SATURDAY’S Leongatha Cycling Club racing was held at Korrine and the long missing winter finally arrived.
Riders and officials had to battle extremely strong and gusty winds which made the 10C conditions seem closer to freezing; the wind gusts appearing to stall riders.
The senior race was over two laps with just 12 starters, including hand cyclist Alex Welsh.
Alex, who is a paraplegic, rides a special low slung carbon fibre creation which he propels via the hands.
Whilst he did not catch as much wind it is still a great effort for him to haul himself up the Glen Alvie hills.
Alex started with a 20min handicap followed by Damian King at 14min.
Damian is having his first season and working hard at increasing his fitness.
He rode to and from Korumburra for the racing and his condition is improving each week.
There were five riders in the 7min bunch, three riders at 4minutes and a duo on scratch – Brett Franklin and Will Lumby.
After the first lap, Damien King was first through just ahead of Alex whilst Kevin Feely (3min) and Austen Timmins (3min) had managed to catch the 7min bunch up the hill to the Glen Alvie corner.
The increased tempo split that bunch with just Steve Wilson and Kerry Pritchard going with the pace.
Meanwhile the scratch pairing found Will Lumby suffering as he could not get any shelter behind the diminutive Brett Franklin and was forced to ride alone.
Brett meanwhile chased hard and had closed to within 3mins of the leaders.
The second lap saw Brett continue his charge with only Kevin Feely and Austin Timmins managing to go anywhere near following his moves.
At the end it was Brett winning (59.29min) by 100metres from the ever improving junior Austin Timmins followed by Kevin Feely in third.
The juniors were not too keen on doing a circuit so raced over a 10km out and back course.
The scratch duo of Alex Bennett and Bernadette Fitzgerald gave a 30sec start to Grace McLean.
After 4.5km it was Grace still leading but with a gap of only around 15sec over a hard chasing Bernadette and a further 10sec gap over Alex with the climb up to Glen Alvie still ahead.
As well as the climb the riders had to battle a strong head wind up to the Glen Alvie turn.
Alex may have been harbouring some thought of closing the gap on the climb but it was not to be.
With the finish line in sight it was Grace and Bernadette in a two-up battle.
At the line it was Grace with the win from Bernadette – second and fastest 21.13sec.
Next week racing is at Pound Creek for the Lex Watt (seniors) and Dancs Cup (juniors).