With the racing calendar having been dominated by crits (all 9 of them) for the last 3 months it was a relief for many on Saturday to get off the track and onto the road, even if that road was the punchy and hilly Long Swamp course. The schedule said Points Race and that’s what we got with a very well organised event courtesy of the extended Bourke family that involved 6 sprints in total with points for the first three places each time and double points for the final sprint.
There were enough riders for three grades although the welcome presence of Sam Jenner resulted in a very thin group when A-Grade was called to the line, most riders sensibly preferring to hide in B-Grade. Bourkey gamely decided to have a crack in the quick bunch but dropped back into B after about 5 minutes while he was still upright. There was a half-hearted effort for the first sprint from Sam’s competition but he quickly dealt with that and set the tone for the rest of the race in which he took a clean sweep of first place in every sprint. Such was his dominance, and sportsmanship that when Rob was dropped on the third sprint, Sam left the other two going as hard as they could, collected Rob and paced him back on, still in time to contest and win the fourth sprint. Houlty and Paul Williams did a good job of staying with Sam though and at least kept him company to the end with Paul showing good form to take second overall
Quite what happened in B and C Grades is less well known but Phil Thomas had an exciting start with a tyre blowout on the first lap on Imbota in B-Grade. Brendon stopped to help and in doing so ended his race but the remaining 8 riders seemed to have a healthy tussle for the points with Josh Denham coming good towards the end and Canny Col snaffling second place and double points on the line. However, as with A-Grade, the race was dominated by one rider, in this case, Hugh Munday who took first place at every opportunity, clearly enjoying his racing at the moment and going very well. Tom Simmonds and Josh tied for second place.
C-Grade looked quite civilised on the road but in reality it was a very hard-fought and close race which Wilko edged by just half a point from Jacqui King with Simon Smith just a further half second behind in third spot courtesy of a tie and shared points in Sprint 1.
Many thanks to Clint and his band of helpers for organising and running a great race that included the provision of results on the spot at the end of the race. He did have to rewrite these in a more conventional format shortly afterwards though when he realised Rob wasn’t a fan of the Da Vinci Code.
Warm congratulations to Sam Jenner, Hugh Munday and Peter Wilkinson on fine victories and to all riders for another well-raced event. Next week we once again return to the track, this time for the Final Round in our 2016 Club Criterium Championships.
|Place||S1 Pts||S2 Pts||S3 Pts||S4 Pts||S5 Pts||S6 Pts||Total|