Ring series reporter Glenn Te Raki on Round 9. Photo credit ZW Photography.
Weather conditions will play a huge factor in this weekend’s Round 9 Ring Criterium Series when the Peel Districts Cycling Club hosts the Rockingham Smeaton Way race on Sunday. Rain is expected to continue throughout the weekend, which will in-turn change the riding habits and add caution to the racing and the racing circuit.
This weekend also along with the PDCC, we will remember Lara Devenish, a past member of the club. Lara’s family will be running a cake stall in the village where all proceeds will go towards Lifeline.
The point’s tables are now becoming quite congested as we enter the ninth round of the series and we are no doubt in for some competitive racing as riders look towards adding or extending their positions on their respective points ladder.
Like the previous weekend, the womens A grade event looks like the race with the most to win or for that matter, lose, as the three top points sitters are on the start list. Melissa Robinson holds a slender 20 point lead over the consistent Emily Mascaro, with the winner of the previous three rounds, track specialist Jade Haines also competing and looking for win number four. Haines is a further 30 points back in third place.
Ring Series Ambassador, Stephen Hall has a comfortable 130 point lead over the young gun, Bryce Lanigan, but Lanigan will be absent this weekend so we’ll look to last week’s winner, Theo Yates (third place on the points table) to be the rider likely to again push Hall to his limit.
Former World Omnium Champion, Michael Freiberg makes a welcomed return after missing many rounds with racing commitments in the Eastern States, look towards Freiberg to initiate some early moves in the 50 minute event.
While Aron Barclay is a clear points leader in the B grade, the most improved has to be the experienced former Australia team rider, Daniel Trinne. Trinne has placed highly over the past three rounds and has quickly jumped into fifth spot. Closest rider to Barclay on points is Daniel Smith whom will also be looking to close the 125 point gap on Sunday.
With all three top point positioned riders absent from the womens B grade, Briee Rogers, Megan Gammie and Margot Biggs have their chance to step up on to the days podium, Biggs will likely race as the favourite due to her powerful attacking racing style.
Olesya Badish will be a rider hard to beat in the womens C grade, Badish a previous round winner in Pinjarra looks likely to be too strong for her rivals.
Kyla Gilbertson leads the C grade points by 20 points over Emily Wiggins with Badish back in third place 90 points back, but with Gilbertson and Wiggins away with training commitments Badish could see herself jump into second spot. Others to watch for include Sara Langridge, Lyn Scott and youngster Hannah Waters.
Simon Breheny has had seven top ten finishes out of eight rounds in the mens C grade and looks hard pressed to be toppled on Sunday, Breheny leads his closest rival Anthony Preston by 55 points but again with Preston likely to be absent, third positioned, Jethro Nagle (75 points back) will also need to be at his best if he has any chance of securing the 100 points on offer.
Other notable contenders on the day include, Wayne Deany, Jay Lindorff and the fast finishing Anthony Rieck.
The battle of the fast men is looking like continuing in the D grade with Ja-Yang Yen and Richard Reeves the two likely main contenders. Reeves has been the most consistent rider over the series but Yen has won the past two rounds.
If it does come down to a sprint finish then the other riders to keep a close eye on include, Nicolas Tan and Liam Walker.
Heather Connan will battle her 20 minute D grade event with Anna Heitz while Mike Madsen should also add some more points to his tally in the mens D grade.
In the U13 event, Ashton Sime (500 points) has won every race he has started and has a 190 point lead over another consistent performer, Joshua Trinne (310 points). Third placed Cooper Hiscox (260 points) won’t be racing this weekend so we look towards Keegan Dring, Jordon Williams and Luca Woods to press for the podium top steps.
If you are racing this weekend please be very mindful of the weather conditions and be very aware of your own and your fellow competitors safety, take safe cornering lines and watch for slippery road surfaces.
See you all in Rocky.