A good roll up for the crit this weekend enabled the 18 riders to be split into two grades and resulted in some competitive racing. It was great to see Karlee back up her coaching of the juniors with a race in the seniors and also to see Chris Stace back in the pack.
A Grade were off first for a 30-mins-plus-two-laps with the 8 riders closely followed by 9 B Graders in their 25-plus-two format. The astute mathematicians will note that 8 plus 9 does not equal 18 and this is correct – Dave Jenner arrived a bit late and clearly feeling on good form had a crack at both A and B races. More of that later.
The groups stayed together in both races for the first few laps with Jo, Karlee and Chris working hard to stay in contention. They were tested at the end of lap 4 but gamely got back on down the home straight and despite ultimately losing contact with their bunch they continued to lap to the end. That left 6 in B Grade and the Bourke Boys were looking good along with evergreen Keg Legs (fresh from his Hell of the West exploits) and Wilko as they consistently lapped in the one-50’s. The younger powerhouses of Hugh Munday and Rhys Williams looked like they might be a sprint threat at the bell but Rhys instead chose to attack the hill on the last lap only to be overcome by the experienced Keg Legs who timed his finish to perfection, powering down the home straight to win by over a bike length from Dene who in turn beat Clint by half a wheel.
Back in A Grade things were getting interesting. Col had done well to get his legs up to race pace beforehand and looked comfortable with the pace until a quicker surging lap 6 saw him off the back shortly after. Houlty then further tested the water giving it a bit of a dig on the long straight briefly splitting the group and taking a couple of riders with him. Luke went the same way as Col but as the pace backed off again, Dave Jenner jumped on and was to impressively hang on for a further 5 laps before deciding he preferred the company in B Grade.
Sam Munday decided things needed a bit more excitement and was showing good form when he pulled away for a brief solo about two-thirds distance but was reeled in again just before B Grade were lapped. With 2 laps remaining, Sam went again on the climb and was allowed around 40 metres before Kirky sacrificed his place and dragged the group back at the end of the long straight with less than one lap to go. The pace picked up notably in the last lap but the expected final charge up the hill didn’t eventuate and it was left to a full-blooded sprint to the line which Houlty won by a bike length from Ben Harris. Sam was boxed in and with nowhere to go had to settle for 4th.
Well done to Phil and Houlty and thanks to Paul Williams for running a great race, notably without any negative comments or rider sledging – what’s your secret Paul?
|A||MACIVER Col||6||No Data|
|A||MILAN Luke||7||No Data|
|A||KIRK Andrew||8||No Data|
|B||WILKINSON Richard||6||No Data|
|B||WAUCH Jo||7||No Data|
|B||STACE Chris||8||No Data|
|A and B||JENNER Dave||No Data||No Data|