Beautiful sunny and calm weather belied the fact that Winter has arrived, and made the final race of the Winter series an enjoyable ride.
It was a 25km handicap race held along the Caves Rd out and back course, with a couple of interesting bike choices making it interesting for the handicapper.
First riders to leave were Jason Buckland and Louise Abraham, joined by Paul Brooker on his Mountain Bike.
They were given a 5 minute head start over Damian Buckley and Jen Buckland, while a further 9 minutes later the large group of Jami Buckley, Phil Stasiw, Colin Weatherill, Spek Peake, John Cranwell, Bruce McLaughlin, Liam Fielding and Harry Opperman were allowed to begin their chase.
The final riders to leave, 2 minutes behind the previous group, and 16 minutes from the leaders, were Matthew Opperman and Nick Kidman riding his CX bike.
Unfortunately for Liam, his race was nearly over early as he had to stop to check on a brake issue.
By the time he was moving again, the group had pulled away, and a long time trial to the finish was expected.
Out in front, Louise, Jason and Paul were riding at a strong pace and arrived at the turnaround marker with a good lead, checking out each group and the time they had taken out of their handicaps on the return leg.
The light winds for the race meant that average speeds were able to be kept high, and the groups were able to maintain their relative positions on the road.
As the first group came over the final rise toward the finish line, Jason Buckland used the advantage of the downhill to begin his final effort to the line, holding off Paul Brooker and Louise Abraham to take the victory for the 2nd time in 2 weeks.
Shortly afterwards Damian Buckley sprinted to take 4th place ahead of Jen Buckland.
As the next group arrived, Jami Buckley outsprinted Phil Stasiw to the line, followed by Colin Weatherill, Spek Peake, John Cranwell and Bruce McLaughlin.
Matthew Opperman finished ahead of Nick Kidman to take fastest time honours, followed by Liam Fielding and Harry Opperman.
As this was the final race of the series, presentations were held at Bryant’s Bakery where Matthew Opperman was declared the winner of the Winter Series, with Phil Stasiw and Jami Buckley rounding out the series podium.
Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped us race across the series.
There will now be a hiatus of racing until mid-August while the weather is not so conducive.
Our regular 3 junior riders were also able to race over a 10km handicap, with Eddie beginning his race 4 minutes ahead of Molly and Elmer.
Eddie was in the zone today and stayed away from the chasers to finish atop the podium, followed by Elmer who took fastest time honours, then Molly.
They received a multi-tool at the presentations to encourage them to continue their bicycle racing.