The start of the Peel Districts Cycling Club winter road racing season on Saturday coincided with the last of the summer criterium races. The Stan Gurney VC memorial, which saw a number of PDCC members race at Midland in the morning. Most notable under 17 rider Tyler Lindorff who rode away from the C grade field with four laps to go, to secure a solo victory. Before racing at Serpentine in the afternoon.
The same strong easterly that caused havoc on the Midland east/west hot dog circuit, proved challenging to the riders at Serpentine with the final two and half kilometres of the nine kilometre circuit into a block headwind.
In the junior one lap race, it was Luca Mcconnachie first and Amelia Stones second.
In D grade, new member Paul Taylor successfully auditioned for C grade, with a commanding solo victory. Two riders chased hard for the whole race, with Derek Crowther in his first race since triple bypass heart surgery out sprinting young Oliver Bleddyn for second place.
The first three laps saw C grade charge hard up Gull Road which saw bunch reduced from 17 to 7. The next three laps saw a number of attacks, however there was still seven riders contesting the final sprint which was won by Darren Lee, with Karl Wilson second and John Buonvecchi on his first race back after racing the Paris Dakkar on a motorcycle third.
B grade saw Mark Glorie and Ben Jackson get away on the second lap, the next couple of laps saw the bunch shed a few riders in pursuit without making much ground. On the sixth lap Jackson’s South Perth Roulers team mate Craig James bridged the gap, with a solo effort and the pair rode away from Glorie. On the seventh and final lap James rode clear to take victory from Jackson with a hard chasing Jono Bates was third.
A grade was equally aggressive race, however only a coupe of riders were dropped. The race became very tactical on the final time up Karnup road, with a solo break, a small group and then the whole bunch was together. In the ensuing sprint it was under 17 rider Conor Leahy winning his first A grade race, with Luke Banham second and the visitor Craig Cooke third.
Next week the racing returns to Casuarina after a three year absence. It is also the return of E grade to accommodate all Peel District members which currently includes riders aged from 11 to 77. If you are interested in racing, a three day licence which includes insurance costs $30 and this include race entry fees (normally $10 a race).