By Rob Monk
Some riders spend a long time in the social bunches before stepping up to racing. Others jump straight into racing. Chester Sanderson is definitely in the wait till you are ready category. He’s been prominent on the 8.15 ride all year and has been able to keep up on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. He was clearly ready to race and primed to perform well in his maiden start.
C grade had seven starters including first time racer Chester Sanderson. Andrew Gordon was the chief protagonist in the early stages of the race. His early attack split the field. Glen Ogilvy and Kate Prestidge found the going too tough. They chased hard but would never regain the leaders. Gordon also struggled after his early exertions and was dropped. This left Chester Sanderson, Zvonko Maric, Greg Neilson and Shane Pettingill together for the final three laps. Sanderson left little to chance in the final sprint going for home early and riding away from Zvonko. Neilson was third and Pettingill fourth. Kate Prestige was the first female home in C grade. Sanderson will soon be asked to step up to B grade if this sort of form continues.
A and B grade combined to make a field of 13 riders. From the gun Jimmy Lalor and Dave Salton were off up the road. The rest of group waited for Shane Stiles to finish final preparations and preening before setting off in pursuit. Jayman Prestidge did two turns in the chase then blew up before the end of the first lap. He was the first and only rider dropped for the whole race. C grade beckons for President Prestidge unless he can find some form.
It took 2 laps of concerted chasing for Salton to be wheeled in. What followed was a series of short lived attacks with the main instigators being Jayden Manintveld and Jimmy Lalor. Brett Rollinson was super strong in bringing the race back together.
Approaching the final turn the race was still all together. Shane Stiles decided to string the field out rounding the home turn. It is 700 meters from the final corner to the finish and Stiles was on the front for 690 of them. He gapped Keeble, Finlayson, Salton and Monk but they clawed some ground back as the finish line came into view. Finlayson gave it everything he had with 200 meters to go giving Cy Monk a nice trail up to the leader. With 100 to go Cy left Pete’s wheel and went in search of the leader passing him with meters to spare and taking the win. Stiles was second, Finlayson third. Then followed Salton, Keeble and Battley.
D grade raced 4 laps. Col Manintveld, James Golding and Shane Wakker stayed together for much of the race but Michelle Scurr was not on form and was tailed off early. James was looking like he had the most jump on the hills but Wakker and Manintveld would not let him get too far away. In the sprint Col bided his time well. Wakker was first to crack and Golding sighted the line and sprinted past Manintveld. Col didn’t panic though, kept grinding away and eventually young Golding learnt the hard way that launching your sprint from 500 meters out is a very long way. Col took out a hard fought win with James in second and Shane third. These 3 riders are evenly matched and will have some first-class battles in the coming weeks.
Next week’s race is on a new circuit starting at Lardner Park. Assemble at Lardner Park at 1.30 for a 2.00pm start.