Riders race through wintry conditions

Twelve hardy riders greeted the commissaire for the sixth race of the Mount Gambier Cycling Club Autumn/Winter series for a 25km out and back handicap race along Caves Road on Sunday.

The forecast was for quite windy and stormy weather but the conditions cleared in time for the start of the race, though the 22-30kph wind remained.

The first duo to leave were Jason and Jen Buckland who hoped to take advantage of the tail wind outward leg to maintain some time advantage over the chasing pack.

They were given at least eight minutes over the next group consisting of Elmer Buckland and Spek Peake, with Phil Stasiw, Colin Weatherill and Dean Zeven starting their chase a further three minutes later.

Patrick Langsmith, Jami Buckley and Gerard Coote were the next group to leave, one minute behind, followed by the quickest group containing Craig Andrae and Malcolm Tirabassi a further minute later.

The elder Buckland’s arrived at the turnaround mark in front of the chasing packs and were the first to appreciate the benefit they had with the tailwind out, having their speed slowed considerably going back into the wind.

Feeling stronger, Jen Buckland struck out solo on the return leg to try and stay away.

Stasiw, Weatherill and Zeven rode hard with the tailwind, catching Elmer Buckland and Peake before the turnaround marker, with Elmer Buckland latching onto the back of that group as they passed.

As they continued into the wind, Stasiw and Elmer Buckland broke away from Weatherill and Zeven in their quest to catch Jen Buckland out in front.

Elmer Buckland could not keep the pace and slowly drifted away from the back of his wheel, allowing Stasiw to solo to victory.

Within the final kilometer, Elmer Buckland was caught and passed by Buckley, Coote and Weatherill.

Buckley took out the sprint for second place ahead of Coote and Weatherill.

The fast-finishing Tirabassi sprinted to fifth place and fastest time honours, catching Elmer Buckland just before the line.

He was then followed Andrae, Zeven, Langsmith, Jen Buckland, Jason Buckland and Peake.

A 30km out and back race along Caves Road is planned for Sunday, June 12, where hopefully the weather will be brighter than the past couple of weeks.

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