It was another hot & steamy day down at the TEC for this weeks crit, with threatening thunderstorms keeping riders and race officials on their toes!
The all-in race was a similar format the previous week but with the race being all-in and with slightly increased handicaps. Super A-grade had to lap B-grade twice, Super B-grade 1.5 times and A-grade 0.5 times. A-grade had to lap Super B-grade once, and B-grade 1.5 times and so on. With the impending rain on the horizon, Col was keen to get thing promptly underway; however, it all took a bit longer than expected as riders either struggled to grasp the racing format or Cols dulcet tones!
The B-grade group essentially rode their own race setting off at a good steady pace until caught by the A/Super B group, when Peter Wilko and Rob Tindale latched on for a couple of hot laps. Captain Creagan, Mark and Jacqui were later re-joined by Pete & Tinny, and from there-on in had their own solo/regroup/solo rides as the blur of groups and riders meant Col lost track of their progress in the melee!
Straight away the tactic of Super B-grade was clear for all to see – sit on the 3 A-grade group of riders for as long as possible to make it hard for anyone to gain a lap on them. This went fine until Super A-grade caught them, when after a couple of steady laps, the pace went up a notch and the Super B-grade riders started to feel the heat. Last to lose contact was Kirky who sat up to wait for Dave Harris & Katherine Hosking who were not far behind, and although they didnt know it at this point they were leading trio on the road.
As the racing unfolded Col had to remind them that they still had the race lead and the big combined A group still had to make up about 2/3 of a lap. Once the penny dropped with about 10 mins to go, this group of 3 put their heads down and were holding the cruising chasers at bay until Holly put in an attack then the pace picked up and the gap started to close. They were still about 1/3 of a lap ahead with 3 laps to go as Holly had been caught and the pace had dropped off a bit.
It was left to Olly to have a go on his own going into the last lap, and his searing attack gradually closed the gap and the catch was made as they crested Crit hill; but Olly had emptied the tank in the chase, and it was wily old-timer Kirky who managed to edge past him to the line with Dave and Katherine right behind. The big combined A-grade group were also right on their heels in a mad dash finish, with Missile Mick Harris leading the bunch home
With uncanny timing, the rain drops started to fall just as racing finished. Thanks to Col for running the racing and keeping everyone on their toes – we’ll ve back at the crit track again for next weeks race