Spurred on by the feats of Tour de France heroes Cadel Evans and Mark Cavendish, junior members put on a great display of racing on Saturday.
The program began with the usual one lap time trial with five riders going under the two minute mark for the 1.2km course, including Reece O’Hara (1:48), Gillian Backhouse (1:58), Lasse Mikkelsen (1:58) and Angus Swan (1:58). Cody Burton then became the latest member of the Sub-2 club with a time of two minutes even.
Other riders to record good times included Sam Jenner, Karlee McMillan, Alex Reid and his father Simon, Kirk Burton and his father Craig, and the Allen brothers Dan and Nick.
Following the time trial was a 4 lap handicap, with Kirk Burton breaking away from the front group after one lap. From the second group, Cody and Craig worked well together to gradually close in on the front markers.
Craig dropped off with one lap to go when Cody stepped on the gas to try and catch Kirk. In a smart move, Sam Jenner (who had started with the front group) latched on to Cody’s wheel during the final lap to set the race up for a close finish. But in the end, Kirk’s lead was too great, and he crossed the line for the win, closely followed by Cody and Sam.
The riders off scratch rode well together, but needed another half a lap to catch the rest of the field.
The final event was an exciting series of sprints, with riders competing in pairs over a 200m uphill track. Times were averaged over two heats with the fastest pairs going head to head in the final. In the first final, Karlee was too fast for Kirk, showing great determination after retiring from the handicap race with cramps. In the second final, Reece was too strong for the ever competitive Lasse.
Reece then went on to ride well in the senior A grade criterium, while Gillian, Cody, Lasse and Angus rode in B grade. Gillian rode well, staying with the pack for the whole race. For the boys who are taking their first steps at senior racing it proved to be a valuable experience – for one thing, they all commented on the different racing lines the seniors take through the corners. It won’t be long before they’re competing strongly.
Winners of the A and B grade races were Col Maciver and Dave Jenner.