LEONGATHA Cycling Club’s Saturday racing was at Tarwin Lower using and out and back course on the Walkerville Road.
Weather conditions cleared from drizzly rain early in the day to an overcast but fine day with a light breeze blowing from the north – great conditions for racing.
With no scratch riders present it was a seven rider virtual scratch bunch on two minutes that were chasing eight riders at five minutes then with two riders at eight minutes, two riders at 10 minutes and a lone limit rider at 13 minutes.
With large chasing bunches the handicapper could have been more generous to the outmarkers.
At the 19km turn mark, just past the Cape Liptrap corner, the large five minute bunch had gathered up the outmarkers and were working hard to keep the two minute bunch behind.
The pace was on for the return run with several riders shelled from the bunch.
At the 8km mark there was just one minute between the bunches.
Neil White, Steve Wilson, Rod Cheyne, Tony Giles and Brad Bouquet were working hard and thought for while they may stay away.
However with 3km to go the backmarkers rounded up the leading group.
Chris Rowe, Phil Camenzuli and Steve Allen did not slack and soon found they had put a gap between themselves and the field and they held this in to the turn at the bowling green and the dash to the line.
In the three-up sprint Chris Rowe cleared the line a clear winner from Phil and Steve.
The bunch was led home by Steve Wilson for fourth – Steve was on a new bike after destroying his previous bike in the tango with the wombat a week and a half back. In fifth place it was David Supple, then Tony Giles, Phil Hanley, Harrison McLean, Kevin Feely and rounding out the top 10 was Rod Cheyne.
The fastest time went to Chris Rowe at 1hr 4min and 56sec.
Last week’s winners were well covered this week. However, it was pleasing to see the continued improvement from the younger riders – Michael Park, Harrison McLean and Austin Timmins.
The Saturday circuit is difficult for these guys as they are on a reduced gear and when it comes to high speed work with the senior riders these guys find themselves being pedalled to the limit.
In the junior race over 16.5km, the riders are making life difficult for the handicapper.
The five starters all started off on different marks with limit being Oliver McLean on eight minutes.
After several weeks of struggling Oliver found wings on Saturday has he romped home in 36.39min.
In second place was sister Grace in 30.50min. Just behind was Bernadette Fitzgerald in third and fastest in 30.26min.
Perhaps it was starting just ahead of a tractor but Bernadette had also ridden well.
Last week’s fastest time winner, Alex Bennett, was missing his co marker and this week struggled to be competitive; he came home in fourth whilst Thomas Fitzgerald was fifth.
Next week the club road titles will be held at Korrine which will be tough conditions for riders to survive in scratch races around the hills on that circuit.
The website for entering the three-day Gippsland tour is also open for entries.
Leongatha host the Sunday racing from the Leongatha Secondary college around the Nerrena-Mardan circuit.
Members are also advised to check the road fixture on the club website as it now includes riders listed for corner duty each weekend.
Riders need to either do the corner duty or find someone to swap with.