Heat, wind wreak havoc on the year’s first criterium

Nick CowieSound Telegraph
Pete Mills on the front of the race winning break in B grade.
Camera IconPete Mills on the front of the race winning break in B grade.

Racing returned to Smeaton Way in Rockingham for Peel District Cycling Club’s first criterium of the year on Sunday.

The heat and the wind made the conditions challenging for all riders, particularly E-grade, which only had five riders.

The riders stayed together until the final lap and the bunch sprint was won by Phil Edwards, with John Bywater second and Tony Da Silva third.

D-grade only had a couple more riders, so it was a fairly conservative race, ending in a bunch sprint, which was won by Adam Jones, with Clint Hort second and Zoe Stolton third.

With twice the numbers in C-grade, the racing was very different. Riders would attack and the bunch would chase, lapping at 40km/h.

Everybody waited for the next attack and the speed would drop to 32km/h. This was repeated for more than 35 minutes of racing, as nobody got more than 50m or a lap off the front of the bunch.

In sprint, it was Ben Mcrobb first, Scott Biffen second and Callum Hunter third.

William Celis throws to the line to take the win from Jordan Dawson.
Camera IconWilliam Celis throws to the line to take the win from Jordan Dawson.

The juniors then took to the circuit for two laps with their chaperones.

The club is looking at expanding on the success of junior races with the introduction of an F-grade at the next criterium, at Alumina Way, Rockingham, on January 28.

The riders will still require a chaperone and will race behind E-grade for 15 minutes.

The aim is to provide a bigger challenge to young riders and a stepping stone to E-grade.

B-grade took to the circuit.,

Tthe racing was very different from C-grade, even if the fastest lap times were similar. B-grade would ride a number of fast laps as breakaways would be established, then chased down a few laps later.

A little over halfway through the race, a three-rider breakaway became four and started working together. The bunch reacted and started chasing hard, losing riders in the process.

In the end, the break stayed away, with William Celis taking the win with a well-timed lunge to the line from Jordan Dawson, with Jethro Nagle third.

B and C-grade were stop-start races with attacks, chases and then lulls in the action.

Tom McCraken celebrates his A grade victory.
Camera IconTom McCraken celebrates his A grade victory.

A-grade was much more fluid.

As soon as one breakaway was brought back, another counter-attack would occur. Sometimes, the bunch would chase immediately and other times it would wait, bide its time, then chase. Tom McCraken attacked his breakaway companions on the final lap and rode to the line alone to take the win, with Matt Peterson second and Lennon McLintock third.

Several junior riders missed the criterium as they were racing the State Junior Championships in Midvale.

Peel members Dakota Sime and Dharlia Haines won State titles in all five events they competed in.

Oliver Bleddyn won a State title and finished second in three others. Last weekend, a number of Peel members raced the National Championships in Ballarat.

Tyler Lindorff won the National Under-19 Road Race title and finished second in the time trial.

Next Sunday there will be a time trial in Hopelands, the following week, then a criterium on the new circuit at Alumina Way in Rockingham on January 28. For the full results of this week’s races and more information about forthcoming races, visit pdcc.asn.au.

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