Cycling series pedals back to life

After the cancellation of the seventh race of the Mount Gambier Cycling Club Winter Series due to low nominations it was pleasing to see 13 riders sign on for race eight at Caves Road on Sunday.

With a light wind from the North-East and cool weather conditions, the rain had mercifully stayed away as the first group of family duo Jen and Jason Buckland started the race.

They hoped to work together for the race and stay away from the following riders but it was not to be as Jen Buckland suffered a puncture approximately 10km into the race, leaving Jason Buckland to carry on alone.

The next group away 13 minutes after the Buckland’s included Don Sforcina and John DePree followed by Mike Bakker, Spek Peake, Dean Zeven and Elmer Buckland a further two minutes later.

The second last bunch to leave, which included Jami Buckley, Craig Andrae and Niel van Niekerk, had to wait a further four minutes before their chance to start the chase.

Finally, the last group containing Malcolm Tirabassi and Matthew Opperman, after waiting two more minutes, was allowed to start chase some 21 minutes after the first riders had left the line.

Each of the groups remained relative to each other for the journey down to the turnaround point, working hard to catch those in front of them.

The first riders to join together were DePree and Sforcina who were caught by Zeven, Elmer Buckland, Peake and Bakker who then sailed past Jason Buckland to take the lead with five kilometres remaining.

Unfortunately for them Andrae, van Niekerk and Buckley were close behind and were able to pass them with four kilometres to go, with Zeven, Bakker and DePree holding on as they passed.

As the riders wound up their sprints to the finish line it was Buckley who arrived at the line first, followed by van Niekerk and Andrae from Zeven, Bakker, DePree and Peake.

Tirabassi was next to finish and claimed fastest time honours ahead of Opperman, who caught Elmer Buckland on the line to relegate him to 10th place.

He was followed by Sforcina, with Jason Buckland rounding out the finishers.

The final race of the autumn/winter series will be held next weekend along the Caves Road course with a nice 36km handicap before a two-month hiatus from racing.

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