The final race of the year featured a tour-de-force ride from Chicka, Wilf and Dave that left the rest of the club eating dust and blowing tyres.
Dene Bourke hosted the years final race at the crit track, organised into three grades with a lap handicap system: C were given a lap over B and two laps over A. B had to overtake C to be in the running and A had to overtake B once and C twice.
A (Mick Hoult, John Scott-Cannibal and Andrew Swan) snatched a quarter lap from the off with some dastardly cheating, taking off before the rest of the field was ready. B (Lachie McPhie, Nick Myhill and Dave Jenner) set off next, quickly followed by a now alert C grade (Chicka Russell, Wilf Keller and Dave Rubie). From the start, it was clear that the buffeting wind on the main straight presented something of a challenge – riders struggling on what is usually the fastest part of the course.
All three groups quickly organised into pursuit teams, swapping turns and trying to share the pain of the wind evenly. Nick Myhill suffered mightily at the hands of Jenner and McPhie, eventually succumbing to the pace as they hunted C grade. With around 10 minutes to go of the 25 minute race, A grade blew past C down the main straight only to have Mick Hoult blow his rear tyre, removing a substantial amount of firepower from the A graders. Wilf, with a rush of blood, tried to get on the back of the pounding A grade paceline only to drop back after half a lap of pain. They were still moving pretty quickly!
With two laps to go, it was clear that B grade were closing fast on C but not fast enough, as the re-grouped C boys tightened their line, only to devolve into a sprint at the end, won by Chicka from Dave. B grade were less than 200m behind but didn’t quite have the measure of C to make the catch.