Cyclist climbs up rider rankings

Warrnambool cyclist Glenn Scouller, centre, outsprints his Geelong rival Peter McDonough, left, to win the WHK May Open at Cororooke.

WARRNAMBOOL cyclist Glenn Scouller showed his sprinting prowess and a love for wet racing when he claimed a rain-soaked WHK May Open.

Scouller, 35, outsprinted Geelong’s Peter McDonough and Melbourne’s Roy Clark to win the coveted 67-kilometre race in one hour, 32 minutes and 42 seconds.

The May Open, raced around three laps of a 22-kilometre circuit at Cororooke on Sunday, was a leg of the 2011 Victorian Veterans Cycling Council series.

Scouller’s win backed up his triumph in the Brennan-Hall Memorial at Wangoom in March, and shot him to the top of the VVCC aggregate standings.

The pre-race favourite said he loved racing in wet conditions, a strength which paid handsome dividends.

But he said it was a “flip of the coin” if he would even start after a persistent knee complaint forced him to retire from club racing on Saturday.

The scratchmen, including Scouller, firmed in favouritism when rain started falling pre-race and reeled in the next two bunches with 15 kilometres to go.

From there, they dropped all but two riders from the four-minute bunch as a crosswind lashed Melrose Road, Warrion, before swallowing up the outmarkers.

“We didn’t catch the leader until the last lap,” Scouller said.

“There were riders in the bunch who didn’t know if we were up, so scratch kept the pressure on because we didn’t want a mass finish,” he said.

“I hung back because I knew my knee wouldn’t hold up for the whole sprint. But as it turned out I went early anyway.”

Colac Veterans Cycling Club official Ralph Iselt said 98 riders faced the starter, with almost half the field succumbing to the challenging conditions.

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