With the early start to road season riders were able to enjoy another great autumn day of racing from Outtrim on Saturday. The course through Kongwak, then West Creek and Wattle Bank before heading back to Outtrim has some solid hills early in the race before some flats in the latter part. A steady east wind meant the run back through Wattle Bank to Outtrim was into a head wind. The senior field of 20 riders saw 5 start in the scratch bunch and this grouping always looked to be the dangers. Once the going into the headwind happened this group just ate through the handicaps.
The limit bunch on 14 min contested of riders having their first race or first races of the season so the handicapper was in the dark on how to look after them. Katherine Fitzgerald, Sally Head , Dane Herbert and Jeff Fraser made the half way point in front. However, the gaps had narrowed considerably behind. The scratch quintet were down to 4 riders – Brett Franklin, Stefan Kirsch, Clem Fries and Will Lumby, but had picked up second scratch (4 min) remnants of Austin Timmins, Chris Rowe and Kevin Feely. The large group at 6 minutes was also being swallowed up.
The power riding by the scratch riders left all the others behind as they raced through the leaders and lined up for the uphill finish at Outtrim. The dash to the line saw Brett Franklin take first and fastest – 1hr 2min and 28 sec. Second went to Stefan Kirsch, 3rd to Clem Fries, 4th Will Lumby and last in the winning bunch was Chris Rowe. Austin Timmins was 6th, Sally Head road home strongly and showed she can make the switch from mountain biking to road racing to claim 7th. Leigh Stott from the 6 minute bunch finished well at 8th, Kevin Feely at 9th and rounding out the top 10 was Sam Warren. Sam was doing some work in preparation for next week’s Junior Experience race and on Saturday’s effort should go well next weekend.
The junior riders raced over around 12 km on an out and back run along Stewarts Rd. The limit riders (7.00min) were Max Slinger and David Eastwood. David was having his first ride after finally getting a clearance following a broken arm some months past. They were followed by Michael Eastwood (5 min), Kaleb Jans (3.30), Thomas Fitzgerald (2.30 min) and the scratch rider Oliver McLean. Oliver was sporting a new helmet after taking a tumble at Sunday racing in Melbourne. At the finish it was a clear win to Kaleb Jans in 23.04 min. Next home was Michael Eastwood 25.05 min just ahead of limit rider Max in 27.34min. Closing in fast but running out of distance were Oliver and Thomas. In a dive for the line it was Oliver by a tire from Thomas. This netted Oliver 4th and fastest. David completed his first day in 30.40min.
Next weekend the junior riders are in action at Wonthaggi on Saturday from 9.00am and Sunday at Outtrim 8.00am. The seniors will be helping to run the races and if enough are keen there will be a race on Sunday afternoon for them. The Saturday racing will give riders 4 events – a time trial, straight line sprint and a scratch race. The Sunday racing will start with a dash up Mt Misery for the Victorian Hill Climb title followed by a road race.
Riders are reminded to check the web site listing of the road fixture. A new edition will be the names of the corner stewards rostered on for duty each week. Riders can either do the duty or get someone else to take their turn to help run the races.
report by Lindsay