Last Saturday saw the final road race of Peel District Cycling Club winter season. The Club Championship at the Dog Hill circuit in Baldivis. As the race was only open to club members, the numbers were down, but the racing intensity was up and riders race for the honour of being the club champion in their grade.
In E grade it was a two rider race and any disappoint Heather Connan had from last week’s Peel Classic were quickly pushed aside as Connan mastered the challenging crosswinds and rode away from Chris Rouse to take the win.
D grade was a mix of junior and senior riders, though the most experienced racer was Ashton Sime an under 13 rider. The race was punctuated by a number of attacks, which the juniors managed to covered, but often a older rider would find themselves out the back and on the wrong part of the circuit and with that win they could not get back to the group. The final flying lap saw they group cut to three juniors and two adult riders, In the run to the line it was X and three juniors. Alistair Evans took full advantage of not riding on junior gearing and sprinted to victory, with Callum Milne second and Sime third.
The race was on from the start and after a fast couple of laps, saw riders in difficultly and out of the bunch. The pace appeared to ease, as less riders were willing to push the pace, that quickly changed on the final lap, with a number of late attacks. In the bunch sprint Jay Lindorff showed you could win C grade on under 17 gearing as he kicked and then kicked a second time to take victory. Ben Mears was second and Eddie Wojcik third.
B grade is a strange race to watch, there are more attacks than the lower grades, but the riders are also less likely to commit fully unlike A grade. So the normal pattern attack, chase, counter attack was the order of the day, nobody got away, a few riders got dropped and it looked like it was going to end in the usual bunch sprint. Then on the final lap two under 17 riders decided they could not win in a bunch sprint and put in a series of attacks that had the bunch strung out over the last few kilometres of the race. The end result was still a bunch sprint, but any rider in the back half of the bunch was going not going to take part. It was Luke Collum probably taking his final win in B grade, with John Duncan second and Martin Dolinscheck third.
On the second lap, A grade split into two groups of 7 riders. The second group chased hard, but quickly started losing riders, next lap six riders, then five and finally three as the margin kept on growing. Up front the seven worked hard and kept expanding their lead. In the end nobody wanted to try to outsprint Theo Yates, so the attacks started late on the final lap and they were savage and numerous. Yates covered all the attack and rounded the bend, ready to launch his sprint, then realised he did not need to, as the attacks left all the other riders spent. Yates took the win, Conor Leahy was second and Lawrence Considine third.