Photo: A smiling Craig Raynes wins B Grade.
Photo & Race Report supplied by Nick Cowie.
After 17 weeks without racing, Peel District Cycling Club started their winter road season at the Casuarina Road Course, last Saturday. Over 90 riders braved the forecast bad weather to race in perfect bike racing conditions, with sunshine and light winds.
E grade in usually a mix of young and old riders. On Saturday the field was just the best under 11 and 13 riders the state had to offer. The first lap was controlled by the chaperones, before the attacks started. It was State under 13 Road Champion Fraser McRobbie and State under 11 Road Champion Campbell McDowell getting a small gap. Next lap saw Kitane Boulton bridge across and then trio then kept a steady pace, to make sure no other riders could bridge across. McRobbie launch his sprint early and took the win. McDowell was second and Boulton third.
A grade, saw Peel member Stephen Hall, who normally at this time of the year is racing track and criteriums in the United States, start as hot favourite from a sprint finish. The racing started aggressively, with constant attacks and counter attacks, but nobody got away. As the race wore on, the five rider Veris team took control, looking for a sprint duel between their sprinter Oliver Bleddyn and Hall. Chasing down every attack, then controlling the pace, so nobody could get away. In the sprint, it was Hall first, Bleddyn second and Joe Laurendi third.
B, C and D grades followed a similar pattern. Very fast first couple of laps, to find out who had not been training hard during the enforced break. The answer was only a couple of riders. Then almost every incline, corner and even some downhill sections saw riders attack, only to be brought back. There were no teams in action, just individual riders intent on not letting a break get away, without them in it.
In the B grade bunch sprint, it was Craig Raynes taking the win, with Alastair Evans second and Ryley Collett third. Graham Gardener took the bunch sprint in C grade, with Simon Rice second and Anthony Smithson third. In D grade sprint it was Gavin Pearmine first, Kelly Quartermaine second and Thomas Gratham third.
The next race in the winter road racing series is at the Dog Hill circuit on 11 July for more information on that race and the full results of last Saturday’s race pdcc.asn.au