by Rob Monk
Racing returned to the popular Burke St circuit on Sunday. Field were down in size due to a few regulars racing at the Tour of Bright.
The A grade field was strengthened by Australian Criterium Champion Brenton Jones. Brenton enjoyed some of the cut and thrust of the early attacks for about 15 minutes then rode away from the bunch and was not seen again. He didn’t lap them but was getting close and Jones won easily. Shane Stiles made his presence felt on the King Street hill every other lap and this had many in the red zone. With 3 laps to go Brett Kennedy and Graeme Parker lost contact with the bunch. Stiles gave it everything in the sprint but Latrobe strongman Craig Skinner is just too fast for him.Skinner was second, Stiles third and Sequoia Frahn fourth.
B grade is usually a procession with a bunch sprint at the finish. Today’s race was different. Glenn Marriott called his shot early. He told Latrobe City’s, Col Aitken that he’d get up the road early and that Col should jump across to him. This happened after 15 minutes and there was a baffling lack of cohesion in the chasers. With no rider in the break you’d expect the Drouin Cycles boys to take up the chase but with the exception of some surging efforts from Yeatman, no organisation developed. Tambassis and Monk did nothing to bring their buddy Marriott back. Nash, Henry and Sandner seemed keener to attack each other than to roll some turns to chase the break.
Marriott took the win from Aitken. In a close sprint for third Yeatman just got over Tambassis with Monk finishing fifth.
In C grade a field of four raced. Graeme Patrick was displaced from the group 40 minutes into the race. James Blyth was the strongest up the King St Hill each lap but Justin Prestidge and Chris Bagot colluded to bring him back each time. At the finish Justin was too quick for James in the sprint. Chris finished third.
The penultimate race of the season is at Endeavor Street next Sunday morning. Sign on at 8.00am for a 8.30am start.
We are back to Endevor St next week fpr the penultimate race of the season. 8.00 am sign on for an 8.30 start.