Race reporter Glenn Te Raki sums up another fantastic day in the Ring.
Perfect weather conditions greeted the 200 plus riders on Sunday morning for round 2 of the ever increasingly popular Ring Summer Criterium Series. Held by the Peel Districts Cycling Club, the sometimes testing but always popular Smeaton Way circuit again exceled with exciting and fast racing.
We knew we would be in for a real treat when the final start list was prepared, with most fields welcoming 35 plus competitors all ready and rearing to go.
The day started off with a 20 minute plus 2 lap U13 race, and it wasn’t long until we were down to just two up and coming young stars battling it out towards the line. It was Ashton Sime who was just too quick, winning from Max Strizek and Cooper Hiscox
Next up, the mens mixed E and D grade. As the crowds began to assemble it was obvious to see that the day was going to be a day for the sprinters, as the wind lifted it was very hard for any rider to escape the peloton, although not for a lack of trying. The race was marred by a fall in the back section of the circuit.
In the final kick to the line Nicolas Tan was declared the winner over Scott Biffen in a close photo finish. Albert Ullbricht finished third.
Tom Power was too strong in the E grade to take the win from Scott Stolton.
The mens B and C grades were also to experience the wrath of the wind, again not allowing for any breaks to establish in the field.
The previous week’s B grade winner Jordan Dawson, who was strong throughout the 40 min race, was unable to establish a move that would secure him a top three podium position. Michael Hosken was also animated throughout the day, but in the end it was all to no avail as the fast twitch guys all lined up for a mass 30 man sprint. It was Andrew Fitzgerald that held on in the final few metres to win from Ben Blacklock and Martin Depiazzi.
Anthony Preston was the eventual winner in the C grade over Jordan Chamberlain and Jethro Nagle.
The women also turned out in force today with well over 40 females across all grades on the start line. The combined C and D grades battled on and both D grade riders Emily Wiggins and Hannah Waters were able to ride smart and to their advantage, to stay with the C grade peloton and ride to victory, third place in D grade went to Heather Connan.
Zoe Stolton was the winner in the C grade over Kyla Gilbertson, Sar Langridge and Amy Tan.
The large B grade field again was always going to come down to the fast finishing women and as in repeat from last weekend at Bentley. Dharlia Haines was too strong from the fast finishing Natalie Britz and Danica Wiggins.
It wasn’t such a large womens A grade field, but it was stacked with quality WA talent. With Ring Ambassador and AIS-Orica professional rider Jess Allen lining up beside the powerful winner from round one Erin Kinnealy, it wasn’t long before we saw these two escape and gap the field, extending their lead out to well over 40 seconds.
Two strong riders swapping turns with an average of a little over 40 kmph, it was never going to end any different and in a repeat from round one, Kinnealy was able to out sprint Allen to extend her points tally in the overall championship series to 200 points. Jade Haines was third overall ahead of Emily Mascaro and Melissa Robinson.
With such a fantastic build-up of fast and exciting racing throughout the morning, all eyes turned to what was billed as the race of the round, with all the WA stars turning out. Early favourite and a rider out to make amends for his second place to Lewis McCrea the previous week, Drapac professional Travis Meyer was focused on trying to make a break away stick, but it was the Satalyst-Verve rider Timothy Sellar, Matthew Peterson and strong man Michael Freiberg that were able to slip the field. But an untimely puncture to Freiberg meant the power of these three riders had diminished and it wasn’t long before all three where safely back in the main peloton.
With the traditional one-two attacks heading towards the back end of the race, again it was ex track world champion Michael Freiberg who was able to go clear on the final lap. Holding a 10 second gap with just under 2km’s to go it looked like this second attack might just pay off for Freiberg, but the power and the speed of the peloton was just too strong, swallowing up Freiberg in the final 100 metres.
Stepping out of the main pack and showing why he has just secured himself a 2017 contract with the Wormall-Alexium WA based team, Matthew Peterson was just too fast to finish ahead of our Ring series Ambassador Stephen Hall, Craig Wiggins, Timothy Sellar, Jackson Mawby and round one winner Lewis McCrea.
Once again the day belonged to the Little Critters, the under 11 kids stole the crowds hearts, with double the critters from the previous week. It emphasises the young talent we all have to look forward too. Everyone had a great day and we look forward to seeing you all next Sunday up on the Gnangara circuit for what should be another outstanding day of racing.