When the riders took to the circuit at 8:30am last Sunday at the Motorplex the temperature was already 37 and rising, it was going to be a challenging morning of racing.
With a closed circuit, one of the regular traffic controllers Eric Maddox took advantage of Cycling Australia Bring A Mate program to race for the first time in 35 years in E grade. With a short sharp climb and crosswinds on the expose section of the course doing the damage, the bunch quickly broke up and Maddox found himself out in front with State under 11 Criterium Champion Campbell McDowell and newcomer Christophe Gardiner. With two laps to got the younger riders attacked and dropped Maddox, the pair then stay together and in a tight sprint Gardner took the win, with McDowell second and Maddox third.
The pace was on for the first few laps of D grade, with riders attacking and counter attacking. As the pace eased Simon Rice slipped off the front. Rice just dangled in front of a tired bunch, which just could not seem to organise a chase. Rice steadily increase his margin by a few seconds each lap to take the win. Russell Fryer took the bunch sprint for second with Gavin Pearmine third.
C grade also started with a frantic few laps, before the pace slowed. This time nobody sneaked away, the pace then picked up in the final two laps as riders attempted last minute attacks to no avail. It ended in a bunch sprint won by Graeme Gardiner, with Micheal Mahon second and Keith Prevost third.
It was aggressive from the start of B grade, after two laps a breakaway of three formed. Then a chase group set off after them, with the bunch in close pursuit. Then a couple of laps later there was a breakaway of six and the bunch just stopped chasing. The break worked together to extend their lead and by the end of the race almost caught the bunch. In the six rider sprint it was Dominic Da Silva taking the win, with Ben Mears second and Matt King third.
A grade was a race of attrition, with only five of the ten starters finishing the final lap and they were spread around the course. The heat, the wind and small number of riders took it’s toll as attack, counter attack and constant chasing was the order of the day. Aron Barclay took the win, with Joe Laurendi second and Colin Rose third.
Peel District Cycling Club now takes short break, before racing recommences at Smeaton Way Rockingham on 4 January.