Peel Districts Cycling Club: octogenarian back at criterium after 13-year gap

A-grade winner Conor Leahy off the front of the bunch.
William Cellis wins B grade in a bunch sprint.
John Mogg (left) returning to racing at the age of 82.
Peel Districts Cycling Club: octogenarian back at criterium after 13-year gap
A-grade winner Conor Leahy off the front of the bunch. William Cellis wins B grade in a bunch sprint. John Mogg (left) returning to racing at the age of 82.

Rockingham Peel Districts Cycling Club rode their first criterium of the season on Sunday at Smeaton Way, Rockingham.

There were a few new and old faces including John Mogg, a former state and club champion returning to racing after a 13-year break at the age of 82.

Mogg raced E grade, which is normally the domain of the under-13 riders. However, all the riders in this race were much older than that, though Mogg had 20 years or more on most of them.

Without young riders attacking and needing to be chased down, older riders tend to race more conservatively. This race was no exception.

There were a couple of breakaways attempted but the group stayed together, finishing in a bunch sprint, won by Roger De Pontes, with Simon Stolton second and John Bywater third.

The younger riders were in D grade and two of them, Calum Milne and Micheal Baker, attacked on the second lap and rode away from the group. The pair stayed away to the finish, with Milne out-sprinting Baker to take the win. Peter Barclay lead the chasers home for third.

The pace varied dramatically in C grade, as various riders attacked then backed off. On the final lap, Callum Hunter had enough in his legs to stay away and to take the win, with Steve McLeod second and Albert Ulbriecht third.

The next race was the junior race, with youngsters on a variety of bicycles racing two laps of the 1.6km course. If the success of a race was based on the smiles of competitors, this race blew all the others away.

B grade was an aggressive race. There was always a rider or two attempting to form a breakaway, and as soon as one was brought back, there was a counter-attack and another rider or two off the front. Nobody managed to get away for more than a lap.

In the end it was a bunch sprint, with William Cellis taking the win, with Tomasz Wolsicyzk second and John Rapheal third.

A-grade was a quality field, with three Peel members with recent international experience racing: Tyler Lindorff who represented Australia at the junior world track championships, Conor Leahy who represented Australia in the recent oceanic track championships and Theo Yates who recently won a stage of the Tour of Iran.

On the final lap Leahy attacked down the back straight and held off Lindorff to take the win. Will Heath took third in the sprint from the chase bunch.

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