16 riders found their way to the track for a relaxed pre-Christmas criterium race on Saturday which allowed for both an A and B grade contest. After a few warm-up laps, A-Grade rolled off on the first lap of their 30-minutes-plus-2-laps allocation, with B-Grade starting shortly after on a 20-ish-mins-plus-2 race. With H, Ben Harris, Johnny and Sam Munday in the mix and with Sam on his new bike it was never going to be slow and the first corner also demonstrated it wasn’t going to be boring either as Ben spotted The Hole at the last moment and did some high speed sideways bunny hopping much to the amusement of everyone behind him. Things settled down after that for about 35 seconds before the Mundays decided a few mid-lap surges and charges up the hill were in order. As always, Johnny was unfazed by these goings on and confident he could reel them in down the wind-assisted home straight he just barreled around the course in his 53×11 without ever slowing for the corners.
Before too long the B-Grade riders were in the sights of A-Grade. They seemed to have splintered early on withthe group of PC, Billy, Dave Jenner and the Bourke Sisters having charged ahead. Jo had arrived at the track in full festive costume which looked fantastic but probably wasn’t quite as aerodynamic as that of some of her rivals which was of course the only reason she didn’t hang onto the group for ultimate victory. There were some interesting moments as the two races briefly came together on the hill but a few colourful words of caution soon had riders back in the right groups and formations and A-Grade charged on. At this point the author and San Remo got a bit distracted trying to find out the score in the cricket and found themselves in no mans land between the two grades. Before long the charging front of B-Grade came past and after that it all gets a bit vague.
What is known however is that Dene and Clint Bourke fought out the sprint for first place in B-Grade which Dene won by half a second, and PC followed up in third spot. The club bike rack and GoPro mount had been relocated into the weeds by some other users of the track since last weekend so we didn’t have full video coverage of the entire race but thanks to Sam Jenner we did get a few stills and video of the A-Grade finish which Johnny timed to perfection after Ben had launched an early sprint for the line. Johnny did his usual long, steady build-up down the home straight and hit the front literally just a few metres from the line to win by 2/100ths of a second from Ben with Sam Munday third and Paul Williams impressed by more than hanging on to finish with the group.
Thanks to Swanny for running the crit and to Sam Jenner for snapping the finish line shots plus a few other mid-race shots that will find their way onto our Gallery Pages at some point soon. We’re back at the TEC next week for the final race of the calendar year – see you all then.
|A Grade||SCOTT-HAMILTON John||1||0:00.00|
|B Grade||BOURKE Dene||1||0:00.00|
|MARA Billy||4||No Data|
|JENNER Dave||5||No Data|
|McPHEE Lachie||6||No Data|
|THOMAS Phil||No Data||No Data|
|WAUCH Jo||No Data||No Data|
|COOK David||No Data||No Data|