Blustery winds test Peel club criterium riders

Nick CowieSound Telegraph
Matt Connan out sprints Shane French to win C grade.
Camera IconMatt Connan out sprints Shane French to win C grade. Credit: Nick Cowie

A strong north-easterly made racing challenging for the Peel Districts Cycling Club criterium last Sunday at the Pinjarra Industrial Estate.

While there was a good tailwind on the start/finish straight, riders turned left and continued to push along with a cross tailwind, before turning left again and into a block headwind.

The next left turn was into a cross headwind, which left riders nowhere to hide.

E-grade rode to the conditions — the bunch dropped a couple of riders on the way to the finish, which ended in a bunch sprint that was won by Roger De Pontes, with Simon Stolton second and Tony Da Silva third.

D-grade saw an early attack by Mitchell Crook and Zoe Stolton.

The bunch reacted a few laps later and three riders, led by Nicholas Connan, bridged the gap.

Everyone else was left spread around the course.

The five stayed together until the sprint, which saw Crook take the win, with Colin Day second and Connan third.

It only took a few laps for a two- rider break to be established in C-grade as Matthew Connan was joined by Shane French.

While individual riders tried to bridge across, there was no co-operation and Connan and French rode away.

In the two-man sprint it was Connan who took the win, with French second and Callum Hunter leading the bunch home for third.

The juniors then took to the circuit on a variety of bicycles for two laps.

As usual it was smiles all round, with three generations of the same family taking to the track.

In B-grade, the attacks started from the gun — within a couple of laps Henry Hunter was off the front and on the next lap he was joined by Ryan Wilmott and the pair rode away from the pack.

Again, the chase was not organised; with Wilmott and Hunter riding at a good pace they caught the bunch. In the sprint to the line Hunter took the win, with Wilmott second and Michael Darlington third.

It looked effortless as the eight riders in A-grade cruised around the course much faster than the 20 riders in B-grade, who were struggling in the conditions.

One rider was off the front, then Jon Gregg joined him. On the next lap Gregg was off the front solo.

The chase quickly destroyed the bunch, splitting into groups of twos and threes.

Gregg was too strong and took the win.

Matt Peterson outsprinted his chase partner Lawrence Considine for second.

Peel Districts Cycling Club is set to have a break for a couple weeks, with the next race being a time trial in Hopelands on December 31.

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