The Peel District Cycling Club returned to the Pinjarra Industrial Estate last Sunday for the fourth race in their Summer Criterium Series. The last race in Pinjarra saw heavy rain, this time it was a strong southerly wind, which made the back half of the course challenging.
Simon Stolton was the only racer in E grade, he started with D grade and was hoping to hold onto D grade, like he has done in the past few week. Instead Clint Hort attacked D grade on the first lap, Stolton struggle to hold on and was dropped by the second lap and battled the wind alone to finish his 25 minute race.
Hort lasted two laps off the front of D grade, before the conditions forced him back to the group. There were a couple of half hearted attacks, but nothing serious until 5 minutes to go. When Hort launched another attack, splitting the group. The leaders then work to extend their lead, before the final lap saw the attacks start again. Hort rounded the final corner, with Sam Washington the youngest rider in the grade on his wheel. Washington attacked and outsprinted Hort to the line, with Zoe Stolton third.
The two youngest riders in C grade Ashton Sime and Ryley Collet attacked early, got off the front of the bunch, but did not survived two laps with the wind. While there was some aggressive riding from the bunch, nobody managed to get a break and in the bunch sprint it was Sime first, Collett second and Kurt Harmer third.
The juniors then took to the course for a two lap supervised “participation” race. The race is a hard fought as any other race and does provide for exciting racing. Today was no exception, with Rhys Dawson attacking from the start and establishing a healthy lead. Chris Hort rode strongly into the headwind to catch Dawson, before the end of the first lap. The next lap was tactical as the pair worked enough to keep away from the chasing riders, but keeping something in reserve for the sprint. Which was won by Hort, with Dawson second.
Luke Collum attacked early in B grade and got a break. A couple of laps later Chaice Kelly-Wilson joined him, then Steve Knight bridged across. The pace was too high for Collum and a couple laps later he was dropped. Kelly-Wilson and Knight kept going and built a lead of over 30 seconds from the bunch. Which meant on this course the bunch would only see the two leaders, as they turned onto the long straights as the leaders turned off. The bunch could not organised a chase and in the two rider sprint Kelly-Wilson took the win from Knight. John Duncan sprinted out of the bunch to claim third.
The typical A grade race, see a rider or two attack and get a break, the bunch starts chasing and in theory the breakaway gets caught a couple of laps from the finish. Instead, every attack was quickly chased down. Given there was two, three, four or more attacks a lap, it turned into a race of attrition, with riders being dropped regularly. In the end a well timed attack prior to the last corner saw Tony Doherty lead into the finishing straight. The best effort of the chasers was not enough as Doherty held on tho take the win, with Theo Yates second and Matt Peterson third.