It was an exciting day of racing at Goddard Lane on the weekend with some more new faces joining in on the fun.
We had a huge turnout of 38 riders sign on for racing plus seven juniors for the come and try.
The junior race with four participants was run at the same time as the come and try event. We had four starters for the race that was very respectful until the last two laps. Isla Maidment stepped on the gas with two laps to go and soon put some distance on the field. She managed to maintain the pace and take a comfortable win. In a close finish for the minor placings, Josh Deasey managed to hold off a fast finish from Sophia Butler who came third with Annabel Sadlier in fourth.
Next up was C and D grade racing at the same time but separate events. D grade was a very congenial affair with the riders looking out for one another in a great show of sportsmanship. However, all bets were off when it came down to the last two laps. A very fit looking Jeremy Deasey outclassed them and took an easy win. Conor Noonan scraped in just in front of Ethan McDonald with Zane Wright not to far behind in fourth place. Anne Greenwood riding a heavy CX bike was the first lady home. With the limited gearing her knee caps nearly fell off as she crossed the line. She will be a serious contender when she finally gets on board a dedicated race bike.
C grade was a tough race with numerous attempts at splitting the field. The usual contenders were there in Mal Nash who had a couple of attempts, Nick Reid made it tough for a while and Mal Ellicot also made an attempt but none of them could make it stick. In the end, there was lots of weary riders contesting the sprint. Ellicot was victorious with his second win in as many weeks. Peter Nash had managed to survive all the hard hiting and put his sprint skills to the test and rolled through in second place. Reid was third and Katrina Ashford fourth.
Just to prove the fake news wrong, Jeremy Bartlett made an appearance in B grade. If memory serves well, it would be almost two years since he has fronted up for a crit race. In another first Peter Butler also strapped on the shoes to have a go in what is hopefully the first of many Tamworth races.
After the usual settling in period of the first few laps the pace lifted a little when Luke O'Connor stepped things up. The pack was quick to respond and shut it down almost as soon as it started. Things settled down for a while with all riders taking a turn at the front and lightening the load. Peter Butler decided to test the water with a fast getaway with only a few laps to go. He managed to put 50 metres on the field before eventually being pulled back in. With one lap to go Warwick Wright decided to give the bunch a lead out and stepped up the pace. Al Spokes was quick to capitalise on a weary field, though, and in the end took a comfortable win of around 30 metres. Jeremy Bartlett has obviously not forgotten how to ride a bike with brakes as he slipped through in second. Dave Menzies was third and Zane Tapp fourth.
A grade can almost be described in two words – Steven Roberts. Not content with making his mark in the mountain bike world he decided to come along and make things very difficult in the A grade crit race. In an amazing spectacle there were numerous attacks by Steve and Fraser Ashford. There was an early split in the field when Fraser, Roberts, Mick Sherwood, Matthew Sadlier and Chuck managed to leave the rest of the group behind. In a fortunate outcome for some, the field had to regroup when the race was held up when local traffic had to be allowed access to their depots. This enabled some weary riders to have a rest and join the bunch again. The dynamics changed a little after that and another breakaway soon formed. Not surprisingly Fraser and Roberts were in the mix along with Sherwood and Rob Wright. In the end it was Fraser who took a comfortable win. Roberts was second and Sherwood, in his first race for the year, was third. Wright crossed in fourth place. Steve will certainly be the man to watch as he can only improve with some race exposure.
In all it was an exciting day of racing that bodes well for the club. Thanks to Chuck and Terry Balla for sweeping and Rob for setting up the marquee.
In other news, news on the grapevine that Kev Bartlett has been doing some extra riding of late. We all need to apply a little pressure in this direction in the hope that he can be coerced into making a comeback.