Following on from the Development Program at the track this week, the criterium season continued with graded racing. A points-based system was used to award 3, 2 and 1 point to riders at each of 2 random intermediate sprints with an additional double-points sprint at the finish.
Although Kirky was rostered to be on duty, he somehow managed to delegate that responsibility to Sam Jenner who was back from Ballarat and looking very relaxed track-side as a spectator. A voluntary grading system was in effect and Rhys Williams gamely elected to join a depleted A-Grade, a pretty smart move given that Houlty had been pounding the roads since first light and was unlikely to have too many sprints in him. Just for good measure, he’d turned up on his heavy bike again – watch out G2I…
With Deb Jenner calling the sprints out from the sidelines, the volume wasn’t quite up to the bellowing that would have greeted riders if Kirky hadn’t shirked his responsibilities. Consequently not everyone was aware of the first sprint, least of all Dr John in A-Grade whose good ear was on the other side of his head. There was still a useful tussle in both grades however with Rhys grabbing Sprint 1 from Kirky with Mick somehow finding enough strength to take the last point. In B-Grade Dave Jenner impressed the home fans to outsprint young gun David Cook.
Sprint 2 in A-Grade resulted in a temporary split in the pack as Rob decided to go it alone but after 4 laps it was all back together at which point Kirky quite tactically then launched an attack of his own. 3 weeks off the bike had taken it’s toll though and he didn’t get too far before being joined by Johnny and Rob for the final 2 laps with these three grabbing double points in the final sprint.
In B-Grade, PC was doing plenty on the front, supported by Billy and Clint while Dene and David Cook positioned themselves well for the second sprint. This proved significant as the break caused by that sprint turned into a gap on the road with the Bourke’s and David pulling out a 5s gap from Billy, PC and Dave Jenner by the end of the next lap. Next time round, with 3 laps remaining, Clint had dropped off but PC was in determined mood and with Dave Jenner in tow, the gap had closed slightly to to 4s. At the start of the final lap though the lead pair had extended the gap to 13s and it was David Cook who outsprinted Bourkey for victory on the line with Dave Jenner grabbing third spot from PC.
Many thanks to Sam and Deb Jenner for running the race and to all riders for another competitive event. Watch out for news in the next few days on the up-coming Club Criterium Championships which commence on 30th January.
|Rider||Place||Sprint 1||Sprint 2||Sprint 3||Points|