Last Saturday 120 racers took to the Dog Hill circuit in Baldivis for the second race in Peel Districts Cycling Club’s winter series.
Before the racing commenced, the junior training ride saw a number of youngsters take to the course for a chaperoned ride under race like conditions. It is expected most of these budding racers will take part in Peel Ladies and Junior Tour on the closed circuit of the Kwinana Motorplex next Sunday.
The increase in participation was across all grades, but it was felt most in the Women’s fast grade where last week’s solo racer Adélia Neethling was joined by Louisa McKay and Jacinta O’Connor. The trio raced for over 60 kilometres and arrived at the finish together, where McKay out sprinted her companions to take the win, with Neethling second and O’Connor third.
The Women’s development race, was similar, other than one rider suffering an unfortunate puncture, the bunch stayed together for 4 laps and in the sprint it was Zoe Stolton first, Zara Williamson second and Rebecca Lewis third.
“Mixed” clearly described E grade with a real mix of riders, from under 13s to over 80s and included a couple of women racing their first race and preferring 3 laps and a slightly easier pace than the Women’s development race. With such a wide variety of riders, you would expect the bunch to break up quickly under pressure. Instead at the end of the first lap, the bunch split into two. With the second group slowly growing as riders were dropped from the leading group. The leading group stayed together and in the sprint, youth triumphed over experience with young riders Ryley Collett taking first and Zac Andrijasevich second. The first senior rider home was John Bywater in third.
D grade saw an equally savage start, after two laps the bunch was in two. A big group at the front and a smaller group behind. The next two laps the front group did not drop anymore riders and increased the gap over the second group. The pace picked up at the end of the fifth and final lap, dropping a couple of riders, in the bunch sprint it was Aaron Lee first, Greg Smith second and Harvey Protheroe third.
With 34 racers, C grade was one of the biggest groups on the day and other than losing 3 riders with punctures, they stayed together for a big bunch sprint. Lachlan Loveridge launched his sprint early and was in front for almost the last 200 metres. Only to go caught on the line by his Midland Cycling clubmate Des Smith. Taj Mueller finished third two bike lengths back.
B grade has a reputation for chasing down all attacks quickly. This race was no difference lots of attacks and they were all chased down, nobody got a gap. In the bunch sprint it was Clint Thompson first, Michael Midgley second and Ben Walkerden third.
From the start A grade, was as always an entertaining, attacking race. There was always riders off the front, but you were never sure if it was the same break as last lap, with riders bridging across and others being dropped or the break getting brought back and a new one formed with a few familiar faces. The lead was never more than thirty seconds, on the fifth lap a break formed that managed to stay away until the end. In the sprint to the line it was Andrew Simpson first, Conor Leahy second and David Lewis third.