Race Reports for Scratch Races held 31 May 2015

A Grade

4 laps with the finish on Larcombes Road.
Wind and rain greeted the 8 riders on Sundays GSCC A grade scratch race. The start was delayed by 15 minutes by a heavy shower, and apart from a couple light showers, the race was conducted in reasonable conditions, albeit with slick roads and a strong westerly wind.
It was good to see some relatively new faces in Stuart Smith and David Thornton, both getting to ‘enjoy’ their first race in A grade and Travis Small joined us for a trial ride with the club.

The race kicked off up misery lane into a strong breeze with everyone content to warm their legs back up. Turning into Larcombes Rd there was a bit of a slow down and confusion with the result that Brad Haskett hit the bitumen for the second time in two races. Luckily this time it was just a few bits of skin off and he was back on the bike and with the group who politely were waiting up the road. Brad would like to thank Dave Warrens offer of training wheels for his next race. First time down (up?) Forrest and true to form, Andy Baker attacked and together with Travis Small managed to establish a break. With Nathan Ashton doing a few big turns down Grays Road we were able to hold the gap and then pull them back as we hit the crosswind on Hendy Main Rd. Turning up misery lane for the second time the group was attacked repeatedly by Nathan who was marked very defensively by Dave Warren and Brad Haskett, with the group very aware that he has the potential strength to ride us all off his wheel. Andy, Travis and Nathan continued to attack as we rode down Forrest causing some splits in the group. Richard Lyle wearing the cursed number 1 was left to rue a hard saturday ride as he lost contact along with Stuart and Dave who were rueing the handicapping of Robbo.

Things settled down over the next two laps, with the group of 5 riding fairly conservatively, content to save there legs for what was looking like a bunch sprint. Up misery lane for the last time the pace backed right off until Travis Small attacked hard followed by Dave Warren approaching the turn into Larcombes Road. Nathan Ashton in another exhibition of power comfortably pulled them back before Travis started his sprint with a couple of hundred metres to go. He held on very well, just being passed before the line by Dave Warren who finished second and Brad Haskett who enjoyed his first win with the club.

B Grade

Well the B Grade scratch race commenced in wet and cold weather with strong and gusty winds from the west north west. With normal break away specialists Ian Amsden and Neil Maurer not racing, the pace up misery lane for the first time was pedestrian to say the least.
The first real attack came from Marcus Coppock on lap 2 as we crested the forest road bumps, he took off and got out to a lead off around 150 meters before a red flag at the start of Hendy Main rd brought him back to the bunch.
Next time over the forest rd bumps Barry Howden wound up the pace and cause Carl “the mustache” Judd to get dropt. However the little handbar mustache man chased hard and by the middle of Hendy main road had managed to get back on the bunch for the final lap.
The pace over forest rd for the final time was solid but the bunch all stayed together and we were destined for a sprint.
Vic “the small chain ring” Mason and Chris Fenech managed to get stuck on the front from the middle of Hendy main road until the start of the final sprint with 200 meters to go. Needless to say both Vic and Chris cooked themselves.
Barry Howden jumped hard, followed by Carl Judd and Jim Knott riding his grandmothers bike was right on his wheel.
The strong head wind was taking its toll but Barry Howden held strong taking the chequered flag from Shane Korth in 2nd and grandma Jimmy finishing in third.

Winning time was 1 hr 32 at an average speed of just 31.9 kmh which indicates just how tough it was out there today…

C Grade

The weather cleared for the start of racing after a damp and cold warm up session.
The race started out as expected with the bunch sorting out what everyone wanted to do by the time we reached Forest Road for the first time. Almost the entire bunch was taking turns on the front until the second crest on Forest Road.

At times the C Graders seemed more like a social bunch ride than a race, with plenty of ‘banter’ being handed out by Jonny Pirello, directed to those seemingly getting comfortable on the back of the group! The second time up misery lane saw a diminishing group of willing riders to take the front position, and with calls to move ‘up the road’ from the back markers, the tactics started to change and the ‘helping hand’ attitude starting to fade. Less cover from the wind was offered to those content to stay on the back, and at one stage Mandy Hosking took a trip into the gravel, recovering well, she soon joined the bunch again and took the lead down Grays Road. Pace increased and small groups were allowed some time away from the main bunch but were reeled in each time. A rider was lost and the group was down to 6.
The speed varied and ‘plans’ were being drawn up to shed a couple more riders but the group remained and Johnny found himself on the front for the final trip up the hill to the finish.

The final visit through the chicane was at a pace that could only be described as sleepy, then James Stuart opened up early and breathed some life into the bunch, Johnny Pirello found a ‘new lease’ and the whole group looked threatening as the finish was in reach, Mandy started her sprint and Darren went after her, Johnny was in the lead until about 20m to go with James falling back after going to the front and Barry Clay dropping back off the bunch, a good close finish was the result.

1st – Darren Williams
2nd – Mandy Hosking
3rd – Johnny Pirello

D Grade

There were 5 D grade riders to start on a windy drizzly day. All was well and good until Tina Stenos attacked on Forest road hill leaving 3 riders to chase her and Ray Clifford but on Grays road Tina had some mechanical problem so the 3 chasing riders got back on and went on without her. Later another rider had a puncture leaving Richard Buckwell, Ross West and Ray Clifford to finish in that order.