With the club criterium championships looming the following weekend graded scratch races for A B and C were organised.
Good to see Chris Belson and Nathan Paul out for their first race of the year with the handicapper being somewhat generous with their grades! Results below noted for next race.
As Young Bernie May (hope you are recovering well Bernie) was involved in a fall earlier during Junior racing, Col thought it appropriate in the interests of safety to remind all riders of the recommended club protocols for bunch overtaking when all races were being run concurrently. A bunch about to be overtaken should slow down and stay tight on the racing line whilst the bunch doing the overtaking should wait for a suitable overtaking stretch. Particularly, it is not recommended that bunch overtaking takes place through the bottom bends. Also, communicate politely within and between bunches to alert all that an overtaking manoeuvre is about to take place. Remember that riders ahead cannot easily see where overtaking riders are behind so lead riders should hold their line and ride steady.
That said, it was time to get racing.
A Grade had 40 mins + 3 laps and the field was comprised of Mick Hoult, Pat Ferris, John Scott-Hamilton, Matt Bedford, Paul Williams, Shaun Brennan and last but not least Brent Weston chasing that elusive win. Compared to their lung busting chase in last week’s handicap race, this week’s race was a bit more sedate (probably not the right word). They stayed all together apart from a couple of laps off the front by Brent towards the latter part of the race to test who was likely to challenge him for the win. Unfortunately, Shaun had to drop out near the end (feeling good and ready for a win he said!). The race was decided on the last lap over the hill and all out to the finish with Brent coming clear for a well-deserved win followed by Matt, Pat, Mick, Paul and Johnny.
B Grade had 35 mins + 3 laps and the field was comprised of Andrew Swan, Andrew Kirk, Richard Wilkinson, Dene Bourke, Gareth Kelly and Nathan Paul. They had a much more adventurous race at times resembling a Congo dance as they fought not to take the lead down the finishing straight. However, Dene and Richard were dropped fairly early but fought back to join their competitors (some say with the assistance of A Grade but not noticed by Commissaire). As with A Grade, the race came down to a last lap dash and Nathan came out the winner followed by Richard (new wheels?), Gareth, Kirky, Dene and Swanny.
C Grade had 30 mins + 3 laps and the field was comprised of Jacqui King, Richard Blake, Christian Girard, Peter Wilkinson and Chris Belson. This was a nice serene race with all routinely taking their turn on the front and not tempted to emulate the B Grade dance. The expected last lap dash resulted in a win for Chris from Christian, Richard, Peter and Jacqui.
Thanks to Col for the race report, and belated apologies for the late posting.