Saturday saw the start of the Winter Road racing series with a point’s race on the Donovan Park course. Despite the poor forecast 37 riders turned up ready to race with relatively even numbers throughout divisions 1, 2 and 3.
Div I was a two man race between Luke McPherson and Matt Randall who broke away from the field in the first lap. On equal points (18) going into the 5th lap, Luke came home the stronger in the final sprint to take the win by 1 point. In the main bunch, Josh van den Arend took out third place on 15 points. Andrew Lienert finished 4th on 7 points despite accusing the Race Manager and his Team Black training partner of screwing him over for putting him in Div 1 (no surprises there!) Laura Fairweather also showed great form looking quite at home in Div 1.
Div 2 was very competitive with Aaron Sinclair and Neil Familton very strong in the sprints. Derek Tan used his endurance strength by attacking off the front early in the race and later taking Geoff van Dam with him in the last 2 laps of 5. Two riders disqualified for crossing the centre line threw the apparent result out the window. So consequently Neil Familton was 1st on 14 points, Geoff van Dam 2nd on 10 and the one-legged Wayne Miller 3rd on 6 points.
A four lap race for Div 3 with some surprising rides. Marty Lohrey was in the money going into the final lap one point ahead of the experienced Michael Matheson. An attack by Pete Latham put Marty into to chase down mode, which ended up being his undoing. Marty came back to the bunch and had no answer when Michael turned on the gas in the bunch sprint. So the results were 1st Michael Matheson 17 points, Marty Lohrey 15 and (the no one notices me) Shirlene Rollo on 9 points.
Div 4 had 2 riders, Ian Ballam coming back to racing after lengthy rehab and managing to sit in with Div 3. Young Oliver Prince found the going a bit tough being dropped early in the first lap. He then went on a tiki tour by all accounts with his parents eventually finding him at the Mill Rd end of the course.
A great afternoon's racing capped off with a coffee/beer at the Paddington Arms compliments of Graham Hawkes and his staff. Special thanks to Robin Criglington and Lindsay Jones, also marshalls Andrew Holden, Jason Shields, Danielle Ralph, Bruce Jones and Sam Kopae.
Report courtesy of your senior club racing rules inspector! Wally Kopae