A small but hardy group of riders turned out for a scratch race at Cloverlea in conditions that could at best be described as “challenging” on Saturday. Rain, wind and mud made conditions less than ideal for racing. Despite this a viable scratch race was staged with enjoyable and competitive racing for all.
Due to the low numbers it was decided to run a mass start race. Ray York and Andrew Debono started first and rode the first half of lap one on their own. A, B and C grade all began together. At the end of lap one everyone was still together but not for long. C grader Jayden Maitveld attacked and was joined by A grade pair Shane Stiles and Brenton Jones. The B graders were not going to let a C grader ride away so they jumped over to them. This left C grade trio Ray York, Paul Kennedy and Clint Wilson tailed off. They would have to work well together to catch Jayden as he was quite capable of sitting on the stronger riders.
Sit on them he did. In fact he spent most of lap 2 off the front with Stiles and Jones. The B grade quartet of Rob Monk, Geoff Thomson, Pete Finlayson and Steve Muggeridge had to chase hard to catch Jayden once Stiles and Jones decided to let him go on his own.
After again attacking the B grade field Jayden was taught a lesson after first Rob Monk then Steve Muggeridge put the speed on and eventually Jayden was dropped. This left 6 riders in the lead bunch with two laps to go. If Jayden was to win he would have to time-trial a lap and a half on his own and stay away from the chasing York, Kennedy and Wilson.
This he managed to do and celebrated in style crossing the line with hands in the air victory salute. Clint Wilson finished strongly to take second in C grade with Paul Kennedy just holding off the improving Ray York for third spot.
Lap four was to prove brutal for the weaker B grade riders as Stiles and Jones put the pressure on up to the corner. After a slight rest along Hazeldean Rd first Stiles attacked and then Jones countered and initially Steve Muggeridge and then Rob Monk found themselves off the back. Rob managed to scramble back onto the back of the bunch at the start of Parkers Rd but Steve was gapped and his race was over. Lap five was done at a moderate pace. Rob Monk tried a “death or glory” attempt to surprise the bunch with 500 meters to go. At the 200 meter mark he died and the real sprint opened up. Gun sprinter Brenton Jones hit the after burners and no-one could hold his wheel. He took the A grade win. Geoff Thomson and Pete Finlayson carried out an epic battle for second and the B grade win. Pete took victory by a tyre. Shane Stiles finished second in A grade and Rob Monk was third in B grade.
Andrew DeBono won D grade in a personal best time. He continues to get stronger each week.
Next week’s race is at Shady Creek, beginning at 9.00am Saturday Morning. Riders need to register by 8.45. Novice races are welcome to come along and give racing a try.