By Jayman Prestidge
Racing returned for 2015 at the Endeavour Street Criterium circuit. Eighteen keen riders took to the race across four grades. Despite forecasts of rain the weather was overcast but fair.
We saw three new first time riders take advantage of the first ‘Come and Try’ Race Day for 2015 and roll up to the start line. These days allow unlicensed riders to join in and get an experience of what they are missing out on in their cycling careers – it’s a lot of fun to race and increases bike handling and race tactic skills greatly.
Cody Orgill, Glen Walker, David Thomas and Bruce Evanson all took up this opportunity and showed great potential in each of their races. Well done and we look forward to having you back for your next race A and B Grade fields were started together given the small field sizes. C and D Grade were separate races.
This didn’t stop a great race though in all grades as various attacks were attempted in each race. The flat and fast ‘hotdog’ shaped criterium circuit relies on cornering and acceleration skills every 500 metres. Sustaining a breakaway is difficult without support, and in all of today’s races across each grade all breakaway attempts were futile.
In A Grade, Shane Stiles , Graham Parker and Matthew Parkinson rode strongly and into the last corner swept through it as though they had more grip than a set of racing car tyres.
Stiles just pipped Graham Parker in the sprint for victory in the race, but also won the STRAVA KOM for the fastest recorded finish in the last 500 metres of that race circuit. He goes home with two ‘victories’ in one day! Matt Parkinson rolled in for third place.
Peter Whelan had a great sit on A grade up the home straight. He overcame Paul Yeatman who forgot how to corner fast and Ross Henry came in third in B Grade. Geoff Thomson was fourth.
The largest field was in C Grade with 6 racers. Duane Mc Donald was first through the last corner and drove towards the line. Simon Baxter sprinted around Duane for his last C Grade Victory. It’s great to see Simon making a come back and look forward to him climbing back up the grades. Dave Thomas took out third in his first race with the Club.
D Grade saw first time rider Bruce Evanson take a victory from junior rider Macca Parkinson in second and the ever improving Adele Whelan in third.
Racing returns next Saturday at 2.00pm to the Burke Street criterium course.