Somehow Wilf found himself on duty again at the track on Saturday and that spelled more pain for the competitors with a ‘nice little wheel race’ as a warm-up for the 14 riders that braved the hot and humid conditions. It was great to see Sam Jenner sharing the start line with A-Grade, although he annihilated the competition without even raising a sweat despite having already ridden 180k earlier in the day!
Wilf quickly despatched riders around the course for the 3-lap wheel race, blew his whistle and the chaos ensued. A front clump, a middle clump and a back clump quickly established with a few more spaced inbetween. It looked like Jo Wauch, returning to racing for the first time in a while, might just hold off David Cook, but the young riders legs were too strong and David powered home down the straight to win by one second. A fairly sizable gap then followed before a gaggle of riders came through with Ben Harris winning the sprint for third spot from a fast-finishing Rhys Williams.
|Rider||Start (M)||Place||Clock L1||Clock L2||Clock L3|
Clint did himself no favours by also finishing strongly, finding himself put into A-Grade for the graded criterium that then followed. Each grade had 7 riders with A-Grade off first, followed by B after a fairly lengthy delay, to the point where they were caught and passed by A within 4 laps.
Obviously inspired by his son Sam, Dave Jenner launched a brutal attack off the front of B-Grade from the line. He had a 4s advantage after the first lap and had stretched this to 8s by the end of lap 2. At this point Billy decided to take up the chase with David Cook, both Wilko’s and Jamie Stanley in tow. Dave then realised he probably wasn’t going to stay out front, and having delivered for his sponsors, returned to the pack, which had now lost Jo.
A-Grade meanwhile was trundling along and staying together, until lap 5 when Clint rode through the Bermuda Triangle and completely disappeared. Johnny was now also just off the back so the pack was down to 5. It stayed like that until Lap 9 when Bourkey decided to join Johnny, and then there were 4. On lap 10, Sam Jenner ‘stretched his legs a bit’ [read – punched out 1,000 watts on the climb] and although Rob stayed with him, there was now only one person in the race. Sam cruised around for a further 7 laps up-front, effortlessly lapping at 1m:43s with Rob grimly hanging on in a world of pain.
Fortunately B-Grade was more of a contest. On Lap 4 David Cook and Richard Wilko had a go and were 2s off the front of the chasing four riders. This only lasted one lap though and the bunch of six then stayed together until Lap 8 when Dave Jenner paid for his early efforts and slipped off the back but kept going until Lap 10 when he gracefully retired to the pits. Clint had reappeared at this point and was now lapping in tandem with Jo. With two laps remaining, David Cook launched a strong attack and quickly established a 6s gap on Richard Wilko who then cheekily sat on the back of Sam and Rob as they blasted past, to try and get back in contention. Fortunately for him the commissaire missed that move but it was all to no avail as he couldn’t bridge the gap and David stayed away to win by 14s with a persistent Jo grabbing third spot over two minutes later.
Possibly the most spectacular lunge for the line ever seen, just gave Jamie Stanley fourth place ahead of Wilko. It has to be seen to be believed – watch it here at full speed…
A big thank you to Wilf for running the race and well done to all riders for another well-contested afternoon of racing in hot and humid conditions. David Cook is showing great form in B-Grade ahead of the Club Criterium Championships which kick off next weekend, and A-Grade is wide open with Sam Jenner racing in Adelaide and Sam Munday overseas with Novo Nordisk.