z10.5 October 31 Bleat
Post date: Oct 31, 2016 9:47:17 AM
ACT Veterans Weekly Bleat, Monday 31st October, 2016
In the Bleat this week;
• From the Desk of the Handicapper
• Racing this Week
• Race Reports
Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc
From the Desk of the Handicapper
Most riders seem to have sorted themselves out and are riding in the correct grade. Please let me know if you want to be officially regraded. A few riders have been showing some great early season form. Seymour Savell-Boss had been riding C and D grade since 2009, but after a lot of hard work over the winter is now one of the strong riders in B grade, and was only 1/4 lap away from winning a solo breakaway boil-over recently.
Seymour Savell-Boss C to B (maybe A soon?)
Matt Hinchcliffe C to B
Brendan Lakey B to A
Adam Potts E to D
Anthony Bray E to D
RACING THIS WEEK:
Tuesday, 1st November: Stromlo Criterium
Yes, we know it's Melbourne Cup Day but as long as you haven't had too much chicken and champers at the office party, get down to the Crits and get in some racing of your own on the big day...
Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
B/D 5:50 B 35m+2, D 30m+2
E/F/G 6:25 22 min + 2 laps
A/C 6:55 A 35m+2, C 30m+2
Race Director: Linda Stals
Contact: Email: email@example.com Ph 0419283599
2 x marshals required for this event
Wednesday, 2nd November: Track Racing
The Program for Wednesday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 8-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 6.40pm: 4-Lap Handicap Race;
6.40pm – 7.00pm: 6-Lap Win & Out;
7.00pm – 7.20pm: Italian Pursuit.
Sunday, 6th November: No Road Race
Stromlo – 25th October
Light winds gracing Stromlo Forest Park with a warming sun closing out the last few hours of a striking sunny day. This was the scene that greeted the biggest turnout of riders thus far this Crit season. Supported by fabulous volunteers in Jan Koehler and Richard Bourne along with Tom Roberts the Sports med the only obstacle to overcome on the night was the lap board being in for repairs meaning we had to make do with a whiteboard marker and my booming voice to keep riders informed of the timings.
Up first were E, F & G grade. E grade was a huge 22 riders and it was great to see a real competitive racing situation develop as the race wore on. Several set the pace which at times tested some in the peloton. There were some promising breakaways but each time they got hauled back in by the large roving pack. In the end Anthony Bray took advantage of a final lap surprise attack to claim the win ahead of Kristy Cummin and Phillip Martin in 3rd. F & G grade started together with a total of 9 riders across both grades. They quickly sorted themselves out into their respective grades 400 metres into the race with Paul Robey doing some quality turns at the front. Both F & G grade stayed as single units through the 20 minutes until the end sprint with Lindsay Graham taking out a great F grade win ahead of Dennis Puniard and Pauline Thorn. In G grade Heather Sommariva sprinted home to win ahead of Bernie Crowe and Bruce Jones.
A & C were next up. Those in the stands were treated to great racing in both grades. I think about 5 minutes into the racing, we had riders spread across all parts of the course and it became extremely hard to keep progress of who was lapping who and catching who. In C grade a group of 3 got a decent lead 6 mins into the race and just couldn’t work well enough together and were eventually caught by yet another large group of 16 riders. There were surges throughout C grade which split the groups into several herds of riders.
In A grade it was on like Donkey Kong from the word go with a break of 4 riders setting up a good lead early in the race. Behind them a very organized chase group managed to reel them back in but before too long and in the blink of an eye there was a 8 rider break with a 6 rider chase pack in close proximity. Close riding with every rider seeking that slight drag advantage saw some riders perform a bit of grass edging up the final straight. Thankfully they were able to clean out of a few weeds and stay upright at the same time.
With 5 mins to go, we had groups catching groups, groups being lapped, attacks, counter attacks, DNF’s coming in, it was all happening. The finish in both grades were hard fought sprints with Ben Morrison maintaining his 100% A grade win record for the season by just edging out Mark Harris and Antony Bishop in 3rd. C grade was taken by Jason McAvoy ahead of Wayne Shippley with the tandem machine of Lindy Hou rounding out 3rd place.
In the final event of the night as the sun was dropping below the perilous Mt Stromlo and with the warm air quickly evaporating giving away to cooler wind, B & D grade lined up. Again big numbers with 24 riders in B and 19 in D. 2 laps in and Paul Ledbrook led 2 others riders on an ambitious break which really got motoring. The pace was really good but it proved too much for Paul who dropped back into the chase peloton.
Meanwhile in D grade a 2 rider break had formed and seemed to have taken the main peloton by surprise as they were mostly holding hands coming past the finish not intent on chasing. But when they decided to chase down the break, they did it with gusto and came back together again. Crit racing has many tactics and it was halfway through the race we saw B grade pass D and fortune favours the brave at this point of the race with Mark Hutchings taking an opportunistic break from D to not tag onto B grade ( as that is not allowed) but maintain a good gap from his chasing counterparts. He even caught us by surprise as we mistook him for a rider tailing off the back of B, such was the effortless expression on his face each lap he came past us.
