May 15, 2016 – Criteriums – Production Drive, Alfredton

Criteriums – 15 May 2016

Graded Scratch Races
Production Drive Circuit, Alfredton

A return to racing.

Club racing returned to Production drive with 16 riders clipping in for graded crits.
The Eurovision semi finals were over, but someone had left the wind machine on…of course this discouraged the ambitious long range raids so common in these races, however there was plenty of cut-and-thrust sort sharp attacks to sort racers in order of their VO2 max.

A Grade

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Tony Mirabella returned to the winners circle in a small field utilising his strong surging attacks and a trademark sprint to maximum advantage.
A leisurely start for the five riders in A Grade, which included newly promoted Greg Ley and Matt Ayres as a “reward” of their good form and good results, especially in crit racing.
The relatively comfortable start was to their liking, so much in fact that Greg couldn’t resist leading them around for a few laps.  However the pace of the race picked up in the final ten minutes as A grade were about to suffer the indignity of being caught by B grade.  Brendan, Phil and Tony upping the ante with successive attacks.
While the trio were fearlessly exchanging attacks, Greg and Matt lost contact with the back.

With two laps to go it was just a question of the order for the podium, Tony was first into the last corner and launched his sprint, gapping the other two and while Phil and Brendan were able to hold the margin they didn’t have the firepower today to get over Tony.

Results:
1st – Tony Mirabella
2nd – Phil Cartledge
3rd – Brendan Schiemer

B Grade

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Unlike Dami Im, Brett Dedman lead all day and did take the win.
A very impressive, strong ride from Brett who almost single-handedly reeled in A grade at one point.
The pace of the race was up and with such a solid tempo on the front set by Brett, no-one really had much more left to attempt to  get off the front.  When the usually animated Peter Livitsanis punctured, the race resolved into a team pursuit – Brett out the front, Andrew Rushton pretending to whip him from second wheel stagecoach-style.
The hurt locker was starting to fill up fast with first Danny Whelan feeling the pinch and then Duncan Bates yo-yoing.  Brett’s race strategy became clear – ride everyone off his wheel and into the dirt.

Two laps to go and Bob Morley had picked the right wheel this time (sitting on Brett) betting that Brett may have burnt too many matches for a sprint finish.
Andrew and Duncan hanging on but not appearing to be quite up to a final dash for the cash.  Brett was first into the last corner, engaged the sprinting gear, stood up and took off – Bob had a crack but the gap to Brett just kept growing.
Brett winning clear, Bob second and a dogged Duncan in third.

Results:
1st – Brett Dedman
2nd – Bob Morley
3rd – Duncan Bates

 

C Grade

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The old bull and the young bull, Graeme Parker and Scott Denno are both strong attacking riders, but neither had been on the bike in anger in the last few weeks.
And so, the playing field was pretty level, perhaps even for a win from the likes of Roger McMillan or Terry Collie who have been in good knick most of the season.
Great to see Neil Braszell back on his bike and back in the race, his experience clearly on display, never out of place, always on the right wheel, in the end only the strength of Graeme and Scott shook him and Terry Collie loose.

The race settled into routine of riding for time before the inevitable sprint, some might have had their money on Scott, but Roger sprinted clear of Scott for the win.  Scott taking second and Graeme third.

Results:

1st – Roger McMillan
2nd – Scott Denno
3rd – Graeme Parker

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