Stuart Smith wins Gippsland title


Stuart Smith wins Gippsland title

Race headquarters: this elite group of riders is ready to get underway on two laps of the Leongatha – Mardan course at Sunday’s Gippsland Road championship.

LEONGATHA’s Stuart Smith came out a clear winner in the elite men’s section of the Gippsland road race on Sunday.
In a good weekend for Leongatha Cycling Club members, Elliott Gin had a solid win in the Under 19 division with placings by Leongatha riders in the other events.
The titles were hosted by the Leongatha Cycling Club, with the racing starting and finishing at the Leongatha Secondary College and going via Nerrena and Mardan.
The racing was run under fine conditions but with a strong and gusting north wind. This made the climb from Dumbalk up to Mardan a hard run into the head wind. The ride across the ridge top at Mardan saw a dangerous cross wind.
There were four groups competing – elite men, Under 19 men, masters 1,2 and 3 and the Masters 4,5 and 6 divisions.
The elite men rode two laps of the circuit (76km) and local star, Stuart Smith was up to the challenge. Several riders lost contact with the bunch on the first lap and then on the second lap, Stuart was able to ride away from the others over the last few climbs to come in a clear winner.
Next home was Brenton Jones (Warragul) and Sam Beveridge (Latrobe City) for the bronze.
In the Under 19 division, it was a similar story with three riders getting away from the field. There were several attacks both up the hills and on the run back into Leongatha but it was a sprint to the line to decide the race. Elliot Gin (Leongatha) had a clear win ahead of James Lalor (Warragul) and Jerome Bechaz (Latrobe City).
In the Masters 1,2 and 3 division, the hills saw the strong riders to the forefront. The headwind and crosswind saw David Arnup (Wellington) break away from the field to make it easy on the judges and win easily.
The minor places were decided in a sprint to the line, with Darren Spiteri (Latrobe City) and Lachlan Matthews (Leongatha) taking silver and bronze
The biggest field for the day was the masters 4, 5 and 6 division. This covers the age bracket 45 to 60 years and includes some very fit riders. There was a good bunch make it out through Nerrena and tackle the hill. The bunch thinned out up the hill with several attacks. Jim Timmer-Arrends from the Latrobe club put the decisive move in and defied the efforts of the next four to catch him and was another to cycle home alone as a clear winner. The minor places were decided by a bunch sprint with Clem Fries (Leongatha) collecting the silver by a narrow margin from Peter Finlayson (Warragul). Just behind were Dave Shanahan (Latrobe City), Jason Scott (Leongatha) and Mike Renehan (Wellington) rounding out the main bunch.
Next week riders have the three day tour in the Latrobe Valley. Club racing resumes on June 20 with racing at Pound Creek – trophy races for seniors and juniors.

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Posted by on Jun 7 2011. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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