So the saying goes… And today belonged to our faithful club hound, Kirky who seems to have taken some barbecue conversation (about him rarely been seen on the front) to heart – bless him. But what a performance he put down on the road today. Even more impressive than the way he palmed his race running duties off on Johnny and the way he summoned various club vice-presidents to the locked gates at the crit track at 3pm to assist with the process of unlocking the gate with a key… The padlock problems ate into the regular track sweeping time and with the recent rain having provided some lush grass around the circuit, there were a number of large fresh cow pats hazards to navigate around – just to make things more interesting.
Eventually racing did start, and surprisingly enough given the holiday season, we had a decent roll up of around 13 riders which allowed two grades of racing. A Grade went off first, with B Grade following straight away and with a 2-lap advantage. So A had to lap B twice to win. Just for good measure there would be a smattering of sprint laps throughout, perhaps 3 or 4 during the 30-mins plus 2 lap race. It sounded quite straightforward at the time.
So this is now where things get a bit vague as unfortunately paper seemed to be a scarce resource at the critical moment. Johnny did have a stopwatch and a red pen though which were just about useless really. Anyway, A Grade quickly pulled out a decent gap and then Johnny silently signaled the bell for the first sprint using sign language and waving his red pen up and down. Most people had no idea what that meant but Kirky was all over it and tore off down the straight with a full lap to go. Miraculously he actually extended this initial gap over the course of that lap and won the sprint by a huge margin from Harrison and Rob. Results were reversed in Sprint 2 which evened things up before Sprint 3 which Kirky seemed to win again, possibly with Swanny or Sam Jenner second and Rob third again.
At this point I should mention the reason for the vagueness above is that ever-resourceful Johnny had found a use for the red pen and was now scribbling secret cyclist code down on his hand to record what was happening. Unfortunately as you’ll see from the image below, it’s not that easy to decipher secret cyclist code, especially when it’s in red pen on someones hand.
B Grade meanwhile had been caught but not before they too had performed some mid-race sprinting. These seem to have been won by Dean, Phil and Dave and possibly Ben or Dan (although Ben wasn’t actually racing and I don’t think we have anyone called Dan in the club). Rhys and Jo turned up mid-race and tagged onto B Grade and it looks like Rhys might have been second to Phil in Sprint 7 or perhaps Sprint F if we had one of those. There is some more code half-way up Johnny’s wrist, demonstrating the amazing ability of the red pen to write all over a hairy arm but it’s beyond the capabilities of the author to interpret what that actually means.
Back to the racing however and B-Grade had worked out that if they just sat on, then then A-Grade weren’t going to be able to lap them again, and despite a few half-hearted surges up the hill in pursuit of Kirky, this strategy never looked threatened. Technically then, the winner on the day was someone in B Grade who finished at the back of the bunch. It was probably Dene Bourke but could have been Phil Thomas so well done to both of them and also to Dave Jenner, Rhys Williams and Jo Wauch who all (technically) finished ahead of Kirky who was actually 6th overall.
But to say that Kirky was 6th would detract from what really was the A Grade winning ride and stand-out performance on the day. So well done Kirky, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing about this day for many months to come! Thanks to Johnny for making the results so interesting and well done to everyone who turned up and took part in what was actually a really good afternoon of racing. Next week we’re back at the track, probably with a camera and some paper – see you then!