By Paul Yeatman*
Friday night saw a return to track racing which was hotly contested across the grades. A hot day meant the track was fast and riders had to content with a moderately strong westerly wind up the back straight. Racing began at 6:15 and was concluded by 8:45pm.
The first sets of races were scratch races. Here the bunch begins together under control until a whistle is usually blown to signal the start of the race. This is to allow all the riders to be together at the start so nobody is left behind.
Junior 11-13, Junior U15-17 and mixed Senior A-C grades races three races each on a hot fast track.
First to race were the J11-13 riders, who were contesting a four lap scratch race. Lachlan Jagoe was first across the line beating Alex Gibson and Felicity Waddell who came in third.
Next up, the J15-17 group rode a seven lap scratch race. Mitchell Jones tried an early break which lead to his eventual win in this event. Mathew Duttnell chased hard for second with Lachlan Jordan close on his heels for third.
C grade kicked off their racing with a 15 lap scratch that saw several attacks from the riders and Mariah Dastey was the eventual winner.
B grade raced their warmup race over 20 laps or 6.666km. Clint Wilson took off early and was looking good for the win. Andrew Gordon chased him down and tried his luck at a counter attack. Trevor Rollinson bridged then stuck to him in the final stages, coming around him on the final corner for first. Rob Waddell was the next across the line.
A grade comprised five riders and included the likes of NRS rider Jarryd Jones. Things hotted up as Paul Yeatman took his turn at the front at the half way mark. Jarryd Jones used the bank to launch an attack. The bunch quickly responded and within two laps, were back together. With three laps to go, Jack Walk hit the gas and powered off the front. Yeatman launched his attack with two to go and held off a fast finishing Crag Skinner for a surprising second place.
The second set of races comprised point score racing. This style of racing starts out much like a scratch event, but incorporates intermediate sprints. The first four riders accumulate points throughout the race. Points may or may not be doubled for the final sprint and if a rider manages to lap the field, they get a bonus 20 points, but must still contest the remaining sprints to ensure they are the winner.
The J11-13 6 lap points with sprints on laps 3 and zero became a strung out affair with Alex Gibson taking first, Lachlan Jagoe second and Felicity Waddell third.
The J15-17 race was set for nine laps. After round one, this age group was merged with C grade who raced over 12 laps. Sprints were held on laps 9, 6, 3 and zero. Mitchell Jones, up from J15-17 was a gun rider, placing first. Mariah Dastey second and Mathew Duttnell (again from J15-17) also rode strongly to secure third place.
B grade 12 lap points with sprints on laps 9, 6, 3 and zero. Some exciting racing in this one. Clint Wilson took off early, but soon tired and Andrew Gordon took over, establishing a lead of around 100 meters. It looked like he was tiring with five to go, but he stay away for the rest of the race, taking out first place with ease. Trevor Rollinson accumulated sufficient points for second with Eric Veldeman claiming third place.
A grade 12 lap points with sprints on laps 9, 6, 3 and zero. Jarryd Jones was the first to go into sprint number one. Jack Walk was hot on his rear wheel with Craig Skinner close behind. Paul Yeatman did not contest sprint one – he’d planned to hit everyone before the second sprint and see if he could clean up from that point on. Things began to plan, with a jump which allowed him to take first in the second sprint. For the third sprint, Jarryd Jones pulled away from everyone and was chased by Jack Walk, Paul Yeatman and Craig Skinner. In the final sprint, JJ was far off the front so took it, first place. Yeatman was next across the line, keeping Skinner on his hip in the final bend.
The breakdown of points placed Jones in first, Skinner in second and Walk in third.
The final set of competition comprised scratch races. After the results from the Session 1 racing, would the outcome be the same, or would tactics and/or tired legs produce different results?
The final 11-13 4 lap scratch was a repeat of the first race with Lachlan Jagoe first, Alex Gibson second and Felicity Waddell third.
The C grade scratch was run over 15 laps and included the J15-17 riders again. The youngsters are showing great future promise, mixing it with the senior riders well. They were able to take out two of the top three placings as follows: Mathew Duttnell first, Mitchell Jones second and Mariah Dastey third.
B grade ran their last race over 20 laps. Clint Wilson and Andrew Gordon again tried their luck at solo breaks, but it was the more experienced and wiley Trev Rollinson who made the move at the right time to win the race. Gordon came second with Wilson third.
The final race of the evening A grade 20 lap scratch. This was to be a tactical affair, with riders being unwilling to take the lead and lots of swinging up on the bends. Jarryd Jones made and early break away attempt and Paul Yeatman was unwilling to let him go, chasing JJ like a greyhound chases a lure. Two laps later, the bunch was back together. With four laps to go, Jarryd Jones and Jack Walk got a gap which they extended to about 80m by the end of the race. Craig Skinner and Paul Yeatman where the only riders left with legs in the chase group and they swapped turns as they tried to bring the leaders back. That did not happen and Jone won the race from Jack Walk. In the race for third, Yeatman came around Skinner on the final bend to claim third.
Our second and final event of the Friday night series will be held on February 28th. Racing starts at 6pm. The $20 entry fee this Friday covers each night and the aggregate winners will be presented at the conclusion of racing on the 28th.
Next Saturday the club is holding Round 5 of The Summer Club Track League. Racing starts at 2pm and riders are requested to pre register to help us with the planning. Entry for seniors costs $10 and for juniors (J15 and under) it is $5.
Other Track News
On Sunday, several of our riders contested the Latrobe City Cycling Club’s track carnival over in Newborough. Felicity Waddell, Matt Dutneall, Jack Walk, Mariah Dastey and Mitch Jones all featured on the various podiums.
Also on Sunday, Paul Yeatman took part in Blackburn Cycling Club’s ABOC sprint series where he rode a flying 200m (outdoor) pb of 13.587 and despite losing all of the heats, managed to claim third place in the finals of B grade.
Some of our trackies will be attending the Victorian Masters Track Championships are being held at DISC on Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 of February.
A small series of photos from the night can be seen here (B grade points).
*The race reporting is fudged a lot, so it anyone who races wants to add to the commentary, get in touch. The plan is to film everything during round two, so I can provde an accurate description of event, and who know, maybe do a little video report.