Tough hilltop finish

Runner-up Molly Opperman, winner John Cranwell, third place Xavier Farmilo and fastest time Craig Andrae.

The Mount Gambier Cycling Club members ventured back out towards Glencoe for the third race in their Country Post and Bistro Super Series, the eighth race in the club’s Spring Series.

Beginning on the Overland Track, the relatively flat out-and-back course would have a sting in the tail when the riders passed the start line, turned right and headed up the Mile Hill for a hilltop finish.

A number of the faster riders were away due to other racing commitments, but the addition of new riders from the track academy meant 12 signed on and were grouped for the handicapped race.

First riders away were Martin Farmilo and Lachlan Becker, with the following group containing Jen Buckland, Molly Opperman and John Cranwell, leaving two minutes later.

The next group to leave had to wait a further four minutes, with Spek Peake, Xavier Farmilo, Chris Neave and Ethan McKenny then heading off.

Finally, the scratch group containing Elmer Buckland, Matthew Opperman and Craig Andrae, after waiting a further four minutes set off to chase down the riders ahead of them.

The journey to the turnaround mark saw a couple of splits as riders took advantage of the tailwind.

Jen Buckland was unable to hold on to the fast pace of Molly Opperman and Cranwell, while Peake and Neave could not keep up with Xavier Farmilo and McKenny.

Just before the turnaround Molly Opperman and Cranwell caught and passed Martin Farmilo and Becker, with Jen Buckland the next to turn, hopeful of catching the group ahead in the head wind.

Xavier Farmilo and McKenny were the next to turn, ahead of Peake and Neave, with the final trio of Matthew Opperman, Andrae and Elmer Buckland still working together to chase everyone down.

With 2km still to go in the race, the riders turned right and began the climb up to the finish.

The scratch riders were now close to the back of the next riders, with the sight of them providing inspiration to chase up the hill.

However, Molly Opperman and Cranwell continued their high speed and reached the finish line, with Cranwell crossing the line first ahead of Opperman.

Xavier Farmilo was next to cross, ahead of Ethan McKenny, just under 2 minutes later, with Andrae putting on a final burst of speed to finish just ahead of Elmer Buckland and take out fastest time honours.

November 19 will see the MGCC at the Glenburnie Go Kart Track for a Come and Try Criterium session.