Race report – State Criterium Championships – Alumina Road – 21 March 2021

The State Criterium Championships raced at the Alumina Road Circuit in Rockingham. There were over 200 racers in 19 age group events from the under 11 to the 70 to 80 category, which was expanded from the normal 70 to 79, to allow Richard Glanville to race and he won in a sprint, with Ron McArthur second with Bill Anderson third, after covering 22 kilometres in 35 minutes.

state criterium championship open men sprint finish

Byrce Lannigan wins open men

In addition to the age group races, the main events were the open title. Which saw some riders who competed in age group races, race a second time, this time racing riders who did not race age group races, as they were ineligible (no 20 to 29 age races) or choose not to. These two races drew the biggest field of entrants with 52 men and 15 women competing.

In the women’s race a breakaway of four riders quickly formed. It looked like it was going to stay away, only to be brought back fifteen minutes later. Another break of four formed, they built a good margin, but fifteen minutes later all the riders were together. After a few skirmishes, Rachael Wales attacked and go a break. Wales had previously raced in the morning, but not a 30 minute criterium, Wales competed in the State 80 kilometre Time Trial Championship in Wandi, Wales won the event and set a new course record in the process. The bunch did not appear worried, letting Wales increase the margin. Probably expecting Wales to tire. With  less than ten minutes remaining, the bunch decide that was enough and started chasing. The bunch slowly reduced the gap, but not fast enough. Wales put her time trialling skills to good effect and limited her losses. Wales took the win 5 seconds clear of Sarah Fowler in second and Danica Wiggins in third.

Hot favourite for the men’s race was Stephen Hall, who had won his last ten races, and had won the last two Open Site Criterium titles. However the quality of the field with former Australian Road Race Champion and former World Tour Professional it was going to be difficult.

It was a very unusual race, there was constant attacking and chasing in the hour of racing. This saw the bunch strung out in single file for most of the race, but a break never really formed.  With two laps to go Hall’s Pedal Mafia team mates were at the front of the bunch to try and control the lead out. Next lap it looked like their plan was working. However in the bunch sprint  it was Bryce Lannigan taking the win, Micheal Freiberg was second and JP Van Der Merwe third.