Vaughan Claims Golden Gnome
Good to see Vaughan Berge back riding strongly again today when he fronted for Uberquads 3 and took out the Cat 1 Golden Gnome. Ryan Bailie may be the top ranked Australian Triathlete this season but his light weight frame put him at a disadvantage on the fast descent and sprint to the line at Lowden with Vaughan just getting over the top of him before the line. Nicholas Lawler claimed third, Jaiden Lanigan fourth and Uberquads Dave Holland and Paul Kirby the minor placings.
With only Nicholas and Ryan showing up for the SWCC All stars team they could not qualify in the placings in the TTT despite an impressive effort seeing them record fastest time just ahead of Vaughan’s squad. Uberquads 1 recorded the third fastest time and were awarded points for second place with SWCC Racing’s Jaiden Lanigan, Frans Van Zyl and Inice Davies putting in a strong TTT to post fourth quickest and enough points to see Jaiden Lanigan take out second place on the day ahead of Dave Holland.
Placings in category two were dominated by Team Dunsborough and Team Arimia with Andrew Sime taking out first place in the road race and backing this up with Team Dunsborough fastest in the TTT. Good to see Soren Groen back out on his bike competing and representing Busselton he was second across the line ahead of James Stephenson and young LJ Sleegers who hasn’t ridden for several weeks but was strong enough to be up amongst the placings. Arimia had the second quickest TTT in category two which saw James claim second overall on the day and LJ third.
Team Manji were proudly sporting their new go fast Seight kit and it seemed to give the team the required boost in category three with the in form Dale Blincow taking out a fast paced road race from Ian Ferry. Graeme Pollett from TMC claimed third in the road race ahead of Prime’s Steve Roberts with Driller’s Tony Shaw fifth and Darren Wallis riding well to claim sixth. A great effort in the TTT saw TMC record fastest time ahead of SWCC Racing 2 and Drillers 2. This gave Dale the cat 3 gnome ahead of team mate Graeme Pollett with Ian Ferry in third place.
Well done to MCC’s Kevin Cooper who filled in for Team Prime and assisted them to a competitive fourth fastest time while the enthusiastic Vern Merchant was no doubt taught a few TTT tips by his female team mates Jessica Lawler and Amy Van Dijk in Eaton Dogs 2.
Unfortunately numbers were down in the female category in round 2 and with just Riders Choice team competing, all placings were always going their way. The experienced Nat Laurendeau took out the road race and took home the gnome with Bronwyn Sax second and Elvira Stromback third. The girls put in a great effort on the hilly TTT course to post a very competitive time.
Meanwhile the race within a race was between the Loose Wheels doing the TTT only and the young SWCC junior boys taking part in one of their toughest events yet. The Loose Wheels were out to bend any rules possible recruiting well over their 4 starters including Allan Potaka who is not only strong in the hills but also a good draft. All pushed themselves on the hilly course but it is Suzanne Light who continues to impress as she held Potaka’s wheel up the steep inclines and was obviously putting plenty of effort in as Paul Cogan reported seeing her bent over her bike heaving on the side of the road atop the last hill as she waited for a third team mate to catch up. Sandi Cheema was not far behind and the three set about posting a great time with Leanne Cogan looking very comfortable not far behind with Lou Potaka also riding strongly and Lucinda shepherding the rest including Busselton’s Carol May.
The junior boys are more used to racing each other than working together as a team but they knew there were golden gnomes on the line and so even when Josh clipped a wheel and took a hard fall, they regrouped and quickly pushed on in pursuit of gold. In the end it was a comfortable victory with a margin of 7 minutes proving it was never in doubt but great to see these three riding so well together and motivating each other under Robbie Common’s tutelage.
Many thanks to all the helpers today including our marshals Deb Carver, Dutch Mike, Andrew and Leonie and Brendon’s parents, timekeepers and place getters Kevin Keally and Paul Cogan, support vehicles Hugh McDonnell and Robbie Commons, Aleesha Cheema collecting numbers and to Tim and Laura from Ferguson Falls for the excellent muffins. Thanks also to our sponsors Shire of Dardanup and Cristal Titanium. We are very blessed to have circuits like the one we used today to ride on.
Huge thanks to Mark Thomas who was only slightly hungover after the grandfinal and of course to Brendon Morrison for all the work they have done in the lead up and on the day.
Next week will be something special with a fantastic course out of Nannup and great preparation for the ToMR!!