Round 4 of the Club Championships was held on August 16 on yet another cold and windy Saturday. The event was a 30km road race on Dangarsleigh Road, and produced some good racing given the conditions.
The most keenly contested race was A grade with 11 riders lining up at the start. The bunch maintained a reasonably fast pace until Geoff Straub made his inevitable move at the 12km mark.
This caused the field to split with 4 riders giving chase, including the two Mitch’s (Bullen and Sozou), Andrew Kirk and Dave Munday. Three more joined this group, and although riding well together they were no match for Straub, who maintained his lead to the finish to win in a canter. The chasing group stayed together until the end with Mitch Bullen winning the sprint from Andrew Kirk and Dave Munday with Col Maciver filling out the point scoring places.
With two rounds remaining, the Championship has become a two horse race between Straub and Bullen, although Mitch will have to win the final two races to overhaul Geoff. Of the Masters riders, Dave Munday has been riding well to be in third place ahead of Andrew Kirk who has a race up his sleeve having only competed in three so far (only the best four results from the six race series count towards the final point score).
A small field of five riders contested B grade which finished in a three man sprint. Dave Jenner proved too fast for Peter Creagan with Tamworth One Day Tour specialist Bruce Buxton in third. Bob Murison finished fourth ahead of Wilfried Keller in fifth place.
B grade is turning out to be the most closely contested grade, with Peter Creagan sharing the lead with Reece O’Hara on 13 points. Reece missed Round 4 so still has a race in hand, and will be looking for a good performance in the Round 5 time trial. While Creagan is bound to push him all the way to the finish, the danger man looming for the last round criterium will be Dave Jenner, currently in third place on 10 points.
C grade was dominated by Gillian Backhouse and Cody Burton in first and second places ahead of Angus Swan in third. Karlee McMillan and Kirk Burton scored their first Championship points after finishing in fourth and fifth.
With three wins and a second place, Gillian on 19 points is an almost unbackable favourite to win the grade, having established a handy lead over Cody Burton (11 points) and Lasse Mikkelsen (10 points).
The next round will be a 20km time trial on Dangarsleigh Road in two weeks time (30 August).
The current point score can be found on the Club Championships page.