This one off Christmas Eve Eve Crit brought to a close the MWCC racing calendar for the year. Thanks to all of those who have raced and marshalled our events during the year.
Perfect weather conditions met the riders for the Easy Read Time Teacher Criterium around the HART Driver Training Circuit. It was a course a number of riders either hadn’t ridden before, or it had been a few years since they had twisted their way around the course.
It is a cracker of a course, being completely car free, two lanes wide throughout the entire course and a few twists and turns to test the riders out and also to allow the escapees from the peloton a bit of cover.
Due to the requirements to be off the course by 8am, racing started at n eye opener at 6:50am, with Grades A – C riding races of 40 minutes plus one lap (C Grade), 45 minutes plus a lap (B Grade) and 50 minutes plus one lap (A Grade). The only field looking a little depleted was the A Grade bunch, with the majority of the riders either in recovering from the previous days secret Gentlemans Ride, or currently preparing for Nationals.
C Grade was the largest field of the day and it was certainly loaded up with MWCC riders. It was a new recruit Nathan Crump who in his first race managed a third place – considering he is friends with JJ Hazelton, i think it could be fair to say that this guy may have a future in front of him. Nathan won the bunch sprint ahead of two other riders. Filip Woutegs of the Central Coast Flying Carrots jagged second, however it was young Ryan Sharpe of NSCC who took home the big clock with his victory after he and Filip made the daring escape with a little under half a lap remaining.
B Grade started at a fast and furious pace, with three break away riders actually bridging up to A Grade, however being early in the race, the main group was willing to leave them out there and to burn a bit of their fuel. It seemed that while it was a large field, it was being animated by only a small group of riders led by Geoff Hillbourne and Darren Byers of Randwick Botany, Paul Mandl of MWCC and Ben Larson of NSCC. The pace certainly eased off around the 35 minute mark as riders as the group was all together and no one was able to really tear the group apart. It was all together into the final lap, Mark O’Connor was the first to launch off the front at the pinch but he faded. A number of riders were starting to move up and ready themselves for the sprint, however coming into one of the final corners, one of the Peloton sports riders who shall remain nameless got a little excited and perhaps overestimated his ability and the corner, the end result was him clipping his pedal and then over correcting, only to send himself onto the road and Darren Byers of RBCC over his handle bars. This clogged up the bunch and only the front couple of riders where able to sneak through – with Garett Paton of MWCC taking the win over Richard Measures of Peloton and James Briggs of MWCC rounded out the podium.
Thankfully none of the riders sustained bad physical injuries, although Darren did his best with a triple spin, double pike dive onto the ground. Unfortunately his front wheel was not able to be recovered, joining his rear wheel that had previously been destroyed by a different Peloton rider.
In A Grade, it was a civilised ride which was essentially a GPM Data 3 Christmas get together. The riders cruised around until recent MWCC convert Tom Patton (MWCC) decided to tear everyones legs off with a monster attack, he easily gapped the field before being followed home by Julian Hamill (Easts) and Chris Jory (MWCC) in third. Special mention must go to Ed Dockrill of MWCC who was the only non NRS rider in A Grade and he was there until the end.
In January we will return to the Akuna BAy West Head road racing – tentative date is 13 of January.
Have a good Christmas.