Peel District Cycling Club: gearing hampers younger riders


E-grade winner Chris Rouse drives the bunch.
E-grade winner Chris Rouse drives the bunch.

THE Peel District Cycling Club held its criterium championship on Sunday at Smeaton Way in Rockingham.

Chris Rouse outsprinted Heather Connan to win E-grade, with Clint Hort third.

D-grade saw under-13 rider Ashton Sime step up a level, and while he held on to the bunch, his junior gearing meant he did not have the top speed of the older riders in the sprint.

The sprint was won by Matt Colum, with Colin Day second and Nicholas Connan third.

Under-15 rider Matthew Connan faced a similar challenge in C-grade, racing on junior gearing against older riders.

Connan knew he had to get in a breakaway to win.

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Luke Colum knew he could win in a sprint and chased down every attack Connan made.

In the end, it came down to a bunch sprint, with Colum victorious, Callum Hunter second and Connan was pipped for third by Ron McArthur, a rider 50 years his senior.

As riders get older, the junior gearing is less restrictive, though in the higher grades, the sprints get faster.

In B-grade, it was the under-17 riders attacking and the older riders chasing.

With just over a lap to go, under -7 rider Oliver Bleddyn got clear and held off the bunch to take the win, from Lawrence Considine second and Dominic Da Silva third.

Three members of the Arbitrage Racing team, Luke Pledger, Conor Leahy and Wade Longworth took on four other riders in A-grade.

Racing as a team, one of the three would attack, then the other four would chase, the group would be back together and another Arbitrage rider would counterattack.

The constant attacking and chasing was tiring for the riders.

With two laps to go, Pledger got a small gap, nobody took up the chase, so Leahy bridged across to him and the pair rode away from the group.

With Leahy taking the victory from Pledger, Longworth attacked out of the group on the final lap to take third and make it an Arbitrage clean sweep.

A number of Peel members also took up the challenge of the Delirium 24-hour race in Busselton.

The winning team was the Avanti+ Uberquads which consisted of six Peel members – Mikey Hosken, Liam Magowan, Ryan Hamill, Wayne Rowe, Pete Mills and Ben Blacklock – who rode 949km in 24 hours.

Peel members did well in the individual categories, with Callum Henderson third in the men’s event with 767km and Mark Watters third in the 12-hour event.

Peel members are not only winning in Australia – Theo Yates, riding for Drapac Pat’s Veg team, won stage 6 of the Tour of Thailand.

Nick Cowie