The King House Removals Omnium Series got off to a strong start on Friday 2 July with some very competitive racing.
The night started with Novice racing for riders currently in the Learn to Ride and Flyers programmes, and it was great to see these newcomers to track getting to join the rest of the club at an event.
In the Learn to Ride 750m handicap, Sean took the win ahead of Raine, followed by Isla, Levi, Rory, and Mateo.
The Flyers 750m handicap saw Oliver cross the line first, followed by Benjie, Lani, Pippa, and Floyd.
Then it was on to a 750m rolling start derby, with Sean taking the win ahead of Levi, followed by Rory, Isla/Olivia, Raine, and Mateo.
Then it was onto Keirin racing, with the A grade men and B grade men requiring heats before the finals.
The A and B grade women raced together, with separate points awarded, and it was Geertien Venter (A) who controlled the race from the front and took an impressive win over Jessica Spencer (A)in second, with Ruby Bath (B) in third, ahead of Kate Russell (B) in fourth.
The C grade women final saw Emily Forsyth, Lucy Griffin, Poppy McIvor, and Lucy McHutchon take to the start like. Emily drew the bike, but the race was animated by an attack over the top by Lucy M. However it was Lucy G who made the decisive move, pulling clear of the field to take the win, followed my Emily in second and Poppy in third, as Lucy M faded to fourth after her audacious attack.
The C grade men were up next, with Jono Blyth, Oliver Borrie, George Thomson, Jacob Hogan, Caleb Moss, and Marc Paisley taking to the start. Oliver drew the bike, but the moment the motorbike pulled over after three laps, Jono launched a massive attack over the top and rode clear of the field. Oliver held on for second, while Jacob just managed to edge Caleb for fourth, ahead of George and Marc.
The A grade men's final featured Hunter Gough, Jake Willis, James Jubb, Louis Hodgkinson, Charlie Tinoai, and Xavier Fraser. Charlie drew the bike, but pulled up after the bike had pulled off, leading to a major reshuffling in positions. Louis took the front, but with a lap to go Hunter attacked over the top and left the rest of the field in his wake to take the win, with a very tight sprint between Louis and Jake for second, with James in fourth, and Charlie and Xavier in fifth and sixth respectively.
B grade men featured a strong field, with Liam Ramsey, Jesse Willis, Kayne Borrie, Marshall Erwood, Magnus Jamieson, and Jack McLeod making the final. Liam drew the bike, but swung up and moved to the back once the motorbike had left the track, leaving Jesse on the front. Marshall left his move fairly late, having to come wide to take the win, with Magnus just edging Kayne for second, ahead of Jack in fourth, followed by Jesse and Liam.
Then it was on to the D grade mixed, with Cooper Gough, Cooper Robertson, Alex Borrie, Oskar McIvor, Jordan Berkers, and Benson Boys taking to the start. Cooper R drew the bike, but Cooper G put in an early move to come around him. However, it was Benson who came flying past from the back who left the rest in his dust and took a commanding win, with Cooper G just holding off Jordan for second, Oskar taking fourth, ahead of Cooper R and Alex.
Then it was on to the Elimination races, with the A, B, and C grade women riding together. Ruby Bath was the dominant rider in this race, controlling the pace from the front, while Geertien Venter pushed around the outside lap after lap to pick off riders languishing near the tail end of the race. Poppy McIvor (fifth) and Lucy Griffin (fourth) both rode very well to stay with the more experienced racers. Eventually it was just Jessica Spencer, Ruby, and Geertien left, and the race distance proved just a little too far for Geertien as she cracked, leaving Jessica and Ruby to fight it out for the win. Ruby tried to attack Jessica with one lap to go, but to no avail as Jessica took the win ahead of Ruby in second. The grade wins went to Jessica Spencer (A), Ruby Bath (B), and Lucy Griffin (C).
In A grade men, Jake Willis was a surprise early elimination, just getting caught out in the sprint for the line. Hunter Gough controlled the race from the front, before launching a devastating attack as the field was whittled down to three riders. James Jubb and Louis Hodgkinson were left to fight it out for the remaining podium placings, with James getting the better of Louis on the second last elimination, but Hunter was so far ahead by that point that the winner of the final elimination was a foregone conclusion.
