A lovely mild (and thankfully dry!) day greeted riders for the 3rd round of the Southport Criterium Series, setting the scene for another fun morning of racing, the penultimate in the SouthPort Criterium series.
With the wind growing in strength as the day progressed, it was the Junior Grades who enjoyed the calmest conditions, although there was a still a persistent wind in the home straight, which meant riders had to use their racing prowess to figure out the best way to approach the finish. Great to see the increase in skills / race tactics in the Junior Grades.
In the Junior C Grade, it was Lachie Graham who unleashed a fantastic sprint to take the win from Josh Miller and Maddy Gough. This ties Lachie and Maddy on 40 points each going into the final round next week, with Lachie wearing the jersey courtesy of his win this week. Hunter Gough sits in 3rd place overall on 32 points, with Jordyn Whyte on 31 points, along with Taliah Boniface and Ronan Ferguson on 28 and 20 points respectively, and all are still in with a chance of taking the overall title, so next week it will be all on!
In the Junior B Grade (who raced with Junior A Grade), it was Samuel Miller who impressed, taking the win and also beating all the Junior A Grade riders in the process! As a result, Samuel moves into the B Grade Leader’s Jersey on 50 points, with Corbin Strong on 40 points and Taz O’Connell on 25. B Grade is also shaping up for a big show down next week!
In Junior A Grade, Hamish Beadle convincingly sprinted the bunch in to take the win from Tom Sexton and Josh Officer. Tom keeps the Leader’s Jersey on his shoulders going into the final round, on 50 Points, with Hamish close behind on 40 Points. Josh Officer is also within striking distance on 34 points, and Hayden Strong on 23 Points.
Next to line up was the Senior combined D & C Grade, with a very strong field making short work of the circuit, despite the increasingly strong head wind in the finishing straight. Daryl Haggerty showed why he is wearing the C Grade Leader’s Jersey (and how he has managed to breed such a fast son!) taking the win from Troy Boniface and Cathy Jordan, and retaining the jersey on an almost (but not quite!) unsurpassable 55 points, from Troy on 37 points. Wayne McEwan and Max Anderson sit in 3rd equal - both with 20 Points. Jamie Wilson rode strongly to take the D Grade win from Andy Whyte, but Glen Ferguson remains in the leader’s jersey on 40 Points, Jamie Wilson close behind on 35, and Andy Whyte on 30.
B Grade combined with the small A Grade field, to complete a stellar line up, with Derek Tan making an early break, holding the field and the chasers at bay. Both Geoff van Dam and Vaughan Edie chasing solo at different stages, but unable to reel in Derek, who took the A Grade win convincingly, with Andrew Lienert finishing in the bunch for 2nd. Josh Haggerty keeps the Leader’s jersey in A Grade, on 35 Points from Matt Zenovich and Derek Tan on 20 Points each.
In the B Grade, a strong solo attack in the closing laps saw Alistair Burnett take the win, with Stu MacDonald taking out the bunch sprint for 2nd place, from Steve Keast in 3rd. This puts Alistair in the leader’s jersey on 43 Points, with Stu on 35 points, Anton O’Connell on 33 and Josh van den Arend on 32.
The $100 spot prize, courtesy of SouthPort, was won by Wayne Murchland – a very deserving winner!
BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped out with the day – particularly the legends that are Waine Harding and Robin Criglington – much appreciated!
The final Criterium next week (May 5th) should be a fantastic spectacle, with close points standings across the grades promising some great racing as riders vie for the top spot. See you same time, same place next Sunday!