Written by Simon Winston

The Ring Summer Criterium series returned to Technology Park on Australia Day for the first race of 2018.

Once again we were treated to a World Class field in women’s A grade with Desiree Ehrler, Jess Allen, Melissa Robinson, Emily Mascaro all on the start line.

Jess Allen launched the first real attack with 20 minutes to go which was quickly brought back as it showed potential of being the race winning move.

 With 10 minutes to go we saw Mascaro attack which was countered by Allen with last year’s winner Mel Robinson also covering moves.

With a few minutes remaining, we were all back together and the crowd were treated to a fast finish with Desire Ehrler taking the win followed by Natalie Britz and Rebecca Mackey in third.

The final event of the day was Men’s A grade. Like every A grade race, if there is a chance for a breakaway to win, it would most likely come from this event.

There were a number of early attacks from a variety of riders but the most noticeable move came from Theo Yates and Nick Graham-Dawson who rode away from the peloton.

Newly crowned Australian Road Race Champion Tyler Lindorff and Luke Pledger bridged the gap.

Aron Barclay and Dan Smith noticed the danger so attempted to ride across but were unsuccessful after Scott Sunderland brought them back.

With 15 minutes to go Stephen Hall took to the front who started to split the group. 

The pace was really on which caused a number of quality riders to pull out due to the intensity of the race. In the final few minutes we saw a courageous effort from Tom McCracken who attacked.

With a lap to go, McCracken was still clear, but as he came in to sight on the final corner, the crowd cheered in support but he was quickly followed by the chasing pack, only to be caught metres before the line by Scott Sunderland.

Sunderland finished strong to take the win from Stephen Hall, pushing McCracken into third position.

The day started off with the under 13s race with Rusty Wisewould taking the win over Thomas Alexander and Samuel Castle.

Emily Wiggins pretty easily took out women’s C grade. Kirsten Simpson was second and Isabelle Commons third. Emily’s sister Danica continued the family dominance, as she took out women’s B grade, taking the win over Dharlia Haines and Zoe Clayton.

Chris Cooke took out men’s D grade with a nail-biting finish which had to go back to the photo finish on the line. Adam Robinson was second and Calum Milne third.

In E grade it was Jordan Williams from Hayden Ivins and Ryley Collett third.

C Grade men’s was next up which saw an average speed of 42km/h.

With five minutes to go there was a big attack by Wayne Deany and Saxon Adams.

One lap to go the break was brought back with a heroic effort from Ben Young.

In the final sprint Matthew Connan won comfortably from Ivan Vella and Saxon Adams who recovered well from the earlier break.

There were three standout riders in B Grade Mens in Jay Lindorff, James Derrick and Dominic Da Silva who never gave up chasing the peloton down. Derrick and Lindorff were super aggressive throughout the whole race firing attack upon attack.

The peloton worked hard to bring back every move and succeeded although a late move from a group of five almost paid off.

Coming down to a bunch sprint, James Derrick showed his class by taking the win, followed closely by Daniel Griffiths and Jay Lindorff.