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Race report by Nick Cowie.

Last Sunday saw the Peel Districts Cycling Club run their leg of interclub series at the Kwinana Motorplex. This meant that instead of the usual 5 grades, there was 9 grades, with seperate A to D grades for men and women. The one thing was same as the usual was the strong wind, making life difficult for all grades.

The day started with a come and try session, aimed at teaching inexperience riders racing skills and encouraging them to try racing. It was very successful with a number of new faces racing.

Mixed E grade is a mix of very young riders and much older riders, it was a race of attrition before 4 younger riders were left at the front. In a flying final lap Christoph Gardner outsprinted Jeremy Smith by a narrow margin to take the win. Guy Pertwee was a few seconds back in third.

In both Mens and Womens D grade it was a mix of older experienced riders competing against less experienced riders. A lot of the new riders struggled with the speed of cornering and riding in the win. In Womens D grade it was the experience of Jenny Sammons taking out the reduced bunch sprint and the win, with newcomer Sharon Tsang second and Rose Sellar third. In Men’s D grade it was Gavin Pearmine in his first season of racing taking out the reduced bunch sprint and working his was towards C grade. Daryl Puyales and Joshua King another pair of riders in their first season of racing were second and third.

C grade saw very different races between the men and women. In the men’s race Pieter Beukes attacked on the fourth lap and go a small gap. Which he steadily increased over the next ten laps. On the final lap the bunch closed the gap, but not enough as Beukes held on to win. With Luke Colum taking out the bunch sprint for second with Reevenjit Singh third. C grade Women’s was a very different race, it was either strung out in single file as riders attacked and everybody chased or spread across the circuit as everybody got the breathe back and waited for the next attack. In the bunch sprint it was Dennise Laurence first, Yael Gardner second and Katrina McLennan third.

It was very daunting lining up in Mens B grade alongside former Australia Road Race Champion and world tour rider Travis Meyer, who has returned to racing after retiring three years ago. It was a typical B grade races with attacks, chases and counter attacks. Then late in the race Meyer was in a break with Wayne Thomson and Mick Darlington. The final lap saw Darlington dropped from the break, and Thomson took the win, with Meyer second and Jethro Nagle taking third.

Womens B grade saw the return to racing of State track and road representative Laura Hodges after a year off. The bunch split apart fairly quickly with four riders off the front with Hodges, State junior representative Isabella Commons, Jo Boulton and Shannon Miraglia. As the race went on the four increased the margin of the chasers who were spread around the course in their ones and two. In the sprint to the line Commons took the win, from Hodges with Boulton third.

The rider with the strong sporting pedigree was Teneal Attard, former Olyroo who represented Australia at two Olympic games who raced A grade women. The racing was aggressive as the bunch split into two, then reformed, more attacks, the bunch split again and reformed. In the end is was a bunch sprint won by Attard, with Dharlia Haines second and Zoe Davidson third.

Men’s A grade started at a frantic pace, with attacks stretching the bunch out As soon as one attack was brought back, a rider would counter attack and so it went until Tim Harvey, Bryce Lanigan and Bryan Staring got a break. There was a quick flurry of chasers, but then it settle down. The bunch either unwilling or unable to chase, the margin slowly grew and then the trio had a racing winning margin. Harvey made sure of that on the final lap driving a fast pace which saw Lanigan and Staring contest the finish. Former National Under 19 Criterium Champion Laniigan sprint to victory, Staring was second and Harvey held on for third.

Peel District Cycling Club next race is 1 March in Rockingham for details of that race and full results of this race visit pdcc.asn.au