By Rob Monk
Race three of the Bulk Transport Equipment Friday Night Lights series saw a return to our Endevour Street criterium circuit after a five year hiatus.
A criterium is a race on a circuit less than 2km in length. The Endeavour St circuit, opposite the Velodrome, is a 1.4km long, hot dog circuit. Riders must negotiate two 180 degree bends each lap. This means lots of high speed cornering and sprinting out of the corners.
B and C grade took to the circuit together first. The B grade race largely stayed together as noted chasers, Stuart Battley and Col Brown would let nothing get too far up the road. The race was a pedestrian affair which would inevitable result in a sprint finish. Jason Dastey did all he could to break it up as the Bell rang with his usual death or glory, I can’t sprint, attack. He led round the final bend but the throng of “would be” sprinters were after him. Pete Whelan went for home and Stuart Battley and Darren Cook took off after him. George Tambassis had been nowhere near the front all race and picked a passage through the messy bunch to take the win. Pete Whelan was second with Darren Cook in third.
In C grade Allan McCoulloch quickly grew tired of the muddling pace and decided to time trial on the front for a workout. He strung the field out for most of the race with Graeme Patrick giving him a rest every other lap. McColloch had little left for the final sprint and was passed by Dave Aromour first, Brooke Radford second and Rob Waddel third. McColloch needs to talk to the perfidious Tambassis to work on his tactics.
A and D grade started at 7.00pm. The wind had died down a little by this time so breakaways had a better chance of staying away. In D grade Andrew Gordon managed to get off the front with 3 laps to go. He time trialled strongly. Paul Kennedy towed the rest of the bunch up to him. Once Kennedy was weakened Dave Jordan and juniors Matt Dutneal and Mitch Jones managed to bridge across to Gordon. By the final bend Wayne Tunks had joined them. Young Mitch Jones showed his sprinting prowess by taking the win from Jordan with Dutneal in third place.
The ride of the night was in the A grade race. Jack Walk was aggressive from the start and was in all the early attempted breaks. None would stick but with 3 laps to go Jack went off the front on his own. Most thought it was too far to hold off a field that included NRS riders Jarryd Jones and Stuart Smith and seasoned A graders like Justin Gravatt and Scott Keeble. Jack would not be denied though and held the chasers off. Matt Parkinson was second with Graeme Parker third.
The BTE Friday Night Lights series continues next Friday at Darnum starting at 6.15.
In other news
On Saturday night Footscray Cycling Club hosted the ABS & Bell Track Cup. This racing forms part of the Victorian Track League, which is the track rider’s equivalent to the Victorian Road Series, with the top riders in A, B and C grades collecting points for over all state champions.
Down in D grade, which contained a mic of A, B and C grade riders (due to the quality of riders in the night’s upper grades), Brett Rollinson won both of the scratch races which were a short and sharp eight and ten laps each. Paul Yeatman also took part and found the racing very very fast.
Michelle Scurr, rode with Southern Masters at Casey Fields on Sunday morning and came forth and first female in E grade after towing the field around for much of the race and letting another work horse get a break with two laps go go.