was David Supple from the 1.00minute bunch with another great ride. The next trio home was led in by Neil White for 5th, Kevin Feely 6th and Steve Wilson 7th. With the uphill run to the finish there were small gaps between riders. Kerry Pritchard rode well to finish in 8th then it was Mark Bensley in 9th and Brad Bouquet rounded out the top 10.
There were no juniors racing at club level this weekend as we had a good contingent at Shepparton for the junior tour up there. Tom McFarlane won 2 out of 3 stages to finish in 3rd overall for the weekend losing out because of an average time trial ride. Austin Timmins and the McLeans – Harrison, Grace and Oliver all rode well but missed on the podium places. However, it was all a good learning curve to race at State level.
Next Tuesday night there is a club meeting at Steve Wilsons whilst next Saturday will see the club members race for the George Martin Trophy around the tough Nerrena-Mardan circuit with a start at the Leongatha Secondary College.
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