The Club held an out-and-back handicap event over 42 Kilometres from Tarwin Lower to Walkerville on Saturday with a small field of riders braving the wintry conditions. The field was a made up of a lone scratch rider, three small groups and one rider on a 20min limit.
Brett Franklin on scratch had his work cut out giving a minute advantage to a strong group of four ahead of him. This group of Austin Timmins, Thomas McFarlane, Steve Allen and Harrison McLean with the aid of a tail wind were travelling at around 50kph soon after the start making Brett’s task even greater and he was losing time on this group on the way out. Phil Hanley and Bernadette Fitzgerald from the 12 min group were riding strongly as they crossed the ridge at the Cape Liptrap turn-off with Mark Bensley from this group losing contact on the climb. The duo of Leigh Stott and Oliver McLean riding off 8min had only managed to gain around 30 sec from Phil and Bernadette as they passed this point.
After turning at Walkerville the limit rider Graham Jans was caught by Phil and Bernadette as they crossed back over the ridge on the return journey to Tarwin lower. It was tough going on the run back into the wind. Graham had lost contact with the leaders and Leigh and Oliver were caught by three of the 12min group now making a field of five with another eight kilometres to the finish and four riders still ahead of them.
Phil Hanley powered home for a comfortable win leaving the other riders stretched out over the last kilometre, in second place with a commendable effort was Bernadette, third and fastest time was Austin Timmins, fourth Thomas McFarlane, fifth Steve Allen, sixth Leigh Stott, seventh Mark Bensley, eight Brett Franklin, ninth Oliver McLean, tenth Graham Jans.
In B grade there were only five riders made up of mainly juniors to tackle an out-and-back handicap event over a flat 23 kilometre course. First away were Greg Bradshaw and Jack Allen on a 3.5minute limit, then Zach Stubs-Teylor (3min), followed by Kaleb Jans (1.5mins) and Thomas Fitzgerald on scratch. It was won by Jack Allen; in second place with fastest time was Thomas Fitzgerald, third Kaleb Jans, fourth Greg Bradshaw and fifth Zach Stubs-Teylor.
As an Election Day theme a sausage sizzle was kindly provided by the Fitzgeralds’ after the race, while the results and announcements were being made. It was greatly appreciated by all.
The racing next week is at Leongatha North on Sunday, starting at 9.30am.