The young guns were without the calming influence of A grade veteran Shane Stiles on Saturday. Stiles normally controls races and makes sure the A grade field stays together for the majority of the allotted time.
This week youngsters Kane Walker and Brenton Jones were left to their own devices. When Stiles is away the young blokes will play and play they did. After only 20 minutes they smashed the A grade race to pieces. No-one could go with them and they surged away on only the fourth lap after a hard attack up the circuits major hill. For the next 40 minutes they put an amazing gap on the remainder of the field nearly lapping them.
Such was their lead by the end of the race that they staged a matched “track sprint” in the home straight complete with a near stall, as both tried to make the other take the leadout role. The pair rolled along at less than 10km/h trying to fox the other to lead out. In the end they both broke for home from nearly a standing start with neither rider gaining an advantage on the other. Kane took an early lead but Brenton ever so slowly gained the upper hand and took the lead with 10 meters to go. He won by half a wheel. Kane second.
Chris Joustra continued his good form taking third after a solo break with 2 laps to go. He was well ahead of the trio of Simon Baxter, Paul Yeatman and Geoff Thomson. In what was an evenly matched sprint for fourth, Yeatman lead out from 200m and was passed by Baxter with 50 me to go. A well timed lunge by Yeatman was not enough and Baxter took the minor sprint by less than a tyre width. Thommo was was about half a wheel behind after being edged sideways by Baxter.
Jayman Prestidge dropped out of the A grade race to join B grade. He gave his brother some tactical advice during the final laps of the B grade race thereby ruining any chance Justin had of being in a good position for the finish of his race. Clearly a case of the blind leading the blind.
An evenly matched field of 13 riders contested the B grade race. Thomas Sander was the major aggressor early in the race but strong riders like Gary Olsson, Scott Keeble, Pete Finlayson and Jarryd Jones would not let Thomas get too far off the front. Visiting Caulfield Carnegie Rider Zane Hitchcock and the Greyhound like Justin Prestidge were also keen to chase down any breaks. Despite some quick trips up the King St Hill the bunch would not be spilt.
Keeble and Monk were quick to realize a sprint was likely so they remained conspicuously absent from the front end of the field in the final three laps.
The sprint into a head wind on the main straight was always going to be a tactical affair. Riders were reluctant to lead it out so the pace was relatively low as riders turned into the 600 meter finishing straight. Scott Keeble layed off the back of the bunch and took a fly up the inside in the gutter. He took everyone by surprise and with 400 meters to go he establish a 10 meter gap almost immediately. Monk was quick to jump from the pack and looked to be gaining on Keeble but Scotty was too strong and held on to take the win. Rob was second with Pete Finlayson in third. Then followed Jason Dasty and Col Brown.
Gary Olsson was nowhere to be seen indicating last week’s headline was a case of incorrect reporting.
Thomas Sander’s lame excuse this week was his chain came off in the sprint.
In the combined C and D grade race the experienced riders Neil Walker and Steve Muggeridge taught the young fellows a lesson in patience and when you need to be at your best in a bike race.
Junior riders Jayden Manintveld, Cy Monk, Brad Venables, Peter Davin and Rupert Baillie staged many short lived attacks off the front of the bunch. They are not in the same league as Kane Walker and Brenton Jones yet though so Neil and Steve patiently waited and let them wear each other out.
Rupert and Peter had to take a lap out near the end so they could finish the race such was the effect of their exertions.
With 2 laps to go Jayden and Brad were still off the front and only Cy, Neil and Steve still chasing on the lead lap. Neil and Steve left Cy behind on the King Street hill and quickly chased over to Jayden and Brad.
In the final sprint they had too much toe for the young boys. Neil took the win from Steve. Brad raced well for third with Jayden in forth. Cy took fifth and then followed Pete Devine and Rupert Baillie. Renee Patrick finished next.
Thanks to VicUrban.com for their sponsorship of the race.