The Ring Criterium series returned after the Christmas break, with a number of Peel Districts Cycling Club members making the trip north to Gnangarra with some success. Also making the trip north was members of the Albany Cycling Club.
The first race was the under 13s E grade. As usual the race quickly broke apart, with individual riders spread around the course. With Rusty Wisewood riding away to take victory. With Luca Woods chasing hard for second, closely followed by Zara Williamson.
E grade men saw Rex Tunks and Peel’s Tom Power resumed their battle from the previous round. This time they were joined by Mike Madsen as the trio rode away from the field. The last couple of laps were very tactical as nobody wanted to be on the front. Power attacked early and sprinted to victory, Madsen was second and Tunks third.
There were no tactics in men’s D grade. It was chase down every attack. Approaching the finish the bunch was strung out. Glen Sycamore launched early and held on to take victory. Tom Beckerling snatched second on the line from Richard Reeves.
Women’s C grade was similar to men’s D, with all attacks being chased down. The sprint was far more even with Albany’s Emily Wiggins taking the win, from Jessica Waldron second and Melissa Perry third.
Women’s B grade was more aggressive than any of the previous races, with riders constantly attacking, but again every attack was chased down quickly. The bunch was altogether as they swung on to the finishing straight, there was a touch of wheels and six rider ended up crashing. Thankfully nobody was badly injured. Peel’s Dharlia Haines avoided the crash and took her third victory for three starts in the Ring series. Two other under 17 women rounded out the podium with Emma Lendrum second and Danica Wiggins third.
The Little Critters saw a quick training session on bike handling, before the under 11s took to the circuit for their two lap race.
The next race was men’s C grade, which actually saw breakaways off the front of the bunch for a lap or two, before being chased down. In the end it was a bunch sprint with Peter Hammond first, Ben Braithwaite second and Simon Breheny third.
There was a change in the dynamics in Women’s A grade, with the Veris team now consisting of six riders, with a few making the jump from B grade. There was also a new team in the form of bikebookings.com team with three riders. It was a very aggressive race with the Veris team being involved in numerous attacks, however like all previous races, they were chased down. In the final sprint it was the current Australian junior track cyclist of the year, WA institute of sport athlete and Peel member Jade Haines who scorched the field with a well timed attack to secure the victory. Natalie Britz who created the bikebookings.com team, was rewarded with second place and Veris’ Sarah Duffield was third.
From the start is was go in men’s B grade. After 5 laps, the 45 riders was spread over 300m, with big gaps between riders, it looked like a breakaway might actually suceed. With some strong individual efforts, the race was slowly brought back together. In the end it was a bunch sprint with Daniel Smith first, Simon Winston second and Daniel Trinne third.
Men’s A grade, was almost identical to the previous races, fast aggressive racing, breakays, chases and a big bunch sprint, which was won by series leader Stephen Hall, with Bryce Lanigan second and Peel’s Theo Yates third.
Next Sunday the racing is closer to home at the Pinjarra Industrial Estate.