Buckland leads from start to finish

A total of 13 riders came together for the penultimate race of the Mt Gambier Cycling Club’s  Winter Series near Tantanoola.

 There was a strong chance wind would play a significant factor, but competitors enjoyed a sunny morning and  joyful run home.

Leaving the start line first was Jason Buckland, given a  generous handicap by the chief handicapper and expecting a lonely ride over the 32km race before being caught  about 3km from the finish.

The rest of the riders had to wait at least 13 minutes before they were given the opportunity to chase down the leader led by Damian Buckley and Jen Buckland.

A large scratch bunch, consisting of Phil Stasiw, Matthew Opperman, Nick Kidman, Rowan Kruysse, John Cranwell, Jami Buckley, Spek Peake and Dean Zeven started a further six minutes later.

 A tailwind from the start gave the riders strong momentum as they set about the chase, while Jason Buckland  was grinding away into a slight headwind.

 Expecting at any moment to hear the rhythmic whirring of faster wheels from behind, he continued to count  down the final kilometres and managed to stay away from the chasing riders, posting a time of 1:16:20 for his ride.

Nick Kidman and Matthew Opperman chased down the pack to compete for the final spots on the podium,  with an unfortunate brake drama from Opperman handing second place and fastest time to Kidman (53:08 race  time).

The junior race was held concurrently with the senior event, with the three junior riders beginning their 10km flat course race just after the scratch bunch had left.

Elmer Buckland won the race, 11 seconds ahead of Molly Opperman and his little brother, Eddie.

The final round of the Winter series will be held on a 25km course held along Caves Rd, Yahl this Sunday.

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