The 2019 Central Vic Vet's Club Championships were held today at Newbridge in beautiful conditions over a 52 kilometer course.
Both the women's and men's races were crackers. The women's field was smaller but just as hotly contested as the men's. Most of the bunch was still together at the end of the first lap when a decisive move saw Jenny Geyer, Wendy Bennett and Cheryle Barker get away from the rest, and ultimately hold the gap for the whole of the last lap. Jenny found herself in front in the final stretch, then had to try and hold off the other two. In a thrilling and hard-fought sprint, Cheryle edged in front on the line to record back-to-back championships, with Jenny and Wendy hot in her heels in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The men's event attracted a high-quality field of 21, about half of which had a realistic chance of winning. Once again the bunch was intact after the first lap, but then a series of efforts through Llanelly and Tarnagulla by Andrew Innes , Brent Gibson and Brad Geyer shattered the field. A leading group of eight got away while five chasers scrambled to get on. When the pursuers finally made contact, the leaders surged again, dropping the chasers once more. This time only Allan Pye, Wes Lewis and Darren McKellar kept up the courageous pursuit and rejoined the leaders on the down-hill run to Laanecoorie. Not only did they make contact, Darren and Wes jumped away with Andy Bos and with a few kilometres to go the trio still held a big gap. Andy put in one huge last effort in the last few hundred meters to hold off the chase and record an outstanding win. Wes Lewis was equally as brave to run second, but unfortunately Darren was swamped before the line with Martin Banfield winning the bunch sprint to take third. Hugh Week's son Dean was on hand to present the inaugural Hugh Weeks medallions to Cheryle and Andy, both very worthy winners.