Great weather for racing last weekend saw the largest field ever for a Peel District Cycling Club Saturday race with over 135 riders at Casuarina.
With most of the most of the A and B grade women, choosing to race in B and C mixed grades. The two riders in the advanced women’s race started with the women’s development race and provided advice for the first two laps to the inexperienced riders, before taking off to race their own race for another four laps of the 8.7 kilometre course. In the end Adélia Neethling outsprinted Kirsty Turner to win the advanced women race.
The women’s development race stayed together for three and half laps, with a lap and half to go, the pace was telling, as riders started being dropped, a couple of attacks on the final lap saw the group splinter and Sally Carter taking the win narrowly from Diane Humphrey, with Jodie Wood chasing the pair home third.
Mixed E grade at four laps was the shortest race of the day. The bunch stayed together for the first three laps, before splitting apart on the final lap with first time racer Sharlize Shelley taking the win and a promotion, ahead of Guy Pertwee and Richard Pertwee.
The D grade bunch was still together after 5 laps when they unfortunately got caught by C grade on the final corner. and the sprint to the line went from 10 riders to 40. Kael Mccutcheon adapted best to the changed conditions to take the win, with Ryley Collett close behind and Craig Wilson third.
With 35 riders, C grade flew round the course, faster than B grade a couple years ago, averaging well over 38 kilometres an hour. There was never a chance of a breakaway. Prior to catching D grade on the final corner, Greg Manning attacked, Josh Howe followed and the pair got away from the pack. Manning was to strong and took the win, Howe second and Mark Duchesne took the bunch sprint for third 10 seconds back.
B grade was another big group with close to 40 riders and even faster, averaging 40 kilometres an hour for 90 minutes. It was just too fast for a breakaway to survive, it ended in a big bunch sprint which was won by Lance Portman, with Phil Deisel second andOwen Henderson third.
A grade was even harder and faster. There were breakaways, but they did not last, even the best riders in the state can not hold off a chasing pack of 30 riders who want to catch them. In the bunch sprint Conor Leahy attacked early and held off the chasers, with JP Van Der Merwe second and Jacob Warman third.