THE initial Beach Cup Golden Criterium was on Saturday and featured a tight 850m circuit on the Rockingham Beach foreshore and cafe strip.
It was intended to run both a men’s and women’s elite race. However, most of the best women riders were in Perth participating in the Tour of Margaret River. The women’s race was converted to a support race, open to under-17 boys and girls, as well as C grade men.
The result was an entertaining race. Melissa Robinson attacked on the second lap and built a small gap. Matthew Connan bridged the gap and the pair attempted to build a margin.
Behind the pair, the pursuing group lost riders, until there were only three left. Dharlia Haines, Laura Hodges and Calum Milne worked together and slowly closed the gap.
With five laps to go, Matthew Connan attacked and quickly got a gap, as everybody in the lead group looked at each other to chase. It took a lap for the chase to begin and that was ineffective. Connan was still increasing his lead.
Connan kept working hard and took the outright win and under-17 boys. Haines took out the sprint for second and top under-17 girl. Laura Hodges was third and first open women. Tom Power led the second group over the line for first C grade men.
While the women’s field was depleted, only a few elite men were missing from the field. The rider pool was boosted by three riders returning from overseas.
Stephen Hall, after racing the criterium circuit in the US for six months with considerable success, returned and won the State Road Race title.
Theo Yates had just returned from the Tour of Iran, where after a number of top 10 finishes, he won the final stage.
Tyler Lindorff also made a comeback after representing Australia at the under-19 World Track Championships in Italy.
The attacks started early and after a few laps it was Logan Calder and Henry Penell in a break. Jackson Mawby bridged across to them. Two laps to go Mawby was tiring, but he still had a handy gap over a slowly gaining chase.
In the three-rider sprint to the line it was Yates first, Hall second, Lindorff third and Mawby faded to seventh.
The next PDCC races are a time trial at Hopelands on November 19 and a criterium at Smeaton Way, Rockingham on November 26.
For more details and the all the results of the races, visit pdcc.asn.au.