Photos and report by Nick Cowie
Last Sunday at Smeaton Way, Rockingham saw Peel Districts Cycling Club’s first criterium of the season. As well as the regulars from the winter road season there were a few new and old faces, including John Mogg a former state and club champion returning to racing after a 13-year break at the age of 82.
Mogg raced E grade, which is normally the domain of the under 13 riders. However all the riders in this race were much older, though Mogg had 20 years or more on most of them. Without young riders attacking and needing to be chased down, older riders tend to race more conservatively. This race was no exception, there were a couple of breakaways attempted, but the group stayed together, finishing in a bunch sprint which was won by Roger De Pontes, with Simon Stolton second and John Bywater third.
The younger riders were in D grade and two of then, Calum Milne and Micheal Baker attacked on the second lap and rode away from the group. The pair stayed away to the finish with Milne out sprinting Baker to take the win. Peter Barclay lead the chasers home for third.
The pace varied dramatically in C grade as various riders attacked, then backed off. Halfway through the race Callum Hunter was off the front of the bunch. Hunter never got that far, even though bunch never organised a chase. The pace continued to be erratic, as the bunch chased any rider who attempted to bridge to Hunter. With two laps to go Hunter had a small gap, then with a lap to go the gap had halved and it looked over for Hunter. On the final lap Hunter had enough in his legs to stay away and to take the win, with Steve McLeod second and Albert Ulbriecht third.
The next race was the junior race, with youngsters on variety of bicycles racing two laps of the 1.6 kilometre course. With some riders looking to impress their parents so they could ride E grade, some parents wishing their children would not ride so fast so they could keep up and other riders just happy they beat their sister. If the success of a race was based on the smiles of competitors, this race just blew all the others away.
B grade was an aggressive race, there was always a rider or two attempting to form a breakaway, and as some as one was brought back, there was a counter attack and another rider or two off the front. Nobody managed to get away for more than a lap. In the end it was bunch sprint with Wlliam Cellis taking the win, with Tomasz Wolsicyzk second and John Rapheal third.
A grade was a quality field with three Peel members with recent international experience racing. Tyler Lindorff who represented Australia at the junior world track championships, Conor Leahy who represented Australia in the recent Oceanic Track Championships and Theo Yates who recently won a stage of the Tour of Iran. The racing was frantic with attacks and counter attacks, suddenly their was one rider up the road, Leahy attempting to bridge and a bunch of six riders chasing, with the other eight riders spread around the course. A couple of laps later, Leahy was alone on the front, Yates was driving hard at the front of the chase group when Lindorff attacked. The next couple of laps saw Leahy off the front, Lindorff chasing hard and the bunch slowly losing ground. The race was over for everybody else when Lindorff and Leahy joined forces and they kept increasing their margin. On the final lap Leahy attacked down the back straight and held off Lindorff to take the win. Will Heath took third in the sprint from the chase bunch.
For the full results and details of next week’s race at Pinjarra, go to pdcc.asn.au