16 riders braved the bad weather on Saturday for Race 1 of 3 in the Mini Series.
It was good to see so many racers being bike smart by using a front flashing light while racing, as from a spectators point of view it was very easy to see them coming on the road.
A grade and B grade raced 6 laps of the 8.1km Darnum circuit, and C grade raced 5 laps. The race was a mass start, and everyone was still all together the first time around, except Martin Bando, he had a 23” lead.
Bando held this lead for the next time around. A and B grade were still together, but this time the 3 C graders had fell off the back and were racing their own race. Colin Manintveld was looking strong on the front. The next time around Bando had been caught, but A and B were on a mission.
C grade rolled around with Manintveld still on the front. The next time around the 4 A graders proved that they were stronger than their B grade companions. B grade rolled around soon after, not phased that the A graders had rode away from them. This meant that each grade had their own race.
Bell lap for C grade and it was Graeme Patrick who was on the front, but all 3 of them looking strong and had and equal chance of winning. Followed this was the bell lap for A grade and B grade.
Both grades were all together and unless a last minute attack, a bunch sprint was looking likely. Then next lap saw young Edward Dabinett powering over the last hill to take the win, followed by Manintveld for second, then Patrick soon after for third.
In the sprint for A grade Jason Laird kicked first, early. Then Brett Rollinson went around him, but Shane ‘Rupert’ Stiles obviously didn’t contribute much during the race because he looked fresh and finished in 1st place passing Rollinson just before the line. Laird hung on for third and Joustra finished 4th.
With 2 of the 3 grades finished, there was only one finish left. B grade had some strong finishers in the race, Graeme Parker was first to crest the last hill, but George Tambassis showed us that he can sometimes put power to the pedals, passing him and taking the win, I think he can smell A grade soon. Parker still was strong enough for second. Bando must’ve used all his energy in his early attack because he finished strongly in 3rd. the fight for 4th and 5th was close, Jayman Prestige just winning over Rob Monk. Aaron Nash finished in 6th, which was a good effort after already going for a ride out in the rain earlier in the day. Chris Bagot is still finding his way in B grade finishing 7th. Paul Yeatman finished 8th and Tex Walker finished in 9th. These two had a hard weekend of racing the week earlier at the Tour of East Gippsland, Paul finishing 2nd overall.