Despite only a small number of riders turning up at the track on Saturday October 4, it was an eventful day of racing with plenty of variety.
Juniors kicked off with their usual time trial, with Reece O’Hara recording fastest time of 1:47, followed by Angus Swan at 1:53, and Craig Burton at 2:00. Britt Sisson and Kirk Burton recorded 2:06, Helen Sisson 2:10, and 8 year old Reece Burton broke the three minute barrier with a time of 2:56.
This is only Reece’s second week of racing, and it’s proving hard to wipe the grin off his face! Now if only he could figure out how to get his feet out of the pedal straps before the bike stops…
Next up was a 5 lap handicap race, which was won in fine style by Brit Sisson from mum Helen. Reece O’Hara won the sprint for third place ahead of Craig Burton and Angus Swan.
They then finished off with an Italian pursuit, with the two teams anchored by Angus and Reece. Team Swan held a narrow lead over Team O’Hara going into the final half lap, thanks to a sensational ride by Britt Sisson. But Reece rode brilliantly over the top section of the track to pip Angus by a couple of seconds on the line .
Reece and Angus then backed up immediately to ride a second Italian pursuit with the seniors. As the local track time trial king, Reece anchored one team, while Andrew Kirk anchored the other. The two teams were on an even footing at the half way mark. But with three laps to go Team O’Hara were going to struggle, being a rider down.
But then going over the crest at the top of the track, Bill Mara of Team Kirk had a close encounter with a brown snake on the track, and they slowed down to warn the other riders. Unaware of the what was happening, Reece continued on to cross the finish line in first place.
While Team O’Hara claimed the win, Team Kirk protested a draw was only fair, and the brown snake disappeared into the scrub beside the track.
The second event was a “missing out race”, involving a sprint to the finish line every lap, with the last two riders eliminated each time. Going into the last of five laps the three riders remaining were Pat Ainsworth, Dave Jenner, and Andrew Kirk. In a close finish, Kirkie beat Pat on the line by half a wheel with Dave just behind in third place.
Those who had been eliminated early in the missing out race showed little sympathy for the extra work done by the winners, starting the final race of the day, a 20 minute criterium as soon as they got back from their warm down lap.
After a rather gentle settling in period, there were mid-race attacks by Nick Myhill and Andrew Kirk, but the bunch reined them in fairly quickly. A second snake alert around the half way mark got the adrenalin flowing and the pace was lifted a couple of notches by Gary Sisson. (This time it was a very large black snake, which doesn’t auger well for the original brown!).
With two laps to go Bill Mara attacked, with only Andrew Kirk and Andrew Swan able to hold his wheel. Kirkie rode the last lap on the front, but the win was taken by Andrew Swan, with Kirkie second and Bill third. It was basically a “last man standing” win for Swan, showing that if you keep turning up you’ll eventually win something.
As for the snakes, hopefully they’ll decide the middle of the track is not the place to be on a Saturday afternoon. But watch out for them at the top end of the track over the coming weeks.