Race report by Nick Cowie
Last Sunday saw the State Junior Criterium Championship run in conjunction with the Peel Districts Cycling Club round 8 of their summer criterium series at Smeaton Way in Rockingham.
In the under 11 race, defending champion and also State under 11 road race and time trial champion Campbell McDowell wore his State Championship jersey hoping to intimidate his opponents. In the second of a five lap race McDowell used the tail wind down the finishing straight to gap the other riders and race away to take a solo win. Rhys Dawson chased solo to finish second just ahead of Brandon Hesan.
In the under 13 race, it was a race of attrition with Faye Wiggins doing most of the damage at the front. A group of three riders contested the finish with Fraser McRobbie sprinting out of the group to take the under 13 boys title, ahead of Chase Haines, with Wiggins taking the under 13 girls title. Third boy home was Alexander Gardener. Kristeen Hapi finished second in the girls race.
The under 15 race saw five riders get an early advantage and they rode away from the rest. Chloe Dal Passo the only girl in the group, did not need to contest the sprint to claim her title. With Scarlett Sibbel chasing most of the race for second and Tahalia Murphy third. With the boys, it was a four way sprint with Sam Washington starting the sprint early and holding it all the way to the line to take the win. Finlay McRobbie was a close second and Ryan Death was third.
With large fields in both the under 17 girls and boys, the two races were seperate and the girls started 30 seconds behind the boys. This did not stop Emily Wiggins who was hotly pursued by Isabelle Commons from chasing down and passing the boys. The boys with the ego bruised then picked up the pace. At this time Commons and Wiggins had a least 20 seconds over the remnants of their bunch and settled into a steady effort swapping turns. Behind Zara Williamson started pegging back the gap to the two leaders. Williamson caught the two leaders just as the two laps to go board was shown and Commons and Wiggins picked up the pace, Williamson had no answer and was dropped finishing third as reward for her chase effort. Wiggins lead from the front to outsprint Commons for the win.
The under 17 boys after a slow start slowly picked up speed, the were a number of attacks but everyone was chased down, as the group started losing riders. In the final sprint it was Ben Pepper first, Harvey Protheroe second and Nicholas Bolt third.
After presentations, the club graded racing started, the numbers swelled by the junior racers and their parents.
E grade was raced at a steady pace, with two more experience riders controlling the speed and chasing down the attacks of the five juniors. Campbell McDowell attacked out of the final corner, only to be chased down by Fraser McRobbie. McRobbie held on to take the narrowest of wins. With Simon Stolton whose grandkids are almost as old as his competitors, closing in rapidly for second and Phil Edwards an even more experienced rider snatching third from McDowell on the line.
D grade saw a number of attacks that were quickly chased down. In the bunch sprint Gavin Pearmine took the win, with Daniel Eves second and Clint Hort third.
The fast early pace and already having a tough race in the legs saw most juniors racing C grade dropped. Finlay McRobbie was the one exception finishing fifth in a race that was hard to determine if a rider was attacking or just on the front driving hard, as ever attack or potential attack was chased down quickly. Keith Prevost took the win in the bunch sprint with Graham Gardner second and Russell Fryer third.
The juniors who normally animate B grade suffered the same fate, a fast start saw a number of riders both junior and senior quickly shed. Then attacks started forming and getting off the front, they all got brought back slowly. In the bunch sprint it was Singaporean visitor Kee Meng Ang, taking the win, with Dominic Da Silva second and Jethro Nagle third.
A grade saw numerous attacks, with some breaks getting good margins and lasting for laps. Only to be brought back, just when it looked like it would end in a bunch sprint Oliver Bleddyn and Jerome Teo had a small gap, with two laps to go. With one lap to go, the margin was closing. On the final lap Bleddyn rode away to take a solo victory, Clint Thompson and Callum Milne caught a tiring Yeo in the finishing straight, with Thompson taking second and Milne third.
Peel District Cycling Club next race is 29 March at the Motorplex for details of that race and all the results visit pdcc.asn.au