by Rob Monk
The first race of the GTrickes Series was a team’s race at Cloverlea on Sunday.
The twenty two riders were divided into three teams. Riders earn points for their team based on finishing position in the race. The first 15 finishers get points for their team.
Two riders from each team were given a 9 minute head start on the rest of the field. This group of six would not be caught. They drove hard as the Black team’s Simon Forbes and Red Team Strong men Mark Mason and Duane McDonald forced the pace. On lap four McDonald and Blue Team rider Leigh Jamison made a small break. Forbes went with them and Richard Bridge (Blue Team) had to chase. Mason sat on Richie until he was nearly spent then jumped across to the lead group. Richie was dropped. This gave the Red team the numerical advantage in the break. They used it well and Mark Mason enjoyed a perfect lead out from Jamieson before flying past him to take the victory and ensure the maximum 15 points for the red team. Jamieson was second then Forbes. DeMac was fourth and 30 seconds later Richie rolled in for fifth. Matt Williamson held off the chasers to take 6th place for the black team.
The riders with a head start were always going to stay away after Jayman Prestidge attacked at the start from the scratch group. The red team had decided they were happy for the limit riders to stay away so Prestidge up the road for 3 laps on his own was ideal.
Jayman is strong but slow and the given the lack of chase from the black team the riders with a head start actually took time out of Jayman on lap 1.
Black team captain Leigh Hauxwell picked up the pace on lap 2 and by lap three Jaymans 2 minute lead was all but gone. A flurry of attacks resulted in not significant breakaways on lap 3. It was clear that the red team wanted to keep the bunch together. The youngest rider in the field Ollie McLean from the black team took off at the bell. Many underestimated his ability to stay away. He would prove them wrong. The kid has a big motor. When he was joined by Jayman Prestidge (Blue) and Craig Taylor (Red) all teams were represented. Leigh Hauxwell tipped the balance in the black team’s favor by getting across to the break.
Hauxwell was happy to drive the break while his team mate McLean sat in. Taylor and Prestige were smart enough to not tow the black team to the finish but Hauxwell was strong enough to do it for them. Lumby (Black) team tried to get across to the break but didn’t quite get there.
Matt Parkinson, captain of the red team played a patient waiting game. He knew Taylor would be able to outsprint those in the break with him. While tempted to use Col Brown to bring the break back he decided to wait for the sprint. It proved to be a winning strategy.
Taylor from the red team did win the sprint from the breakaway group. Prestidge was next over the line. Then followed black team duo of McLean and Hauxwell. With only 5 places left for point scoring the black team were now in front and when Will Lumby won the sprint from the main bunch their lead increased. The difference in teams races though is usually numbers of high finishes. The red team had Matt Parkinson finish next and then Rob Monk and Scott Keeble separated only by Brett Rollinson from the blue team filling the final spots. In the end these final places made the difference.
The end result was 1st Red Team 46 Points
2nd Black Team 41 Points
3rd Blue Team 36 Points.
Matt Parkinson is proving to be unbeatable as captain in the team’s race format.
The next race in the series is on September 25th at Cloverlea.