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Warragul Cycling Club

Warragul, Victoria, February 19, 2005

Hawks Flock to Warragul

The Lillico road circuit was host to another great turnout on Saturday, as 34 riders competed in the Warragul Cycling Club scratch races. Hawks were the flavour of the afternoon as a visiting bunch from Hawthorn Cycling Club was made welcome on the smooth roads and low traffic volumes featured on Warragul circuits. They repaid the hospitality with podium finishes in both B and C grades, while D grade rider Alan 'The Hawk' Hauxwell cleaned up in D grade.

The D grade field consisted of eight riders, including Warragul's recreational 'Ride It' committee member Bruce Horskins, and Steve Evans, back from his racing hiatus. The field were together on the first lap and under race control until the damaging rollercoaster hills on Lillico Road. The sharpness of the incline became too much for Brendan Pridmore, Glenda Pridmore and Evans. A re-group on lap two was short-lived as once again the hills took their toll on Glenda, Brendan, Helmut Korab. With strength in the saddle, Alan Hauxwell drove the pace over the final lap as Wayne Tunks, Geoff Gatt, Steve Evans and Bruce Horskins hung on. Once again the hills shred the pack to pieces and The Hawk rolled home first to claim victory over Horskins and Gatt.

Although C grade featured the smallest bunch of the day, the Hawthorn alliance of Craig Vandervalk and David Tennant threw a cloud over race outcomes, as did the inclusion of Latrobe junior Sam Beveridge and his hill-smashing, leg spinning abilities. Dave Axford was an early casualty due in part to the race pace but possibly more so from time constraints on his mid-week training schedule. By the end of lap two Michael Pridmore had lost touch with the bunch and with only Trev Rollinson holding the Warragul flag the situation was looking good for Hawthorn, despite Tennant competing in his first ever road race. On Bloomfield Road Tennant saw an opportunity to attack, and was quickly followed by Vandervalk. The two swapped turns along the slow climb as Rollinson and Beveridge were unable to bridge across. By the final turn into Lillico Road, Vandervalk was a spent force, and Tennant roared up the final rollercoasters to claim a solo win, an excellent effort for his first road racing hit-out. Vandervalk finished second ahead of Trev with Sam finishing a short time later.

A large eleven-rider field in B grade were content to cruise around their first lap in 17.04 minutes, with only Pete Bailey showing any sign of spirit by surging up the climbs. Lap two saw a similar race time and the entire field intact. A small break of four riders at the top of Copelands road during lap three was short lived, with the bunch too attentive to let anyone slip by. Hawthorn rider Aaron Christiansen countered on Number One Road, taking James Henry with him and stringing out the field behind them, but by Bloomfield Road the field had regrouped. By lap four, Copelands Road hill became the place to attack with Tim Lee hitting out, but the cautious bunch was quick to respond. Luke Hanley then established a short solo break on Bloomfield Road before yet another regroup. Just as a bunch finish seemed inevitable, Tim Lee hit out hard on the final rollercoaster, but it was those on his wheel and maintaining a greater momentum who had the advantage. Steve Twining, James Henry and Aaron surged past Tim to fight out a sprint finish. Steve claimed the win, with James second and Aaron third.

Nine starters in A grade included Danny Dilger with a huge promotion in the racing grades, up from last week's C grade handicap effort. Reminded of this fact, the field were content to keep it together for the first two laps, with only Thomas Sandner setting the scene at the end of lap three with an attack on the rollercoasters. His effort was kept in check by the bunch, and it wasn't until Ben Serpell attacked the bunch by the old dairy that the field was finally shaken up. The move took Scott Keeble and father-son Sandner duo Thomas and Stevie with him as the rest of the field looked on, unable to match the change of pace. Cresting the final climb together, Thomas looked to lead out Stevie but it was Scotty who was able to come round both riders to take the win, ahead of Thomas, Stevie and Ben. Geoff Thomson led home the rest of the field only a few seconds behind.

The Warragul Cycling Club's recreational group also hosted a ride event around Warragul on the weekend. A total of 15 cyclists from the 'Ride It' group had perfect conditions for a ride on Sunday morning. The cyclists split into two groups, catering for novice and intermediate levels for two loops of Warragul. The first loop was north of Warragul and took in some of the hilly country of Lillico, before returning to Warragul via Dollarburn and Pharaohs Rd. Both groups met up for coffee in Warragul before taking in a second loop south of Warragul. Plans are being finalised for the group's first ride outside of this area. The full day ride will feature the Warburton Rail Trail on Sunday, March 6. The ride will leave from Mt Evelyn with all participants gathering at the Warragul Velodrome at 8am.

Car pooling can be arranged and anyone wanting to take part can leave their name and details on a list at the velodrome or contact Roy Hammond on 5622 0919 The group is investigating options for a one-day registration for people keen to join but at this stage all riders must be members of the Warragul Cycling Club or hold a Cycling Australia licence before they can take part. Memberships can be purchased at Bike Land in Warragul. Next week's scratch race will be held at Shady Creek for a return to the much-loved Stuhrs Road circuit. Racing commences at 2pm. Further information on cycling events hosted by the Warragul Cycling Club is available from

Local results 2004