We were delighted that the weather forecasters were wrong in their predictions and Saturday dawned clear, sunny and calm – perfect weather for the final race of the SouthPort Criterium Series!
Junior C Grade were first off, with the small field riding at a solid pace throughout the race before starting an early sprint, flying out of the final corner and sprinting down to the wire, Lachlan Graham taking the honours just ahead of Madeline Gough, with Hunter Gough in 3rd. This saw Lachie sealing the series win on 60 Points, just ahead of Maddy on 55 Points. 3rd in the series was Hunter on 44 Points, with Jordyn Whyte 4th on 31 Points. Good racing team!
The combined Junior A & B Grade Race was a real spectacle, with aggressive riding from series leader Tom Sexton meaning the pace was rapid. Again, the sprint opened up early with Brayden Stephens unleashing off the front and impressively holding off the challengers to take the win by a tyre width from Hayden Strong, with Tom Sexton coming in for third. Rapid improver Samuel Miller put in another stirling performance in Junior B Grade, holding on to the aggressive A Grade riders, and comfortably taking the race win over Caleb Hope, as well as the B Grade Series win on 70 Points, with Corbin Strong 2nd in the series on 40 Points, Taz O’Connell 3rd on 24 Points and Caleb Hope 4th on 15 Points. Overall in the Junior A Grade Series, Tom Sexton took the win on 62 Points from Hamish Beadle on 40 Points, Hayden Strong on 38 points and Josh Officer on 34 points. Excellent work!
Senior C & D Grade was another great race, with Daryl Haggerty in a very strong points position heading into the final round, sealing the series win well and truly by taking out the final race ahead of Wally Kopae and Ian Ballam. Haggerty finished up the series on 75 Points overall, with Troy Boniface 2nd on 37 Points , Wayne McEwan 3rd on 26 points and Shirleen Rollo 4th on 22.
In D Grade, Jamie Wilson took until the last race in the series to snatch the jersey from Glen Ferguson, the two riders ending up tied on 55 Points each overall, but with Wilson winning the final race from Ferguson to give him the edge on the final Series classification. Andy Whyte ended up 3rd in the Series on 30 points, with Kate Wilson 4th on 24 Points.
B Grade enjoyed a fantastic battle throughout the series, with the leader’s jersey sitting on a different set of shoulders every week. The race itself was fast and aggressive, with several riders attempting to break away from the big bunch, eventually though, it came down to a bunch finish, with Stu MacDonald closing in on Geoff van Dam’s final lap lead right on the line to take the win from van Dam, with Josh van den Arend finishing strongly to take 3rd. This meant the leader’s jersey settled finally on the shoulders of Stu MacDonald, on 55 Points, with Alistair Burnett in 2nd on 51 Points, Anton O’Connell 3rd on 43 Points and Josh van den Arend 4th on 34 Points.
In A Grade, Matt Zenovich took out his 2nd race in the series, riding strongly to take the win from series leader Josh Haggerty, with Derek Tan in 3rd. Haggerty, however, took out the overall A Grade series win with 50 points, Zenovich was 2nd on 40 points, Derek Tan 3rd on 30 Points and Nick Kergozou 4th on 23 Points. Well done lads!
The $100 spot prize draw, courtesy of SouthPort, was deservedly won by Derek Tan. Coffees all round!
And that’s a wrap for the 2013 SouthPort Criterium Series! A huge thank you to everyone who helped out – most especially Waine Harding, who, amongst all his other work and organisation, kept track of all the Points (not a small job!). Also to Robin Criglington, who kept track of all of our entries, our STMS Lindsay Jones, and to everyone who helped out with marshalling over the different races – much appreciated. Also a BIG thank you to SouthPort, who sponsored the series – thank you for organising this Bruce Jones!
The official jersey presentation for the SouthPort Criterium Series will take place on Thursday 23rd at the Cycling Southland Prizegiving at the Ascot.
Final points tables