Warragul CC Dominates Stratford to Bairnsdale
Wellington Cycling Club riders took to the road for the Queen of the Gippsland Classics on Sunday. The Annual Stratford to Bairnsdale is traditionally run on ANZAC day but this year busy roads after the Easter holiday forced a change in schedule.
The Stratford to Bairnsdale attracts racing cyclists from all over Gippsland. This year was no different with 69 entries from Bairnsdale, Wellington, Latrobe and Warragul Cycling Clubs. While all clubs were represented it was Warragul that dominated in A, B and C grades.
This year the course took a turn toward the hills, north of the Princes Highway - the fabled roller coaster ride that is Beverleys Road (aka Renehans Rd.) distinguishing itself from the flatter course south of the Princes Highway taken on last year's race. Warragul riders shone on the rises of Beverleys; attacking to gain the advantage of the breakaway groups that formed and then outsprinting any remaining opposition at the finish.
In A grade it was a Warragul quinella with Brenton Jones taking the sprint win from Shane Stiles. Latrobe City rider Sam Beverage finished third out of a field of 16.
In B grade Warragul Riders filled the first 4 places. Graeme Parker took the biggest win of his short career in a wild sprint. Second was Geoff Thompson, third Pete Finlayson and fourth Rob Monk in a large field of 25 riders.
18 riders set off in C grade; The hill savvy Warragul riders took out the first 5 placings having broken away from their opponents at the 33 km mark of the 67 km hike. Col Brown unleashed the fury in the sprint to power away from Neil Walker. Clint Wilson sprinted well to take third. Graeme Patrick finished fourth with Trudy Gallagher in fifth.
In D Grade Wes Jenkins took the podium number 1 position. Second was Sean Phillipson and third was Damian Crozier of BRCC in a field of 10.
You can view more details of the course at Map my Ride. Click here
The race will start at the Stratford Tennis club at 11 am and will be under control till the official start line 5 km away, just after the intersection of the Stockdale turn off. There will be a total of 350 meters of climbing on the hilly course.
Google map of the course click here (may take a little while to load)