Race report – Club Criterium Championship – Smeaton Way, 29 March 2015

The final race of the criterium season, the Club Championships was held on Sunday at Smeaton Way in Rockingham. For once the weather did not play a part with very little wind.

In an evenly matched E grade Luke Steele out sprinted Harry Maude for the win.

In D grade, the younger riders attacked on the first lap and formed a three rider breakaway. By the end of the second lap, the breakaway was reeled in, the attacks continued throughout the race. With only two laps to go, one of the more “experienced” riders John Taylor attacked, got a break and managed to keep it, to secure a solo victory. In the bunch sprint for minor placing it was Andy Bennett second and Rob Huntingdon third.

The start to C grade was a little unusual after last weeks winner Jordan Dawson having to take a lap out, with a mechanical issue and borrow a bicycle from a spectator. Once Dawson rejoined the bunch, the attacks started and the next fifteen minutes was aggressive attacking racing. Then one rider crashed, losing their front wheel on the manhole cover on the corner turning into Telsa Road. The race slowed, the next 15 minutes was at a steady pace. Then the attacks started again, riders tried to go off the front but they were quickly brought back. In the sprint to the finish, Dawson’s early attack secured victory, with Darren Lee second and Ron McArthur third.

The decisive move in the race as Andrew Crack and Craig James go clear on B grade in pursuit of the lone leader

The decisive move in the B grade race as Andrew Crack and Craig James go clear of the bunch in pursuit of the lone leader

B was an equally attacking race and all the attacks was pulled back. Until at the 20 minute mark, when Jono Bates attacked and got a good clear. About ten minutes later Craig James and Andrew Crack attacked the bunch and started chasing. James and Crack caught the tiring Bates, and worked together until with two laps to go, Bates was dropped. James out sprinted Crack for the win, with Bates hanging on to third ahead of the charging bunch.

The attacks can thick and fast in A grade to. There was always one, two or three riders off the front, but the attackers were never successful, and never lasted more than a lap. So after 50 minutes of racing it came down to a bunch sprint. With Ryan Hamill first, Nigel Stella second and Luke Banham third.

Ryan Hamill wins A grade

Ryan Hamill wins A grade