The Dog Hill circuit in Baldivis played host last Saturday for over 100 riders. Including a number of juniors from around the state, checking out the course for the State Junior Championships to be hosted by the Peel District Cycling Club in two weeks time.
The conditions looked great for racing warm, sunny with light winds. This quickly change and after a little more than two laps, the heavens opened, the riders were quickly very wet and cold. However, only a handful of riders withdrew, the great majority continued racing.
With only two riders E grade started with D grade. The pace in D grade was frantic at the start, Deb Reid and Sally Carter were dropped along with a number of D grade riders. Reid and Carter worked together, with the dropped D grade riders as incentive in from of them. After three laps and in pouring rain Carter out sprinted Reid to take the win.
The pace in D grade, eased a little after the first lap. fast enough so that the dropped riders could not get back on, but steady enough they did not lose any more riders. The pace picked up at the end of the fourth and final lap, rounding the final bend, former state junior track sprint Hayden Thorpe launched a devastating attack to take the win, with Dan Fieldhouse second and David Baker third.
C grade contained the best under 15 men and under 17 women, preparing for the State titles. It was the much older riders who kept the pace up early in the race and chased the attacks down. In the bunch sprint it was an older rider Michael White taking the win, from under 17 women Dharlia Haines second and Laura Hodges third.
The under 17 men were the aggressors in B grade and again the older riders where the chasers, who kept them in check. In the bunch sprint it was Kelana Saleh first, Ian Ferry second and third the best placed under 17 rider Oliver Bleddyn.
A grade was dominated by under 19 riders and as with other grades it was the younger riders who were the aggressors. Just as the rain hit, a group of four, containing three under 19 men and a former state masters criterium champion managed to get a break and hold it for more than two laps. It took a concerted effort from riders young and old to bring the break back with a lap to go. There were attacks on the last lap, but nothing stuck. In the chaotic bunch sprint, under 19 rider Bryce Lanigan took the win, Ben Blacklock was second and Bernie Swart was third.