By Rob Monk
The final race of the Garden Shed Criterium Series brought out huge numbers of participants. With houses being rapidly erected in the Chesterfield Estate racing on this circuit was always going to be a fleeting opportunity. The verdict from riders was almost unanimous; The Chesterfield estate is a great place to race.
In 3 of the 7 grades that raced is was a case of “Keeping up with the Jones” Young Mitch Jones started the family wins with a strong performance to take the win in a sprint from Jack Martin and Matt Dutneal. Dylan Bensted was fourth.
The division 4 races stayed together for most of the 20 minutes. Mick Blackwood and Clint Wilson launched some short lived attacks but it came down to a sprint and Clint was too quick for Mick. Matt Dutneal picked up his second third placing of the night while Paul Kennedy looked like he’d run a marathon when he rolled over in fourth.
The division 3 races was quick. Solid attacks and pace making from Graeme Patrick, Terry Kelly, Andrew Gordon and Grant Neilsen saw a number of riders shed from the main group. Chris Jones, having his first race in a long time was wearing the cloak of invisibility and was seen nowhere near the front. At the bell Jones showed his class but flashing down the back straight and taking the bottom corner faster than any of the other boys could. He opened a winning lead and held it to the line. Col Brown finished second for the fourth time in the series which guaranteed him series victory. Pete Sorenson sprinted well for third with Graeme Patrick in fourth.
Matt Parkinson’s race career may be only 3 races old but his win percentage is 66%. His attack at the bell and had everyone struggling to go with him. His chances were helped by the high intensity of the race before this. Jason Dastey and Shane Pettingill got off the front for 5 laps until Stuart “Jack Russell” Battley couldn’t contain himself any longer and chased them down. Next to go was Neil Walker who established a good break only for Battley to bring him back as well. With 3 to go Parkinson took off and no-one could go with him. The sprinters, Tambassis and Miller had some cornering issues working through the traffic so their chances were dashed. Matt took out the win and promotion to A grade easily from the irrepressible Stuart Battley. Neil Walker was third and Darren Cook fourth.
A crack field had gathered for the Division one race. Jarryd and Brenton Jones and Kane Walker ride in the national road series. This is contested by the best riders in the country so the local club “A graders” would be in for a tough time. Almost immediately Kane was off the front but it was 16 year old local Cy Monk who jumped over to him. Cy and Kane worked together for 10 laps off the front stringing out the 11 chasers. The Jones boys stayed in the pack allowing others to do the chasing. Justin Gravett, Brett Rollinson and Scott Keeble held the gap in check but others were getting dropped. Jack Walk, Pete Whelan, Craig Skinner and Graeme Parker found the going too tough and were forced to withdraw from the race. At the 20 minute mark of the race Brenton decided it was time to join the break and he jumped over the gap. Only brother Jarrod and new WCC member Peter Dennis were able to follow him. The field of 13 that started was now down to five. Cy was not intimidated by his higher credentialed competitors and managed to get off the front again and this time the Jones boys joined him. Kane and Peter had to pull out everything they had to get back on with three laps to go. With two to go Jarrod sprinted off the front. Cy chased with Brenton on his wheel. At the bell Brenton wound it up and flew past Cy. He cornered as if on rails and at the turn into the main straight he had his little brother covered. A mono over the finish line from BJ brought up the third victory of the night for the Jones family. Brenton first, Jarrod second with Cy in third and Peter fourth.
The division 2 women’s race was dominated by Anne Pryjmak. At the mid point of the race she put a gap in the field and was never headed. Gita Walker and Robyn Barker worked well together to try and chase her down but couldn’t cut the deficit. Annie was first with Robyn second and Gita third. Kristen Theile was fourth.
The division one women’s race was decided by an early attack from Monique Handley. Monique went off the front and Rachel Kimber dug deep to bridge across to her. From that moment the others in the field would struggle. Lou Clark and Adele Whelan were dropped and Sharon Gordon, Michelle Scurr and Mariah Dastey had to go into chase mode. Michelle did an amazing job to ride over the gap on her own and there were now three leaders. Kimber again showed her superior cornering skills on the last lap and led easily into the finishing straight. She took the victory from Michelle with Monique in third and the improving Sharon Gordon in fourth.
The Garden Shed Criterium Series winner in the open section was Col Brown from Darren Cook and Matt Parkinson. In the women’s series Rachel Kimber was first with Annie Pryjmak and Donna Gibson tied for second. Matt Dutneal won the Junior series.
We now start the Voyage Gym Handicap Series at 9am on Saturday Mornings at the Darnum Footy ground.
The track side of the club fires up on Friday night with a track racing night. There will also be a briefing for riders new to handicap racing at the velodrome at 7.00pm on Friday night to prepare for Saturday’s race.