B grade men featured some epically close sprinting, with at least one of the sprints too close to call and no rider being eliminated. Coming down to the final five, Marshall Erwood, Tom Kerr, Hunter Thompson, Kayne Borrie, and Magnus Jamieson were still in the hunt, with Marshall looking to control the race from the front. Hunter was next to go, followed by Kerr, with Kayne being the next in line, leaving Magnus and Marshall to sprint it out for the win. Magnus tried to control the sprint by holding Marshall up the track, but Marshall proved too fast, taking out the elimination race.
In C grade men, Jono Blyth controlled the race from the front, with Oliver Borrie glued to his wheel. Some canny riding from George Thomson saw him eliminate a couple of riders by sprinting past from behind, but eventually he was eliminated in a close sprint against Oliver and Jono, taking third in the race. Jono proved too strong for Oliver in the final sprint, taking the win.
In D grade, Cooper Gough, Jordan Berkers, and Benson Boys were locked in battle at the front as riders were eliminated behind. Cooper managed to hold off Jordan in the sprint, leaving her in third place, with a rematch against Benson on the cards. Once again Benson proved just too fast for Cooper (who is very new to the sport, having only completed Learn to Ride in term one) to take out the elimination race.
The final points scoring events for the evening were the scratch races, with the A grade men taking to the track first.
After an initial bit of group riding, Hunter Gough decided to attack off the front of the race, leaving a shattered field of smaller chase groups behind. As the chase groups formed and reformed, the only constant was Hunter out at the front of the race. He held on for the win, taking a clean sweep in round one, with Louis Hodgkinson in second, ahead of James Jubb, Jake Willis, and Kerry Russel.
The B grade men produced another impressive race, with a high pace being maintained throughout. Tom Kerr was quite often at or near the front, but once again it was Marshall Erwood who exploded out of the pack to take a clear win on the line, with Tom clinging on to second, ahead of Conrad Clark, Kayne Borrie, and Jesse Willis. That made it a clean sweep of wins for Marshall in B grade.
The A, B, and C grade women were up next, with the riders maintaining a constant pace throughout the race. Coming into the last couple of laps, Kate Russell (B) launched a major attack, with Emily Forsyth (C) setting off in pursuit and dragging the bunch with her. With one lap to go, Kate still held a lead over the bunch, but at the bell Geertien Venter (A) pushed past and left the bunch, and shortly thereafter Kate, well behind her as she claimed the win, ahead of Ruby Bath (B) and Jessica Spencer (A), with Emily holding on to take fourth (and first in C) ahead of Lucy Griffin (C). The result meant that Bath took a clean sweep of wins in B grade.
In C grade men, Jono Blyth wasted no time ripping clear of the field, leaving it in tatters behind him. Oliver Borrie was the only one able to launch a meaningful chase, and briefly managed to join up with Jono, before being dispatched by yet another attack. Meanwhile George Thomson and Jacob Hogan managed to work their way to within striking distance of Oliver, and while Jono was untouchable for the win, George managed to beat Oliver to the line for second, with Jacob in fourth. This gave Jono a clean sweep of wins in C grade.
In D grade, it was the Benson Boys show once again. After the group rode together for a while, Benson attacked, with Cooper Gough and Jordan Berkers trying to go with him. However, only Cooper could make it across to Benson's wheel, but Benson proved too strong again in the final sprint, taking the win, with Cooper second, and Jordan taking out the bunch gallop behind, taking third in a close sprint over Oskar McIvor and Cooper Robertson. That gave Benson a clean sweep in D grade.
The night's racing closed with a moto paced scratch race, with all grades welcome to take part. Riders were seeded behind the bike based on ability, and it was a definite hit especially with the younger riders. With the A grade riders behind the bike, it pulled off to allow them to sprint for the line, making for a fun conclusion to an excellent night of racing.
In A grade, Hunter Gough and Geertien Venter are the series leaders after round one, in B grade, Marshall Erwood and Ruby Bath, in C grade, Jono Blyth and Lucy Griffin, and in D grade, Benson Boys.
The winners of the round also received Wensley's Cycles vouchers, and there was a lucky draw for some additional delicious prizes.
Racing resumes on Friday 30 July, featuring a derby, win & out, and points race.
Thank you to event organiser Glen Thomson, Andrea Borrie on results, Neil Jamieson as our comm, Richard Erwood on the motorbike, and all the other helpers around the event. A big thank you to all the riders who took part, and of course to our sponsors, King House Removals, for their continued support of the event.