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Race report by Nick Cowie

Last weekend saw a doubleheader at Casuarina with the Peel District Cycling Club’s Club Championships on Saturday afternoon followed by West Coast Masters Cycling Council on Sunday, with a few riders taking the challenge to race both days.

Saturday afternoon was the last hit out for the Peel District members racing the National Junior Road Race Championships in Bunbury in two weeks.

With only three riders E grade started with D grade. The two group co-existed until the first time up Coyle Road, as soon as they hit the rise there was an attack followed by a counter-attack by D grade riders. The E grade riders where distanced, the trio stayed together for the remaining four laps and in the sprint Lauryn Backshall took the win by the narrowest of margins from John Bywater, with Michael Backshall third.

While the attacks and counter-attacks continued in D grade, nobody got away, the small bunch stayed together and in the sprint, it was Abraham Karyadi first, Kelly Quartmaine second and Craig Wilson third.

C grade was a larger bunch, with more riders to attack, more riders to chase and more places to hide. After an eventful race, the bunch stayed together for six laps and in the bunch sprint it was Michael Jansen first, Dharlia Haines second and Ashton Sime third.

B grade was a faster, more aggressive version of C grade, nobody could get away and in the bunch sprint it was Jason Hapetea first, Calum Milne second and Kelana Saleh third.

Three of the most experienced riders in A grade made an early break. A couple of laps later the younger, stronger riders decided it was time to chase the breakdown and did it in such an aggressive manner they destroyed the bunch, scattering riders around the course. A few laps later the break was caught and the attacking started in earnest. This time, everybody managed to hold on, in the sprint it was Theo Yates first, Conor Leahy second and Luke Pledger third.

The showers and gusting westerly of Saturday afternoon, was replaced by sunshine and a strong northerly for masters racing on Sunday.

E grade was quickly reduced from five to three riders, the trio stayed together for five laps race and in the sprint trial rider, Rudi Seebach took the win, ahead of Bob Stephens with Pat Briggs third.

The difference between C and D grade is about a minute a lap, and C grade race an extra two laps. Tactically they are very similar, as the riders are racing with others of very similar abilities. In D grade it was Jon Nelson first, Bruce Abbott second and Graham Blyth third. In C grade Steve Oates took the win, with Phil Davidson second, Andrew Rothon third.

With only 12 riders in A grade, the decision was to combined with B grade. Very quickly a break of four A grade riders was established. A couple of laps later there was the pursuing group consisting of most of A grade and a few from B grade, behind them the B grade pack. As the race went on, the four out front maintained their lead, as the pursuers lost a few riders and extended their lead over the B grade bunch. With a lap to go it looked like the breakaway would win, rounding the final corner with a little over a kilometre to go, the pursuers were closing fast. In the end, it was the breakaway just, with John Gregg winning the sprint, from Chris Glasby second and Colin Rose third. After surviving the longest with A grade pursuers JC Van der Walt took the win in B grade, with Lee Jordan second and Greg Bayley third, ahead of the bunch.

The rider of the weekend should go to Colin Rose, who made the early break on Saturday afternoon and finished in the group. Then made the early break on Sunday and finished third.