About 115 riders got the best part of the day for the final Akuna West Head Road Race of the year. With six grades to choose from, we had some close and exciting racing in all grades. John Ward above was pretty tired after his second place.

 The addition of the Hubbard Divisions for grades B and C meant that a number of riders either made the step up, or gave themselves a much better chance of victory with a neutral climb up the Akuna hill before firing on all cylinders into West Head. It is a concept we will continue to offer for at least the next few months, while we listen to the rider feedback for our races.

In A Grade, Andy Crawley is showing dominant form following from his first place on Friday HART crit racing, he took it up another notch when he got in an early breakaway with former World Masters Track medallist Simon Coughlan when the two of them rode away from the rest of the field and showed the difficulties a number of local racers have when they step up from B Grade. Dave Rubin felt this first hand, where he has gone from cruising in B to getting belted in A. Jake Kauffman another NRS rider took third, while the rest of the riders felt the burn in their legs. It was a welcome return to racing for both Danny Wright and also former NSW road racing champion Blair Martin, who hasn’t been spotted out on course since his days tearing everyones legs off in his KOM Cyclery days.

 B Grade was split between Prestige and Hubbard, with Prestige going from the gun and Hubbard having a more relaxed approach to the first ascent. It looked like Hellman of CCCC had wrapped up the win when he looked to have a solid lead when he attacked with a few kilometres to go, however the final nasty little berg, blew his legs up and master burglar Adam Socha NSCC who will in future be signing on in A Grade – snagged a solid victory. Darren Byers a regular from Randwick Botany kept an eye on his wattage and ensured that he had just enough to snag second place. Adam Kimberley of CCCC rounded out the podium.

B Hubbard took a more enjoyable and sedate style to the race, with the first lap ridden at a rather leisurely place, the second lap saw a few more attacks and a few riders saw their race end shortly after. Showing that age is no barrier to victory, young Paul Edelstein of Sydney CC must have been the youngest rider in the race, however he showed a clean pair of heels and won by a few bike lengths over the chasing riders. Niall Dyknes (SCC) who was kitted out in the Belgium National Jersey, certainly rode like a Belgium hard-man and he did plenty of work on the front and tried to initiate a number of attacks, so it was fitting that he featured on the podium, with a second place ahead of Greg ‘The Boss’ Reynolds who felt the wind for the first time with 50 metres remaining, however it wasn’t enough to get however Niall.

C Prestige was simply dominated by Ashley Stapley of Northern Sydney. Ashley went on a solo attack and ended up with what seemed like over a minutes lead on the rest of C Prestige and rode so fast – he will be up in B next time. Lucas Laxale (MWCC) has worked on his sprint and timed it to perfection, coming around third place Rick Harman (Peloton) with less than 10 metres remaining, Rick must have thought he had it in the bag. In C Hubbard, Phil Herborn who only joined during the club during the week got his first race experience, with a first place sprint over Ben Sawers of Dulwich Hill CC. Jake Potgeiter of Peloton was only just off the pace with a third place. Lynne Clarke was the first female over the line in this grade.

D Prestige was a very different race to normal, with a number of riders having been promoted to C. It meant that there were a number of new faces riding on the front and from all accounts a number of riders really testing themselves and their fellow warriors. John Ward (MWCC) thought he had the victory wrapped up when he started his sprint with about 100 metres to go,he was still thinking of victory at 90,80,70,60,50,40 metres until he started to fade with about 30 metres to go and although he tried the Cavendish double kick, it wasn’t enough to stop Stuart Roesler in his debut race coming around him and taking the victory. Craig Wotherspoon is still working on his tactics, because while he once again found himself on the podium, it wasn’t the top step he was searching for.

A Grade

1. Andy Crawley (MWCC)

2. Simon Coughlan – No club

3. Jake Kauffman (MWCC)

B Prestige

1. Adam Socha (NSCC)

2. Darren Byers (Randwick)

3. Adam Kimberley (CCCC)

B Hubbard

1.Paul Edelstein (SCC)

2. Niall Dyknes (SCC)

3.Greg Reynolds (MWCC)

C Prestige

1. Ashley Stapley (NSCC)

2.Lucas Laxale (MWCC)

3. Rick Harman (Peloton)

C Hubbard

1. Phil Herborn (MWCC)

2. Ben Sawers (DHBC)

3.Jake Potgeiter (Peloton)

D Prestige

1. Stuart Roesler

2. John Ward (MWCC)

3. Craig Wotherspoon (MWCC)

Thanks to E-Load who has some recovery and energy drinks both at the start line and at the finish line, with the warm weather, the drinks at the finish line worked a treat. E-Load is available for purchase down at The Fixed Wheel.

Have a good Christmas and the January date for racing will be confirmed.