Record turnout for Peel’s Pinjarra Classic cycling contest

The biggest field ever to race the Pinjarra Classic, 60 riders prepare for the B-Grade race.
Record turnout for Peel’s Pinjarra Classic cycling contest
Record turnout for Peel’s Pinjarra Classic cycling contest
The biggest field ever to race the Pinjarra Classic, 60 riders prepare for the B-Grade race.

PEEL District Cycling Club hosted its premier race, the Pinjarra Classic, on Sunday.

There was a record turnout, with more than 200 riders competing across four grades, as well as under-17 men’s and women’s races.

A-Grade is the only grade that races two laps of the 68km circuit that starts in Pinjarra, climbs Pinjarra-Williams Road to Dwellingup, before turning into Del Park Road for an undulating 20km.

There is then a rapid descent into North Dandalup, before the final flat and windswept 25km return to Pinjarra.

A-Grade appeared to be a race between Travis Meyer and Graeme Brown, of Drapac Professional Cycling, who recently returned from racing in Canada, and the five members of the Navitas Satalyst Racing Team.

There were a number of attacks and counterattacks, with both teams well represented.

There were only seven riders left in the sprint to the line, with Brown, an Olympic gold medallist and multiple world champion on the track, winning convincingly.

Another track racer recently returned from America, Stephen Hall of the OTOC-Vault team, was second and Jono Bolton of Navitas Satalyst Racing Team third.

Sam Smith was the first masters (over 40) rider home in fourth position overall.

Meanwhile, Navitas Satalyst Racing Team used their superior numbers to secure all three places in the King of the Mountain competition, won by Darcy Pirotta.

B-Grade was the largest field of the day with 60 riders, including some of WA’s best women riders.

While there were several attempted breaks on the climb to Dwellingup, the bunch stayed intact.

It was only on the descent into North Dandalup that three riders got away and the stayed away, before being caught with two kilometres to go.

Suddenly there were 40 riders jockeying for position in the sprint, which was won by Ben McGrath, from Conor Sherwin with Thomas O’Neill, the top masters rider, in third.

Jessica Allen was the first women home, with Liz Leyden second and Zoe Clayton third.

The under-17 men’s race had a small field of just 15 riders, which was quickly reduced on the climb and further reduced as the race continued, leaving just four riders competing for the win.

Recently crowned under-17 national criterium champion Craig Wiggins was first, with Jayden Waters second and Bryce Lanigin third.

C-Grade formed into three big groups on the climb into Dwellingup and that is how it stayed for the whole race, with Dale Blincow winning the reduced bunch sprint, Grant Eikelboom second, Patrick Quinlan third and Wayne Deany, the first masters rider, fourth.

Sarah Smith was the first C-Grade women rider home.

D-Grade included the under-17 women’s race, and while the approach to the climb was gentle, the pace up the climb was savage.

Three riders broke away, with a very reduced bunch of a dozen riders chasing.

Elar Kalda put in a very strong effort in the wind to take the solo win.

Luke Colum was second and Phil Milburn third.