• Leongatha Cycling

CLUB members enjoyed a great winter day as they battled for the trophies – the A Graders for the Lex Watt Trophy and the B Graders for the Watchorn Trophy.
The racing was around the Pound Creek circuit with A Grade racing two laps (48km) and the B Grade group just the one lap. Both races were handicap events.
The A Grade field was led away by a trio – Peter McLean, Felicity Waddell and Alex Welsh, with a 25 minute start.
Alex was aboard his sled and hand cycling so not providing any slip stream for the co-markers.
They were followed by a quartet on 15 minutes, a further quartet on 9 min with a duo on 5 min and a quartet on scratch.
The handicapper had it pretty well sorted as most groups split the time starts after the first lap so it would come down to fitness over the last part of the race.
By the time the riders reached the highway corner on the last lap the leader was Peter McLean with a small gap on Alex. However, the remnants of the 15 min and 9 min bunches were grouped together and pedalling well.
They would need to keep busy as the 5 min duo were in with the scratch riders and were also motoring but they were 2.30min down on the leader with just 8km of mainly downhill run remaining.
The chasing bunch of six riders closed down the leaders with around 2km to race and set it up for a bunch sprint.
The dash to the line saw Michael Park (15min) grab the win from Chris Rowe 9min) with Kevin Feely (9min) in third.
Peter McLean battled on valiantly to take fourth with Tony Giles (15min) 5th, Kerry Pritchard (15min) 6th and Bernadette Fitzgerald (15min) in 7th.
The scratch bunch was just behind and Brett Franklin flashed home in 8th and fastest time – 1hr 17.40min.
Harrison McLean (Scr) was 9th and rounding out the top 10 was Oliver McLean (5min).
In the B Grade race, Kaleb Jans (scr) had Kerry Fitzgerald on 8min with Caleb Murphy and Greg Bradshaw on 10min.
The climbs up the hills toward Koonwarra and then the hill at the golf course saw Kerrie Fitzgerald catch the leaders and then drop Greg.
However, Caleb Murphy managed to stick with her and then outsprint her at the line to take the trophy.
Kaleb Jans was pegging them back all the way but the handicap was too great. He finished third and fastest.
Next Saturday the club will run the club road championship at Pound Creek as the preferred course at Korrine is still subject to roadworks.
In a busy weekend the riders will need to front up on Sunday as the club runs the Gippsland Road Titles around the Nerrena-Mardan circuit with a start at the Secondary College.
Members are reminded there is a club meeting on Tuesday night.