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Warragul Cycling Club

Warragul, Victoria, February 27, 2005

Silver Lining for Warragul Women

Warragul Cycling Club's first-ever female track cycling team created history on Sunday by picking up two silver medals at the State Teams Championships in Bendigo. Lawrence Maskill, Karan Courtney-Haag, Nicole Whitburn and Monique Hanley represented Warragul in both the Teams Sprint and Teams Pursuit events; in both cases losing narrowly in the gold-silver rides to highly credentialed Blackburn.

The result is even more outstanding when you consider that the most experienced track rider of the team took up the sport three months ago, and team members Nicole Whitburn and Karan Courtney-Haag only climbed onto track bikes for their first time four weeks ago. Until Sunday, they had never raced together and had few chances to have all four available at the same time for team training sessions. Despite their inexperience, the women executed textbook-like starts and ran smooth transitions on the wide and open Bendigo track. Surprising themselves in finishing so closely to Blackburn's high quality lineup in both finals, including time trial State champions and world championship podium sitters, the women are keen to use the experience to fuel their ambitions for gold in 2006.

A big thank-you to the support received from the community in loaning bikes and equipment, passing on track racing tips and acting as race holders on the day, particularly Simon Quick, Chris Hunt, Phil Gallagher, Rod Friend, Ross Henry, Brett Rollinson, Jake deBlauw, Travis Parker, Marty Kilduff, Hans Koch and Grant Tudor.

Shady Warragul Cycling Club racing returned to the undulating Shady creek circuit this week. A, B and C grade raced over three laps of the Sturs Road Loop while D Grade completed two laps. The A grade race was always going to be decided by the outcome of Thomas Sandner and Jason Kruger's efforts to drop the rest of the bunch on the 1.5 km climb that is a feature of this circuit. To the surprise of the group the first ascent was at a moderate pace and when Steve Sandner punctured near the top of the climb and father Thomas Sandner waited momentarily, noted descenders Danny Dilger and Matt Malacarne found themselves with Jason Kruger to have a handy break on the bunch. Despite their best efforts to stay away Scott Keeble, and veterans Geoff Thompson and Thomas Sander reeled them in by the turn into Sturs Road.

The second time up the climb Thomas and Jason drove the pace up but were unable to drop anyone from the bunch. Kruger mounted a sustained attack on the uphill grind along Sturs road but the bunch worked together to bring him back. Thomas and Jason knew the third and final time up the climb was their last chance to break up the race but they were unable to get away and a bunch sprint was inevitable. The wily veteran Geoff Thompson took it out from Scott Keeble and Jason Kruger. Thommo didn't cover an extra centimetre in the race than he needed to and was perfectly positioned to take out the sprint in his first A grade win for some time.

B Grade set off at "talking pace" but everyone knew that would not last from the bottom of the first climb. As is usually the case when the road rises, Pete Bailey took off and Tim Lee followed. "Let 'em go" was the call from heavyweights Rob Monk and Brett Miller. For the first time in weeks the bunch saw sense and let the climbers go. With 50km still to race the bunch let the two dangle a comfortable 200 metres in front for the best part of the first lap. The exertions of their breakaway seemed to take the speed out of Bailey and Lee's legs for the second ascent and Trent Brown took up the pace making. The field was still together on the flat and after some gentle encouragement, everyone in the group including Pete Bailey, was rolling through and doing their turns. Half way up the climb the final time Tim Lee attacked and that was all for Brett Miller. Rob Monk was 100 metres off the back over the top of the climb, but used his power to weight ratio (perfectly suited to descending) and was back on by the bottom of the hill. The bunch worked well together to ensure the hard chasing Brett Miller would not return. The Henry boys teamed well in the final sprint. Father Ross Henry attacked hard 1km from the finish and Tim Lee towed son James Henry and the rest of the bunch back to Ross's wheel. Eyes darted left and right but no one was looking when 400 metres from home James Henry raced up the inside to snatch a 10 metre break. His superior leg speed and the slight uphill gradient of the finished ensured a well-earned victory for James with Steve Twining second and the improving Trent Brown in third.

The C grade bunch completed the first lap together with the exception of Steve Hall, whose race was ended by a puncture. On the second hill Trev Rollinson and Micheal Pridmore managed to secure a handy break on the rest of the bunch and worked hard to stay away. According to Chris Jones the bunch let them dangle for a whole 15km lap but the chase pace was too much for Colin Brown, who retired at the end of lap two. The field was together again at the base of the climb for the third time and this time up, Trev managed to get away by himself. Paul Yeatman drove the chasing bunch on the flat and reeled Trev back in without too much trouble. In the sprint to the line Paul Yeatman was too strong for Trev with Michael Pridmore in third spot. Paul Yeatman looks ready to take on B grade next week.

D Grade completed the first lap under control but on the second time up the climb the bunch split and an individual time trial resulted. Alan Hauxwell thrives in this format and carved out a solid two minute win from Geoff Gatt, with Bruce Horskins a further minute back in third. Racing is on at Lillico next week with a scratch race, with the new Marshal roster to be implemented - P.Rowse T.Kelly B.Miller and C.Brown are ready to do their bit. Next Sunday March 6th the recreational 'Ride It' group is hosting an all day cycle event exploring the Warbuton Rail Trail. What better way to spend a Sunday then cruising along some spectacular countryside. Join in on this fantastic ride amongst some great company. Car pooling is available, with the group departing from the Warragul velodrome at 8am. Please register your interest in attending this day with Roy Hammond on 5622 0919. Further information is available on

Local results 2004