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Race report by Nick Cowie.

Saturday saw the running of the Henk Vogels Cycling Foundation Peel Junior Tour and Peel Women’s Tour at the Motorplex. The race consisted of three separate events, a single 4.7-kilometre lap prologue time trial, a road race of between 3 and 10 laps depending on age and grade of the same circuit and finishing with five minutes plus one lap criterium on a short 600-metre circuit.  The winners were decided on their positions in all three races.

In the under 13 category, Sam Washington won all three events to take the overall. Dakota Sime was not far behind in all three, to take the under 13 women title. Liam Alves in his first race, worked hard finishing third in all events and 2nd in under 13 men.

While there was not quantity, there was definitely quality in the under 15 womens field. Isabell Commons prologue time was close to the A grade women times. Her main competition was Sally Carter who had just returned from the Junior National Track Championships with a gold, three silver and two bronzes. The road race was a tactical race, starting with the under 15 men, the pair made use of the other riders trying to drop each other when that failed. The pair rode together until the rounded the final corner with 200 metres to go. In an unusual move, Commons went left Carter went right and they opened up their sprints early. Carter came back in the last few metres to take the narrow win. The criterium saw the top two under 15 men and women open a lead early over the other riders, the four rode together until they rounded the final corner and started sprinting, Commons tailed of early and Carter eased up to take the criterium win and overall title.

The under 15 males saw Nicholas Bolt win the prologue from Ashton Sime. The pair raced away from the rest of the field in the road race and in the sprint, to the line Sime took the honours. In the criterium, it was Bolt attacking out of the corner and holding off Sime to win the criterium and overall honours. Sime was second and Guy Pertwee who spent the whole day chasing was third.

The under 17 women say a similar battle between a road racer in Hannah Waters and track racer in Emily Washington. Washington won the prologue, then outsprinted Waters to win the road race and criterium and overall title.

The under 17 men saw Joshua Commons (brother of Isabell) battle John Carter (brother of Sally). In the prologue, Commons took a clear victory, with Matt Conan second and Carter third. In a tactical road race, with the bunch splitting and reforming. Commons took a narrow win in the bunch sprint from Carter with Conan third. The criterium appeared to a five-minute replica of the road race, with attacks, counterattacks, bunch splitting, reforming before suddenly slowing to walking pace on the last lap. The results did not change with Commons winning in the bunch sprint from Carter with Conan third. Which gave Commons the overall win, with Carter second and Conan third.

D grade is a grade for women new to the sport and those who have lost a little speed over time. It was the newer riders Cate Wray and Julie Humphreys taking first and second in the prologue. With all women’s grades starting the road race together, it was the Rose Sellar’s confidence in cornering at speed and ability to hold a wheel, that saw her stay with the big bunch as her fellow racers got dropped. Humphreys finished second and Wray third. In the criterium, Sellar went to the front on the final lap, taking the corners at speed and stringing the riders out. Sellar had a good gap, before sprinting to the win, Humphrey was second and Wray third. With three-second places, Humphreys took out the overall, with Sellar second and Wray third.

The riders in C grade was a mixed group with experienced time trialler Jenny Sammons taking the win in the prologue with triathlete Natasha Pertwee second. In the road race, it was a former track rider returning to the sport Nicole Malloy taking the win in the sprint, with Sam Bolton second. The fast cornering in the criterium saw a couple of riders struggle, but it was Malloy again in the sprint with Bolton second and Sammons third which was also the overall results.

B grade saw a battle between two riders who entered the sport late and have been steadily progressing through the ranks, Kirstie Robson and Sam Flockhart and an experienced track rider returning from a break Megan Gammie. Robson dominated the race winning all three events, getting close to A grade winner in the combined A/B criterium and the overall. Gammie was second overall with seconds in the road race and criterium.  Flockhart was third after finishing second in the prologue.

It was another battle between track and road in A grade with masters road racer Vanessa Johnson facing track rising star Isla Carr. Carr took the honours in the prologue by less than a second. Johnson was then frustrated in the road race, as riders in other grades within the bunch would try to use Johnson’s attacks to their advantage and would end up dragging the bunch including Carr back to Johnson’s wheel. Both the road race and criterium ended in a sprint which was won by Carr securing the overall win.

For the full results and details on this Saturday’s race at Serpentine visit pdcc.asn.au