Race of truth
FINALLY, Leongatha Cycling Club members had an opportunity to race.
After two consecutive cancellations due to inclement weather, conditions were favorable enough to allow the running of the annual Club Individual Time Trial and Hill Climb titles.
A few light showers early on ensured the roads were wet and riders had to work hard to stay warm, but the winds were light and all those riders who turned up were ready to tackle the two separate races ahead of them.
Five juniors and 15 senior riders entered the races and were sent off at one minute intervals for the first event, the Individual Time Trial.
Known affectionately as the “race of truth”, the time trial is a tough event and there is nowhere to hide as there is in a normal road race.
Junior riders headed out to the turn at Hudsons Rd and back, a total distance of about 12km.
Grace McLean took a solid win from Bernadette Fitzgerald, with Matt Winchester, returning from a break from racing, rounding out the podium in third.
Oliver McLean and Thomas Fitzgerald rode well also, both averaging around 25km per hour.
The senior riders were led off by elite hand-cyclist and Korumburra resident, Alex Welsh.
A lot of Alex’s racing consists of time trials so he was comfortable with the format.
The flat course also suited him and he set a very good pace out to the turn at Leongatha South.
Brett Franklin started at the end of the field but ended up taking the title in a very quick time of 30:52 for the 20.5 km course.
Thomas McFarlane, who has been working hard on his time trialling, finished second, 54 seconds behind Brett. Kevin Feely always rides a good time trial and today was no exception, finishing third in 33:21.
Dave Supple and Tony Clark weren’t far off the pace to take fourth and fifth places.
After a short break, most riders saddled up again for the hill climb race up Mt Misery.
Once again the juniors went first, riding to the saddle, and again it was Grace who took the win, this time by only a few seconds, over Bernadette.
Thomas took third place this time with Oliver fourth.
The senior riders were keen to get going as the temperature had dropped.
The pace at the start was steady and the group was together around the first corner before Ron Purtle decided it needed to be quicker.
This saw a split and it was the young brigade of Austin Timmins, Will Lumby, Thomas McFarlane and Harrison McLean who went to the front.
Only Ron and Dave Supple could follow.
Heading towards the saddle, Harrison and Ron fell back and Dave was dropped but recovered.
The steep left hand corner through the cutting just before the finish is always decisive but it couldn’t split the trio of teenagers.
A sprint finish saw Thomas take a narrow win from Austin and Will.
Last weekend, Will Lumby, Thomas Macfarlane and Austin Timmins all travelled to Eildon for a three stage tour event for junior riders.
All boys rode very strongly with Will taking out the U17 B Grade event after winning the final two road race stages.
Austin finshed in fifth place overall in the U15 event and Thomas eighth in U17.
All boys are training hard for the upcoming State Championships in Wangaratta.
Next week’s racing is at Korrine for the Sprag Trophy.
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