Riders show mettle at Smeaton
The West Coast Masters raced the Smeaton Way circuit in Rockingham on Saturday.
The first event for the day was E-grade, with competing cyclists 70 years or older.
About 10 riders took to the start and provided some close racing with nine riders contesting the bunch sprint, which was won by Pantelis Karagoglou.
Pat Briggs followed in second and Graham Thornton third.
D-grade saw Jonathan Akers return to racing after three months off.
Akers attacked on the first lap, the bunch were happy to let him go, expecting his lack of race fitness would see him back in a couple of laps.
This did not happen and after five laps a few riders started chasing.
The chase made little impression on Akers’ lead as more and more riders were worried about finishing second.
Akers rode away to a convincing win. Lawrence Fahey led the bunch home for second with John Shattock third.
The grades rotate each week so that as the season progresses different grades get the opportunity to ride earlier in the day and avoid the heat.
A-grade were next to take to the circuit. It was an aggressive start with attacks, chasing and counter- attacks.
About 25 minutes into the 50- minute race Tom Ford and Wellard’s Shayne Dimmer broke away.
The pair worked well together and had built a solid lead when, with two laps to go, Ford rode away from a tiring Dimmer to take the win. Dimmer was second and another local Ryan Wilmott was third.
In the C-grade the pace was high, preventing breakaways forming.
Occasionally a rider would get a small gap, but they were quickly brought back.
In the bunch sprint it was Leda’s Rob Cowlings taking the win, with Peter Morris second and Stephen Hesketh third.
The final grade to race for the day was B-grade. On the fourth lap a breakaway of seven riders formed.
The pace at the front was furious as the break was, on average, 10 seconds a lap faster than the bunch. By the end of the 45-minute race the break, which had been reduced to five, had a two-minute lead and almost lapped the bunch.
In the race to the line Matthew Korten took the win, Joey Rawson was second and Gavin Work third.
Next week sees the Peel District Cycling Club racing at the Kwinana Motorplex, while West Coast Masters races in Wangara.
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