THE threat of rain kept the numbers down for round 9 of the Ring Criterium Series at Smeaton Way in Rockingham on Sunday.
The under-13s race started, as usual, with Ashton Sime attacking and riding off the front at the end of the first lap.
On the fifth and final lap, Sime attacked and rode away for his sixth win from six starts.
The numbers in Men’s E Grade were down. With only two riders, they started with D Grade, and they survived the first 10 minutes, until riders started attacking, the pace picked up and both E Graders dropped, along with a couple of D Graders.
Mike Madsen survived a little longer with D, so he started with an advantage over Chris Rouse and maintained the margin for the next 10 minutes to take victory.
In Men’s D Grade, the initial pace was less frantic than usual, but it slowly built up and the wind was making it challenging.
There were no last-minute heroics like last week as the bunch increased the pace. In the bunch sprint it was Ja-Yang Yen first, Richard Reeves second and Yaroslav Volkov third.
Women’s D Grade broke apart in the wind on the first lap, with Dana Hedges and Anna Heitz riding away from the competition.
Hedges sprinted away to take the win, with Heitz second and a strong solo effort by Heather Connan to take third.
In Women’s C the bunch split apart on the second lap. A group of four riders then rode away from everybody. In the sprint to the line it was Megan Stalker first, Sar Langridge second and Olesya Badish third.
In the Women’s B, Margot Biggs took the win, followed by Megan Gammie.
The under-11s then took to the circuit for Little Critters; while the numbers were down due to the weather, the fun and smiles were not.
The men’s C Grade was aggressive as usual, riders attacking, riders chasing hard and nobody managing to escape. In the bunch sprint it was a narrow victory for Dominic Da Silva, with Chaice Kelly-Wilson second and Simon Breheny third.
Women’s A Grade saw Emily Mascaro attack early and build a big lead. Mascaro started tiring and the bunch slowly pulled her back. In the bunch sprint it was Sarah Duffield first, Melissa Robinson second and Mascaro third.
Daniel Trinne won Men’s B Grade ahead of Will Main, with Lawrence Considine third.
The biggest field of the day was the A Grade men and they put on a very exciting race. An early attack by Michael Freiburg, Leighton Cook and three others saw them establish a big lead.
Then with two laps to go Freiburg and Cook attacked and got a gap.
In the finishing straight, with the bunch breathing down their neck, Cook launched his sprint early. Freiburg could not respond and Cook took the win. Freiburg just held on to second, half a bike length in front of Theo Yates.
Peel District Cycling Club each summer ran Lara’s Race in the memory of club mate Lara Devenish. The Devenish family decided that with the Ring series, the Lara Devenish Memorial Trophy, should go to the most courageous Peel member on the day.
Alastair Milne received the trophy for his attacking, aggressive racing in B Grade, as Milne spent most of the race in breakaways, or sitting close to the front waiting to counterattack.
Next Sunday is Renee’s race, a race meeting dedicated to women at Tech Park, Bentley.
The Ring Series continues at Gnangara on February 26.