In hot and humid conditions, riders from all over Sydney took to the first road race of the year in Sydney. The standard of racing at West Head in February was simply at another level, if you want to test yourself against the best, what ever your grade – it is West Head where reputations are forged.
The A Elite race was a who’s who and the level of aggressive racing was evident from the roll out with riders attacking from the first lap even though the riders were facing a very hot and humid race. With more than three quarters of the Elite field currently racing in the National Road Series, this is an opportunity for riders to gauge their form again the cream.
While Dan Bonello (St George Cycling Club) may not have made it to the podium, he was certainly one of the most aggressive riders on course as he continually attacked the bunch until the break was established. In the break he was joined by US bound Harrison Bailey (NSCC), young up and comer Jack Renshaw (NSCC), Darcy Ellerm Norton (St George) Alex Wong (Parklife), Moosh Brown (SUVelo) and surprisingly Marcus Culey (NSCC).
Marcus Culey is without a man in form on West Head and so it was surprising that the bunch was happy to have Marcus join the escapees so early in the day.
While the bunch worked well to establish themselves, eventually it came time for Culey to stamp his authority when he rode away from the break to win with a time gap of just under 1 minute. Marcus certainly wears the crown at West Head at present.
Northern Sydney Cycling Club would have been very happy with their representation in the break of the day.
In other grades, B Grade was certainly a Dr Jerkyl grade, with the first B Grade group being caught and past by the second B Grade group at the start of the second lap, with the second B Grade group shutting down a 5 minute gap between the groups. Only then did the first B Grade decide to lift the pace, recatch the B Grade and after a minor bingle in the second B Grade, repass them. By race end the difference in speeds was over 3km/hr.
Within B Grade mention to the NSWIS SUvelo riders of Gina Ricardo, Angela Smith and Emma Coral-Roberts and Geraldine Blomfeld-Brown who animated their particular groups.
Special thanks to all of our volunteers who gave up their morning to allow all of the racing to happen, lots of people talk about promoting cycling but it is these volunteers that actually make it happen.
Next road race isn’t until May. In between that we have our weekly Friday Night HART Crit races, which starts 6:30pm with sign on at 6pm – Grades A-C.
Sydney Grand Tour Crit Racing starts next Tuesday at Heffron 21st-25th Feb
Northern Sydney Cycling Club Beauie Worlds Crit 26th February. With the first two riders in A Grade, you will need your best legs to challenge them on their home turf.
Check out the Nero Racing Video Review of our race as previously posted to our Facebook – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaKlz9Z124A
1. Marcus Culey (NSCC) 2. Harrison Bailey (NSCC) 3. Alex Wong (Parklife Cycling Club)
1. Nathan Bonarius (SUVelo) 2.Phil Gray (MWCC) 3. David Munro (Bicisport)
1. Andrew O’Neill (MWCC) 2. Angus Wilson (SUVelo) 3.Antoine Gizardin Randwick Botany)
B Grade two
1. Mitch Dixon (MWCC) 2.Nic Millet ( Rapha Cycle Club Sydney) 3.Ryan Sparks (Cheeky)
1.Josh Clarke. (Rapha) 2. Jesse Morley. (SUVelo) 3. Francisco Arraiza (Rapha)