Cyclists keep local competition rolling after hosting high-profile regional races

Following the successful running of the 100-mile Classic,  110km Women’s race and the state Kermesse championships a few weeks ago, the Mount Gambier Cycling club has continued to run a Winter Series over a variety of courses.

This weekend, seven cyclists rode towards Kongorong, where the course for the race was to be four laps of an eight-kilometre loop around the Kongorong township.

However, the conditions would make it a tough sprint to the finish line.

With seven riders signed on, it was decided to send away one group of five with a 10-minute head start before the final three riders banded together to chase them down.

Each group was to try to stay together for as long as possible.

The first group to leave consisted of Damian Buckley, Dean Zeven, Spek Peake and Jason Buckland.

With the benefit of some tailwind, they were able to get approximately 5km into the 34-kilometre race before the final group of Jami Buckley, Phil Stasiw and Matthew Opperman set off.

Each group worked well together for the first few laps, encouraging the slower rider to their best efforts, but the second scratch bunch were caught by the faster group before 24kphad been raced.

As the riders hit the headwind on their third lap, the stronger of the limit riders were allowed to race without the encumbrance of the slower rider.

All seven riders completed the set course of four laps after some encouragement from the other riders, with Jami Buckley surging to the line to finish ahead of Opperman and Stasiw.

Damian Buckley powered his way to the line ahead of Zeven, while Peake battled a flat rear tyre on his final lap to finish ahead of Jason Buckland.

In spite of the poor weather, the event was described as a success.

No race will occur over the long weekend, with the penultimate race of the winter series to be run on another potentially windy course near Tantanoola on 20 June.

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