Photo: Dharlia Haines sprints to the win ahead of Isla Carr is Women’s A Grade
Race Report by Nick Cowie
With a three month break from racing, you would expect numbers of competitors to be down. Instead both Peel District Cycling Club and West Coast Masters Cycling Council who raced the Dog Hill circuit in Baldivis over the weekend, did so with the largest number of riders in recent history, with both club having over 120 racers.
Peel Districts raced on Saturday afternoon, in perfect conditions with a moderate northerly. Which seen to keep most of the grades together. In E grade the bunch stayed together until the last lap, When 3 young Midland Club riders Fraser McRobbie, Campbell McDowell and Chase Haines broke away in the sprint to the line McRobbie was first, McDowell second and Haines third.
D grade was a mix of older and younger riders, with some of the older riders keeping the pace high to control any attacks, knowing they had the advantage in a bunch sprint with younger riders restricted to lower gearing. The only real attack came on the last lap, down St Albans Road on a slight descent with a tailwind, with the front of the bunch holding close to 50 kilometres an hour for a kilometre. However the attack was short lived and the bunch regrouped. In the bunch sprint Thomas Grantham took the win, under 15 rider Jeremy Wheeler took second and John Wheelhouse was third.
C grade was a little more aggressive, but riders were chasing down every attack and rounding the final bend, Zachary Olde sprinted clear to take the win with , Robert Kidnie second and Sam Washington an under 15 rider third.
B grade was another chase everything down race, with 32 of the 33 starters in the bunch sprinting for the win, which was taken by Mikey Hoskens, with Josh Vinci second and Ben Fairclough third.
Women’s A grade saw another tactical race, with a dozen of the best women cyclists in WA not willing to let another rider get up the road. Rounding the final bend, Marion Mundt launched an attack and was well clear of the bunch, then Isla Carr and Dharlia Haines launched out of the bunch, passed Mundt and Haines took a narrow victory over Carr. Darcie Richards caught the tiring Mundt on the line to claim third by one hundredth of a second.
Men’s A grade saw another chase everything race, until just over a lap to go, Patrick Saccani-Williams and Calum Milne attack and get a small lead. With team mates in the bunch controlling the pace, Saccani-Williams and Milne lead grew. Before the speed behind picked up and the chase was on in earnest, entering the finishing straight, with the bunch closing in Milne attacked and took the win, Saccani-Williams was second and a fast finishing JP van der Merwe was third.
Sunday morning started a little cooler, but quickly warmed up and the northerly got stronger and stronger which appeared to help the breakaways in most grades.
With Peel Districts most of the E grade riders are under 13, with West Coast Masters they are over 70, which can lead to very tactical racing by very experienced riders. With a lap to go 6 riders had a break of over 30 seconds over a chasing group of 3. The leading group of 6 should of stayed away, but it was 9 riders contesting the finish with Pantellis Karagoglou taking the win, Graham Thornton second and Bob Stephens third.
D grade saw Dave Croft attack on the second lap and get a lead which he increased on the next lap, by the fourth lap the wind was beginning to take it’s toll on Croft on the fifth and final lap of the 11 kilometre course Michelle Tickner bridged across to Croft, the pair stayed well clear of the chasers and Tickner rode away in the end to take victory. Croft was second and Lawrence Fahey lead the group home for third.
C grade saw a few attacks, a couple of short lived breaks, but the group stayed intact and most of the 23 starters contested the bunch sprint with was won by Robert Kidnie, with John Liso second and Chris Norris third.
B grade saw more than its fair share of attacked on the fifth lap five riders broke clear and by the end of that lap they have a lead of almost 30 seconds. The five worked well together and keep clear of the chasing riders over the next two laps. With Darin Dunstan taking the win in a sprint from Magnus Rudisele and Ian Lyne third.
A grade was the normal aggressive racing, with attack, chase, counter attack, chase repeat nature. Then approaching the bell from the final lap, riders were in groups of twos and threes off the front of the bunch. When the dust settled there was four riders off the front being chased by twenty five. With a large bunch the chase was a little disorganised and the four made it to the finish line, with Brett Rumford taking the win, Jon Gregg second and Adrian Pahl third.