Saturday racing was held from Tarwin Lower out the Walkerville Road and return. Following a wet morning the weather cleared in the afternoon for good riding conditions – no blustery wind and no rain so riders were happy to race. The senior race was over around 36km and involved racing toward Walkerville, up the hill to just past the Cape Litrap turn.
For the limit riders it is always great to make it to the turn before the chasing bunches make the catch. It is always a fast run back to Tarwin Lower and difficult to chase down gaps. Thirteen riders fronted and the two scratch riders – Brett Franklin and Peter Hollins gave 4 minutes to a group of 4 riders, 9 minutes to a duo, 11 minutes to a trio and 16 minutes to the limit riders.
The limit riders Geoff Fraser and Lindsay Love split up at the start and this enabled the trio of David Bennett, Tony Giles and Stephen Wilson to hit the front at the turn. The duo of Brad Bouquet and Kerry Pritchard although working well had not managed to eat into the gap. Meanwhile at the rear, Brett Franklin jumped away from Peter Hollins on the climb and bridged to the 4 minute group. At this point they had closed the gap to Brad and Kerry from 5 min to around 2.30min. However out front the leasing trio were working well under Steve Wilsons tutelage.
The run back to Tarwin Lower saw the leading trio stay just out of sight of the pursuers. The backmarkers picked up all the others at around 4km from the finish but had run out of distance to catch the leaders – even with Brett Franklin trying to close the gap alone over the last few kilometres.
The sprint to the line saw Dave Bennett claim the win ahead of Tony Giles and and Stephen Wilson in a time of 62.07 min. Next home was Brett Franklin for 4th and fastest (57.01min). Chris Rowe had managed to follow Brett’s last move and duly secured 5th. The bunch sprint saw Steve Allen 6th, Neil White 7th, Kerry Pritchard 8th, Brad Bouquet 9th and Lindsay Love rounded out the top 10.
In the junior race over 16kms, Austin Timmins riding from scratch made the most of his start at the same time as 2 of the seniors to chase down the other 4 starters and once again record a first and fastest time of 34.50min. He outsprinted Matt Minogue (2min) at the finish. Matt Winchester riding from 7 min managed to hold on for 3 ahead of Alex Bennett and Aaron Fraser.
report by Lindsay Love