Oppressive temperatures were no deterrent to the cyclists who turned out in big numbers.
C and D grade combined to make a field of nine riders. First time racer George Tambassis looked strong early in the race and soon he had the field spread out. Only Dave Bailey and Pete Davine were able to hold his wheel. Wayne Tunks, Ken White and Brian Munro were relegated to individual time trial practice. With two laps to go Dave Bailey lost contact with the leaders leaving just the inexperienced Tambassis against renowned quick finisher Pete Davine. Davine made sure the sprint was short and took out the win easily. Tambassis will improve with more racing but he does need to work on his “jump”. Ken Wittaker came in third with Greg Horbowicz taking out fourth place.
Renee Patrick beat Andrew DaBono and Nick Anderson to take the points in D grade.
B grade had 8 riders. The field stayed together for the first half of the race but strong efforts on the King St hill from Andrew Nicholls were slowly taking their toll on the field. With two laps to go only five riders Cy Monk, Nicholls, Jayden Manitveld, TrevRollinson and Clem Fries were left in the lead bunch. Ross Henry, Paul Yeatman and Steve Muggeridge had lost contact.
On the King St hill the last time Cy Monk tried a surprise attack. He was left on his own at the top but chose to wait for the field. In the sprint Cy jumped for home first from the back of the bunch. Nicholls was quick to respond and even quicker to accelerate and too out another strong win. Clem Fries was second with Cy Monk in third. Jayden Manitveld was fourth with TrevRollinson in fifth.
A grade consisted of 14 riders. The hot conditions did not seem to deter breakaway attempts. Keeble, Dilger and Rollinson were active early trying to break up the race. Zander Hitchcock looked completely at ease on the King St hill as he danced on the pedals up the climb. The most promising move mid race was when Dilger, Rob Monk and Brett Rollinson got off the front. Keeble was not going to let that group get away though and closed it down quickly. With four laps to go Rolland Eldson got off the front with some assistance from Shane Stiles. The peleton seemed to be lacking willing chasers as the heat was starting to take its toll. Rollinson with a little help from Monk almost singlehandly brought the bunch back to Rolland with 2 laps to go. Rollinson rested briefly and then took off on his own off the front. Monk was done chasing and only Jason Dastey seemed keen to work to bring Brett back. At the bell he had a 200 meter lead. Hitchcock had preserved his energy well and expended it now,were it would do maximum damage to the field. He followed Stiles up the hill at a speed no one else in the bunch could match. Now there were three off the front and the peleton needed someone prepared to bury themselves to bring it all back together. No one could muster the effort.
Stiles tried to get Hitchcock to lead out in the sprint while giving Rollinson some cover. Brett had spent too many pennies in the earlier chases and had nothing left for the final sprint. Stiles first, Hitchcock second with Rollinson third. The battle for forth started rounding the home turn went Scott Keeble headed for home. Luckily for the bunch Pete Whelan took up the chase. With 200 meters to go Keeble was caught and Whelan was spent. Rob Monk took sprinted over the top to take forth from Rolland Elstromin fifth.
Photos by the LCCC here.