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Warragul CC Shady Creek Series #2

July 17, 2004

Super cold Shady Creek

You could be forgiven for thinking that Shady Creek had put on another fantastic winters day for racing on Saturday as the sun shone and clouds parted in the early afternoon. Riders familiar with the circuit, known for its notorious weather conditions, knew well that great weather two weeks in a row was too good to be true. The clear skies provided a false sense of security as a strong southerly wind, fresh off the ice bergs of the Antarctic, froze enthusiasm and kept bunch numbers as low as the surrounding air temperature. It was more fitting to pull the snowboard off the roof-rack, rather than a bicycle.

Race numbers were the smallest seen for 2004, although Tour de France recovery time and fresh powder on Baw Baw may have been contributing reasons. Podium places were assured in all grades bar D grade, which had swelled to include new club member and first time racer, Lawrence Maskill. Her field were scheduled to complete two laps of Stuhrs Road circuit, and with the pace controlled over the first lap the field made a casual start to their race. On hearing the bell, Trent Brown immediately surged and was followed by Helmut Korab, the pace unable to be matched by Rod Atkinson and Maskill. Trent and Helmut continued their pressure up the Nilma-Shady Creek climb and into the back straight as they met the ferocious head wind. Trent attacked Helmut in the final kilometres and took the win with Helmut rolling across shortly after. Rod and Lawrence had a tough fight for the final podium place, where a determined Atkinson hung on to hold off Maskill by just six inches.

C grade also began their race at a comfortable pace, but with weary legs and fear of the headwind, Monique Hanley retired after lap one. This left Danny Dilger and young Michael Pridmore to fight it out in a sprint finish, despite a couple of attempts by Dilger to shake the quick-legged Pridmore. In the final stretch the pace matched the start of a track sprint until Pridmore finally began to wind things up from a difficult gear. By the time he had gained sufficient momentum to match his gearing, Dilger had happily spun on to victory.

B grade were due to complete three laps of Stuhrs Road, and also cruised around their first lap. On the second ascent of the hill climb, Chris Beales was shocked to find his tempo unmatched by fellow riders Luke Hanley and James Henry, both out of sorts from fitness (Hanley) and some taxing cross-training (Henry). Beales set into time-trial mode, putting 2.5minutes into Luke by the bell lap as James received some kind words of encouragement from his mountain-bike wielding father. Chris continued his form in the final lap, catching A grade at the finish to record the fastest time of the day. Luke was second, and a doggedly determined James third.

The A grade field appeared like they were on a training ride as they rolled around their first two laps of the circuit. It was only in the final four kilometres when Thomas Sandner put the pressure on Wayne Chester and a recovering Jason Kruger with a short attack. Wayne was able to contain the first break, but not the second time around as Thomas immediately repeated his move with more success. The field stretched out as Thomas took the win over Wayne, followed shortly by Jason.

The Annual General Meeting will be held this Thursday, 22nd July at the clubrooms from 7.30pm. This is a great opportunity to become part of the evolution of the Club over the next twelve months. Further details are available at the Club website A public meeting to discuss the establishment of a Warragul recreational cycling group will be held on Monday, 2nd August at the Old Shire Hall from 7.30pm - contact Roy Hammond on 56220919 for more information.

Next week's race returns to Shady Creek for round three of the Shady Creek series, commencing at 2pm.

Local results 2004