PEEL District Cycling Club members had a choice of three events to race on Sunday with the Ring Criterium Series in Gnangara, the West Coast Masters criterium at Smeaton Way in Rockingham and the Australian Time Trial Association 25-kilometre time trial at Champion Lakes.
The strong south-easterly made all events challenging.
At Gnangara, the wind made the timing of the sprint important, but Peel’s Ashton Sime did not need to worry about the timing of his sprint as he rode away from the others to continue his domination of the under-13s race. Thomas Alexander came second and Cooper Hiscox came third.
Men’s E-grade was a case of a well-timed sprint securing the victory for Ryan Walpole, with Mark Dring second and Mike Madsen third.
Men’s D-grade resulted in a rider attack on the first lap. A couple of laps later, there were three riders off the front. In the next lap, there were six and for the first time in the Ring Series, it looked like a break would stick in D-grade.
It was not to be. A couple of laps later and most of the bunch were together. With only a few minutes to go, there was an attack, a couple of riders bridged, a quick counterattack, a short lull with three riders off the front, before more riders attempted to bridge and the bunch exploded.
In the charge to the line, it was Ja yang Yen first, Jordan Giacoppo second and series leader Richard Reeves third.
With Women’s B-, C- and D- grades starting shortly after one another, there were different styles of racing and tactics on display in each grade.
In B-grade, the attacks started on the first lap until with a little more than five minutes to go, Emma Lendrum launched a solo attack and time-trialled her way to victory.
Danica Wiggins took out the bunch sprint for second with Laura Hodges third.
After a couple of tentative early attacks in C-grade, it was a fairly conservative race.
A couple of late attacks resulted in a bunch sprint won by Emily Wiggins, with Kyla Gilbertson second and Megan Stalker third.
D-grade was a far more co-operative race, with the small bunch working together to keep C-grade in sight.
With a lap to go, it looked like Anna Heitz might ride away with the race, but she punctured.
Kirsty Augustson took the opportunity to attack and secure the win. Heather Connan was second and Heitz third.
The under-11s then took to the track for the Little Critters race. The course was shorter, so they did not have to race into the exposed windy section.
With the emphasis on fun, there are no results. The success of the race is measured by the smiles of the racers.
Men’s C-grade was typical aggressive racing. Even with or because of the punishing wind, riders tried to get off the front of the bunch.
The most successful was Peel’s Dylan White who lasted a little more than two laps, before being chased down. In the sprint, it was Barry Ryan first, Mark Chapman second and Alan Kearney third.
Last season, there were about 10 women racing in A-grade and that number has been growing steadily this season.
Twenty-five riders exceeded all expectations and the quality of the field was outstanding, with Australia National Criterium Champion Orica Scotts, Jess Allen and two Dutch members of the professional Maaslandster Veris CCN International Cycling Team.