Danny Wright aka The Fixed Wheel must have been a big fan of Kevin Costner because he has watched his Crit Series grow from its humble beginnings to a big turn out on Friday night. He was so excited that he pinned on a number and managed to pick up a podium while keeping two young guns off it.
But it wasn’t all a dream for Danny because he was up against the might of Sydney’s Strongest Commuter – Cam Peterson who was kind enough to at least use a bike with more than one gear on it. Cam Peterson gave the field a master class in Crit racing, something he no doubt learnt during his time racing as a pro over in the States, so don’t feel too bad if he rolls you in a race. While Peterson rode away, all eyes were firmly fixed on his teammate Micheal Jaeger-bomb who was content to just sit back and for once not be the rider going solo off the front. However he did ensure that he snared second place and ensured that his prize money for 2014 continues to tick over.
Swinging out of the hairpin
Danny managed to out kick a fast finishing Michael Potter who was looking pretty cool in his Park Bikes kit, another solid result for the U/17 rider who has a very bright future in front of him. A Grade also seemed to have the worlds largest podium with the prize pool paying down to 5th place and that was filled by Tom Green.
Ben Larson on the front (left) marked by Peter Moore (right)
The B Grade bunch continues to swell and it was another bumper field and the pace was on from the start. It seemed that there were a number of keen beans who knew that keeping the pace high was going to cause a number of riders at the back of the bunch to continue to hurt every time up the little kicker and i think a few riders were early departures as a resutl of these tactics. While a number of riders attempting to get away at various points, the pace of the group down the back straight meant that no rider could manage to go solo and make a decent dent. As a result it was always going to come down to a bunch kick.
It was hard to know who was going to bring home the money, Richard Bjorkmann who surprised sign on with a B Grade start, looked to make his move with a lap and a bit to go and many thought it was to be the winning move. However like all before him it was a futile attack. Ben Larson from NSCC is a rider who may be light on training but is heavy on race knowledge and cunning and there were a few who thought he may make the surprise move but the heat was just a little too hot for Ben.
Lynne Clarke rode like a seasoned pro in B
In the end it was Karl Goodman (promotion to A Grade) who won the bunch kick and ensured another Peloton Sports victory on the night. Just behind him was Mr HED Cycling Brent Dawson, who raced a smart race, off hiding in the middle of the bunch and so his move to the front was well timed. Rounding out the podium was Chris Kuznetsoff from NSCC who had certainly animated the race during it and therefore it was a deserved place on the podium. Gabriel Raubenheimer was fourth and Shaun Falzarano was fifth. The first female across the line was Lynne Clarke.
In C Grade it was a game of leap frog with the riders getting caught and passed by B Grade, only for a few riders to show their lack of race knowledge and etiquette and decide that is the time to attack from C Grade and catch a free lift with B. The correct procedure is to ease up, let the passing grade go past and create a bit of a gap, before resuming the race. Since they have caught and past you, put the ego in check and realise they are racing faster.
If you attack from a lower grade and catch a faster grade in front, once you catch the grade in front, it isn’t time to mingle with that bunch, rather you let it known you are there and stay on the other side of the road, so as not to benefit from that group. A small bunch of C Grades managed to split themselves and get back in front of B only to have them be repassed within a lap.
I believe that in the end Chris Ferguson showed that he had read the title on his jersey and he managed to outsprint his rivals Andrew Clarke and Kevin Hazeldine.
Please watch this space in relation to racng next week, with the Tour Down Under on, we are not sure if we have race officials for Friday night, so we will keep you informed.
A Grade Podium
B Grade Podium
C Grade Podium
Thanks to The Fixed Wheel and HED/WD40 products for the prizes on the podium.
The photos in this report are by Joshua Nicholson, check out more of his photos over on his website.