With the holiday season still very much in force we only had 11 riders roll up at the crit track this week but the lack of numbers didn’t spoil what turned out to be a competitive and eventful show. There was also a very welcome special guest appearance from Jock Bullen who along with Karlee and Deb had been keeping a watchful eye on the junior racing in the previous hour. Jock stayed on, clearly looking forward to some entertaining racing but looked decidedly bemused as the so called adults tried to work out what format of racing to have, something only resolved when Swanny introduced everyone to his Missing Out Race concept to be followed by a 30 minute crit. A Missing Out Race is where everyone starts together and on each lap of the track, the last rider (or last 2 riders in our case) over the line drop out. This continues until you’ve only got 3, or 4 or 2 riders left, or possibly 1, no one really seemed to know but it sounded good and we wanted to start before Jock fell asleep so off we went.
Correction, off went Richard Wilkinson, like a shot. He’d clearly worked out what was going on and the rest of us followed round the circuit in a vague bunch as he went smoking round the esses. At the top of the hill with the home straight ahead there was a bit of jostling and watching but nothing too dramatic and Ray and Col dropped out. At this point it should be noted that the smarter riders exited earlier in the piece, mindful that they’d have fresher legs for the criterium that followed. So with that information you should already be able to work out who was left at the end – and yes he was. Another lap and Tinny and Wilko were out, not bothering to contest the sprint but an impressive lunge from Clint almost got him over the line first. That probably cost him his place as one lap later both the Bourke Sisters rolled off the back.
At this point the rest of us were looking round to see how many riders were left and then trying to subtract 2 from that to work out where to be at the line but doing that and riding proved to be a bit of a struggle, especially as we now had to contend with Kirky singing “…there were 4 in the bend and the little one said roll over, roll over, so they all rolled over and one fell out…”. When San Remo dropped out on the next lap that left 3. It probably should have been 2 but Swanny was making it up as he went along and when he attacked on the hill, it seemed to signal the big finish and first over the line would win. As we roared through the finish area Kirky (who had double vision at this point) insisted with all the riders left on the track we should do at least one more lap. Fortunately a few quick squirts from the water bottle on the back of the course sorted him out and we rolled round to the start line ready for the main event with legs and lungs burning.
Missing Out Race Results
|Rider||Lap 1||Lap 2||Lap 3||Lap 4||Lap 5|
Fortunately Ben was back in charge for the next bit, assisted by Johnny who’d upgraded from the red pen this week and was now waving various fingers around at the start of each lap to signal something. The format involved A Grade going first, followed immediately by B Grade who were essentially the head of the race. So A (5 riders) needed to catch and outsprint B (6 riders) to win. Sounded pretty straightforward. B Grade took the ‘immediately’ word a bit too literally at the start and sat on the back of A, but a bit of yelling soon sorted that out and things were underway as planned.
B were driving hard and by the 10 minute point they were only 25 seconds behind A but were down to just 3 riders – the trio of Col, Wilko and Dene. The chasers sensed the problem and started to ramp things up. By two-thirds distance A were also down to 3 riders having lost Tinny and Big Luke and B were now a minute behind (or more accurately about a minute in front). So with riders spread around the circuit it became a bit confusing who was racing and who was not. With 5minutes to go, the 3B’s still had a healthy lead of 45 seconds over the 3A’s and were looking good for victory. The chasers cranked it up in the closing laps but all to no avail as Wilko and Bourkey went head to head in an impressive sprint for line honours which Wilko won by a wheel with Col rolling over for 3rd spot ahead of the remnants of A Grade who crossed the line 32 seconds behind.
Thanks to Ben for running events this week (and for bringing his petrol blower for some track clearing beforehand) and well done to everyone who showed up and raced in hot but otherwise great conditions. Next week we’re back at the TEC for one more criterium before the much-awaited Round 1 of the 2015 RROTY.
|MILAN Luke||A||7 (Jt)||No Data|
|BOURKE Clint||B||7 (Jt)||No Data|
|TINDALE Rob||A||7 (Jt)||No Data|
|PHILLIPS Ray||B||7 (Jt)||No Data|
|WAUCH Jo||B||7 (Jt)||No Data|