Last Saturday afternoon saw the start of the Peel District Cycling Club winter racing season at the Motorplex. In the morning, the club held training sessions for juniors and women at the same venue, under the watchful eyes of former professional Graeme Brown.
A number of those riders raced D grade, while the rain was gone and the sun was out, the strong westerly made it a tough introduction to racing. A frantic start saw five riders race away, the five became four and in the sprint to the line Sally Carter narrowly beat Sam Washington, with Nicole Malloy third.
C grade saw Bruce Barrington attack on the second of eleven laps of the five kilometre course, a couple of laps later he was joined by Jack Lightfoot and then by Danny Savage. With the chasing bunch dwindling to four, as the other competitors fell by the wayside, the winner was going to come from the leading trio. With Lightfoot winning the sprint to the line, from Savage with Barrington third.
In B grade, it looked like a two rider breakaway of Mark Hamill and John Carter who had established a break halfway through the 13 lap race had control of the race with the chasing bunch constantly changing. Then with two laps to go Hamill was alone. Carter who had been training for the national junior sprint titles over 200 metres, found 45 kilometres at pace too much. With one lap to go Hamill still had a small lead, but the chasers were closing fast. In the end it was Tim Hopkins sprinting out of the group taking the win, with Kurt Harmer second and Adam Jones third.
Patrick Saccani-Williams attacked on the first lap of A grade and established a break, which grew and grew. by the ninth lap, he had a lead of a couple of hundred metres. Then the next lap when the group started chasing hard, Saccani-Williams decided to not expend any extra energy and sat up, allowing the chasers to catch him. Over the next few laps, there were a number of attacks which saw two riders and one was always Saccani-Williams get a small gap on the bunch. Only to be chased down. Then with one lap to go Saccani-Williams attacked again and stayed away to take the win, Adrian Pahl narrowly took second from Seb Barrett.