In the end lone B grader Matt Hinchcliffe maintained his lead over the chasing group to take out the win ahead of an ecstatic Richard Hedley and Andrew Murrell in the mass sprint for the minors. In D grade Mark Hutchings strolled home for a win ahead of Adam Potts and Duane Toohey.
My only observation to report for the night was a celebration in the mass sprint in B grade for the minor placings. All riders regardless of how good your bike handling skills are should maintain both hands on the bars whilst crossing the line. Especially in a sprint with 10-15 riders even putting up one hand in celebration has the potential to cause serious injury at the high speeds that bunch sprints often occur at. Therefore all riders are on notice that any fist pumps, rocking the baby, salutes to the sun, pointing at sponsors on your jersey, blowing the smoke from your pistol finger or any action that involves taking 1 or both hands off the bars as you cross the finish line will not be tolerated and will see you relegated down to the bottom of the page in your grade result.
It’s fantastic to see a great rider turn out for week 3 and always a pleasure to witness great racing across all grades.
Narrabundah Track Racing – 26th October
A warm evening and twenty track riders made for an excellent third Track Racing session for the 2016-17 season. Initially the wind looked a problem with a very stiff headwind in the back straight. As usual, the wind moderated as racing progressed.
The 8-lap A grade scratch race was enlivened by an attack from Kerry Knowler on lap 3. Kerry gained a considerable lead before Alec Millett finally burst from the pack to take up a chase. Alec is in good form and caught Kerry by Lap 5. Unfortunately, with both riders well positioned, Kerry began to flag, leaving Alec exposed over the final laps. Michael Langdon and Steve Jones accelerated over these laps and comfortably reeled in Alec. Michael had the legs to take the win by around 2 metres. Steve took second and Alec held on for a well deserved third place.
The B Grade scratch race started easy. However, the pace quickened by lap 4 and was quite solid over the final two laps. The final sprint was hotly contested, with Roger Wheatley taking a narrow victory over Ian Drayton and Andrew Peel in second and third place, respectively.
The evening’s second event was a 20-lap points race. This is a very tough event with three intermediate sprints and one final sprint for accumulating points. To make things interesting, the stronger sprinters in each grade conceded a half lap start to the other riders. In A grade, Rowan McMurray and Chris Thompson competed for the first sprint. Rowan took a narrow victory and, sensing a tactical advantage, held his pace to open up a very significant lead on the two pursuing bunches. Both bunches kept up a solid pursuit and began to fracture under the relentless pace. Rowan took the second and third sprints and seemed likely to hold off the limit bunch to the end. A gutsy final effort from Steve Jones eventually reeled in Rowan and allowed Steve to use his superior sprinting prowess to take the final sprint. By then, Rowan was unbeatable on points. The event ended with Rowan and Steve taking the first and second places with 24 and 14 points respectively. Michael Langdon, Craig Kentwell and Ben Robey took equal third with 12 points.
The B grade points race virtually followed the script set by A grade. In this instance, it was relative newcomer, Tony Beasley, who took the initiative. Tony was second to Steve Hirsler in the first sprint. However, he held his pace to establish a significant lead over the two pursuing bunches. Tony looked strong throughout the event and comfortably held his lead to take the next two intermediate sprints. Over the final five laps, a pursuing bunch with Andrew Peel, Ross Scutts, Ian Drayton and Phil Anderson managed to reel in Tony. Andrew Peel took the final sprint closely followed by Steve Hirsler. Tony still had sufficient energy for third place in the final sprint. The final points wash up was Tony Beasley (22 points) first place, Ross Scutts (18 points) second place. Again, three riders (Steve Hirsler, Phil Anderson and Andrew Peel) took equal third with 12 points.
The track session closed with the usual all-in, Italian pursuit. With 10 riders on each team, this was going to be an enjoyable, competitive and tough event, especially for the limit riders. Team 1 made a good start with Graeme O’Neill and Phil Coulton leading out. From this point, first one then the other team made marginal gains. However, Team 1 held a lead throughout the race. By the time Team 2 was down to their last two riders, the situation seemed hopeless. Alec Millett put in all the effort he had left after a hard night and Steve Jones did likewise. However, the pace held from mid race by Rowan McMurray, John-Paul DeSousa, Craig Kentwell, Chris Thompson and Michael Langdon left no room for an upset. Team 1 took a comfortable win by around 8 metres.
Major place getters were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade): Michael Langdon, Steve Jones, Alec Millett (B Grade) Roger Wheatley, Ian Drayton, Andrew Peel.
20 Lap Points Race: (A Grade): Rowan Mc Murray (24), Steve Jones (14), Michael Langdon (12) (B Grade) Tony Beasley (22), Ross Scutts (18), Steve Hirsler, Phil Anderson and Andrew Peel (12 each).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Graeme O’Neill, Phil Coulton, Roger Wheatley, Tony Beasley, Andrew Peel, Rowan McMurray, John-Paul DeSousa, Craig Kentwell, Chris Thompson, Michael Langdon).
Current Points Score Leaders: Michael Langdon (55), Steve Jones (52), Ian Drayton (47), Roger Wheatley (46), Alec Millett (46), Ross Scutts (40), Rowan McMurray (38). Phil Anderson (35).