Last Sunday saw the running of the Peel Districts Cycling Club premier race the Peel Classic. The race formerly known as the Pinjarra Classic saw a course change and a resulting name change, after the volume of traffic on the old course forced a change.
The new course and the race was made possible with the support of the residents of Dwellingup, Boddington and Newmont mining. As the new course started in Dwellingup and raced towards Boddington or beyond in the case of A grade men before turning around and racing back to Dwellingup. The course could be described as undulating or challenging as there was very few flat sections, it was either up or down, with the toughest climb a couple of kilometres from the finish.
The under 13 juniors and D grade women raced 20 kilometres. The two groups started together, with D grade rider Luba Kovalenko using her time trial skills to drop the other riders in her grade and drag a number of under 13 riders to the finish. In the sprint to the line it was Jordan Williams taking the win in the under 13 boys, with Ashton Sime second and Rusty Wisewould third, Isabella Commons mixed with the boys to take the under 13 girls win, with Dakota Sime a second. Kovalenko won Women’s D grade, with Heather Connan second.
The under 15 juniors, D grade men and C grade women also started together for their 40 kilometre race. As soon as the road went up National Under 15 Hill Climb Champion Matt Connan attacked he was quickly joined by State Under 15 Road Race Champion Joshua Commons, the two quickly built a gap as the bunch behind them splintered. The two stayed together, with a chase group forming behind them, with The leading pair were chased by a bunch of 4 D grade men, Calum Milne from the under 15 boys and Emily Wiggins representing the under 15 girls.
The chase group could not catch the leaders. In the uphill run to the line Connan attacked early, Commons remain patient and sprinted out of Connan’s slipstream to take the win. Milne finished just off the back of the chase group to finished third in the under 15 boys. Ben Walkerden took the win in D grade as the chase broke up in the final run to the line, with Joseph Ooi second and Brian Johnson third.
Emily Wiggins, mixed it with the D grade men, finishing just behind the winner to take out under 15 girls, with Hannah Waters second. C grade women as with most of D grade men had a lonely race, with the riders spread over the course. In the end Jenine Leppard won C grade women, with Meegan Fyfield second and Zoe Stolton third.
The 60 kilometres course was raced by the under 17 juniors, C grade men and B grade women With large numbers in each group, they started separately. The number of riders, the distance and terrain made for hard aggressive racing, but it was difficult to get away, with the exception of under 17 women which split early. The final few kilometres into Dwellingup were the most decisive in the race.
State Under 17 Road Race Champion Jordan Dawson attacked on the last climb and rounded the final corner exhausted but clear of the chasers. He managed to make it to the line to win in the under 17 men 100 metres clear of Sebastian Barrett second with James Ismail another 100 metres back for third.
C grade men were the biggest bunch of the day and most of the riders were together until late on the final climb before the attacks and counter attacks started. Rounding the final corner there was about 20 riders strung out, contesting the win. It was a matter of getting the timing right, sprinting uphill into a headwind. Nicholas Tan judged it perfectly to take the win, with Ja-Yeng Yen second and Ben Mears third,
The under 17 womens split early with Danica Wiggins and Emma Lendrum getting away and staying together until the run to the line with Wiggins taking the win, Lendrum second and Lucy Baptist was third.
B grade women, split on the final climb with a break of three rounding the final corner. In the sprint to the line Jo Boulton took the win, with Rebbecca Lewis second and Olesya Alutina third.
The B grade men and A grade women raced the 104 kilometres to Boddington and return. B grade men, raced aggressively early, lost a few riders. The next 80 kilometres may of appear calmer as less riders were dropped, it was not the case, every little incline saw a rider or three test their competitors. On the final climb the bunch split in two, those who had something left in their legs and those completely spent. There was enough riders for a bunch sprint which was won by Xavier Cooper, with Leon Vogels second and Will Main third.
A grade women was an equally aggressive race, with riders being dropped, Boddington saw Erin Nolan take the sprint prize, before the return to Dwellingup with more riders losing touch. There was only five riders to contest the sprint which was won by Corrie Fillmore, with Nolan second and Rebecca Mackey third.
The A grade men raced to Boddington, for their sprint point, then another 14 kilometres to the South West Highway, before turning around, racing back to Boddington for the feed station, before heading back to Dwellingup. Michael Freiberg who has being racing nationally and internationally with the IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness team this year was an early animator, getting in early break and when that was brought back, repeatedly attacking. Boddington saw Sam Davis take out the sprint prize, before the attacks started again from Freiburg and others. The second approach to Boddington finally saw Freiberg break the chains and escape the bunch. He was joined by a few other riders for the race back to Dwellingup. However only veteran Sam Smith could stick with Freiburg until Dwellingup and even then Smith just watched as Freiburg powered away to take the win, Smith was second and Justin Ghosh third.