Last Saturday afternoon in perfect racing 100 riders took to the Serpentine Circuit for the seventh race in the Peel Districts Cycling Club’s winter series.
While the club offers seperate Womens grade, most of the women chose to race in mixed C grade. Which left the sole rider in the womens advance grade, Adélia Neethling who represented South Africa in track cycling at the recent Commonwealth Games, the opportunity to ride with and coach the womens development grade for three laps, before putting in three hard solo laps to finish.
Once Neethling left, the women development riders were spread across the course on the final lap. With Darcie Richards first, Lisa Oliveri second and Tenneike Brown third.
Riders as young as 11 and as old 80 competed in E grade. After a fast first lap which say the youngest and oldest competitors put into difficultly. The bunch slowed on the second lap, before a flying final lap which saw Emily Washington take the win, brother Sam Washington was second and Tony Da Silva was third.
An attack on the first corner on the fifth and final lap of D grade, saw a breakaway of three form. The trio stayed away as the chase broke up behind them. In the run to the line it was Kalan Ralph first, Craig Wilson second and Clint Hort third.
With 28 riders C grade was the biggest field of the day and there was no escape. Every attack was chased down and in the bunch sprint it was Anthony Smithson taking the win, with Taj Mueller second and Josh Howe third.
In B grade, Andrew Lilley riding his first race, attacked on the first lap. While riders attempted to bridge across, nobody made it. After 6 laps, Lilley had a lead of almost a minute from the pack. On the seventh and final lap the pack chased hard. In the finishing straight, the tiring Lilley still had a slight lead of the fast finishing pack who had him in their sights. Lilley pushed again and held on to win by 2 metres from the fast finishing Alex Barden second, with Theodore Code third.
A grade usually starts with a flurry of attacks, before a breakaway forms, the bunch gets a little respite and then the chase is on. Not this week, A grade behaved like C grade, every attack was quickly chased down and even when there was no chasing required, the pace was kept high. In the bunch sprint with was Conor Leahy first, James Derrick second and Mikey Hoskens third.