A SPRINT to the line decided Leongatha Cycling Club’s Sunday morning Father’s Day race, from Tarwin Lower to Walkerville North and back, a distance of 42 kilometres. The victor, in a sprint finish, was the in-form Oliver McLean, who is gearing up for the National Junior road titles in Western Australia in a few week’s time. Just after Oliver came in Alex Dunbar, who is continuing good form, with Thomas Fitzgerald third and, not that far back, Leigh Stott in fourth.
Riders had to battle a tricky cross headwind on the 20 kilometre run out to Walkerville North.
There were just eight riders competing, with the morning showers and the day’s festivities possibly turning away some members, but the rain mostly cleared for a good morning’s racing. Peter McLean and Tony Giles were first away, off 15 minutes, with Kevin Feely, Chris Rowe and Thomas Fitzgerald off seven minutes, followed by the three-man scratch bunch of Oliver McLean, Leigh Stott, and Alex Dunbar. Giles and McLean made good progress to the only major climb, with McLean clearing away up the hill. And a little further back Kevin Feely left behind his fellow markers, Fitzgerald and Rowe. However, on the turn it was Peter McLean in front with Kevin Feely giving chase. And meanwhile Fitzgerald had jumped onto the scratch bunch but plans for Rowe to do the same were thwarted with a flat tyre. The scratch bunch plus one were making use of favourable winds and motoring home to reel in Feely and McLean with only a couple of kilometres to go, and these four contested the top four placings. Feely came in for fifth, just ahead of Peter McLean sixth, and about three minutes ahead of Giles in seventh. The luckless Rowe pulled in ten minutes later after struggling with a low pressure tyre.
Riders enjoyed a feast of sausages cooked up by Peter Fitzgerald which was much appreciated. Steven Wilson conducted the race with Brett Franklin conducting the turnaround.