The summer holiday season ended with another perfect racing day at the TEC, seeing 24 riders turn up to face a slightly different format to last weeks handicap. Bernie may started his first “senior” race and we welcomed newcomer Laura Vargovic, as well as Andy, Nathan and Gareth with feeble protests as to their racing fitness……..
C Grade consisted of PC (hot favourite for a consecutive win), Jacqui, Christian, Bernie and Laura for a 25 minutes+3 laps jaunt. As always under the captainship of PC, this group started sensibly, keeping all together for a few laps till Laura and Bernie found the pace a bit too hot. Bernie’s restricted gearing is going to make it tough for him this season! Laura pulled up at twenty minutes and got a bit cross at herself when she realised how close she got – a great effort for the first time. PC must have realised that another win would see him promoted to B grade, so he faltered on the last climb up the hill and came in well behind Christian and Jacqui.
The second bunch was split into “B+” (on the start line) and “B” on the 600m mark, racing for 30 minutes+3. The hotshots were Swanny, Kirky and Lachie – nobody else had a matching two-syllable nickname and so wasn’t allowed to join their elite sub-group. Richard, Gareth, Phil Tutt, Olive, Isabella, Peter Hosking and Dene were salivating with their 1/2 lap advantage and set out to make it difficult for the chasing trio. Unfortunately, Isabella had a puncture at 10 minutes and Dave Harris took 4 minutes to change the tube (audition for NRS team mechanic?) before she could rejoin. The trio really cranked it up and the two groups got together half way through the race, with a few attacks and riders getting both dropped and being joined briefly by A grade rejects. Swanny tried to set up Kirky for a win during the last lap – a hopeless effort; since when has Kirky listened and followed a plan? Gareth attacked and powered home ahead of Swanny, both having drawn ahead of their companions on the hill. Dene led the remainder sprint to the line 20 seconds later, followed by Richard, Phil, Kirky and Isabella.
A grade followed the same format with Olly, Brent, Houlty and Paul having to make up ½ a lap on Andy, Nathan, Matt, Pat, Clint and Holly in the 35 minutes time. Holly attacked straightaway, coached by her dad from the sidelines and Pat and Matt were able to join her in a fast-moving group. Andy and Nathan were all over the track with Nathan ending up joining C Grade to see how the experts race……A PLUS kept up the pace and eventually joined up with Holly and Pat. The latter part of the race saw a few attacks, especially from Holly and Olly (must be the name…), but Houlty, Paul and Brent brought each attempt back. A final attck by Holly in the last lap was controlled by Brent and Olly took his chance to sprint to victory, relegating Brent to yet another second place, followed by Houlty, Paul, Pat and Holly.
Well done to all racers, thanks to Col & Wilf for running the race, and Wilf for this race report.