It was a thumbs up from riders testing out the first club criterium on the closed road RCR circuit that Robbie had organised.  With no worries about cars and the buildings and plant sheltering the riders slightly from the blustery South Wester the hot mix circuit was fast and the corners friendly enough that bunches could stay together.

First away were A grade with a field of nine riders up for the challenge of sticking with the likes of Bryce, Connor and Nicholas.  Some early testing accelerations were quickly reeled in before Marten, fresh from a block of racing in Queensland decided to try a move.  He quickly established a half lap break and despite strong efforts by Alistair Patterson amongst others this gap remained until around the 20 minute mark when Marten was finally caught.

The pressure was on immediately with a priem lap which saw Connor comfortably take out the sprint.  Counter moves by Bryce and Nicholas were short lived but enough to dislodge Cadel, Jamie and Allistair from the back of the group.

Heading into the final two laps the pace slowed down as the young guns marked each other.  In the end Connor was too strong in the sprint and took it out from Nicholas, Bryce, Marten and a great ride by Ben saw him crossing in fourth spot ahead of Mick Darlington.

It was decided to run the juniors in with the B grade group and Harrison and Josh looked comfortable for around half the race while Isabella had a half lap head start and spent the day jumping on the back of different groups with Robbie encouraging her to keep digging deep.  Young Lowan found the pace a little fast but gave 110 percent to hang in as long as he could and then lapped strongly on his own til sitting up to re-join Harrison and Josh once they were also dropped.

Lowan’s father Iain was the main protagonist pushing the pace in the group and was a bit frustrated that the B grade group weren’t pushing a bit harder.  As a result he jumped off the front to sit on the A graders as they went past, automatically nominating himself up a grade next race!!

Meanwhile the priem for the bunch was well contested by Allen Turner who we haven’t seen at club races for some years and the in form Rick Cresswell.  Rick took the sprint and he and Turner pushed on establishing a small break on the bunch.  They almost had Iain in sight in the final laps but Ferry found another gear and surged away again to cross the line first of the B graders ahead of Rick Cresswell and Steve Roberts who put in a strong effort to get up to the front of the group.  Fourth across the line was Russell Horlin who was riding strongly as was the consistent Kevin Keally who was next home.

Vern put in a huge effort last week in the TT and had his bike set up in TT mode still but unfortunately it didn’t pay off for the circuit racing, so no doubt he will spend the next couple of weeks honing his skills at changing pace now that he has his time trialling sorted!!

Good to see Laurie out having a go at his first criterium and although he found the first couple of laps a bit quick, he is also determined to improve and got a lot out of his first race.

The junior boys were lapping well on their own but unfortunately crossed the finish line mixed in with the A graders and missed the bell.  This provided the opportunity for Lowan to get one up on Josh and he won the sprint to the line but with the boys continuing on for another lap, Josh got his revenge the second time around!!  All good practice for the future.

Many thanks to Brian who came out to help and also Suzanne for running the race.  All credit goes to Robbie however for all the work he has done in organising the circuit.  We all know how amazing Robbie is, but his energy and commitment never ceases to impress.

The next event on the circuit will be on the Sunday before Christmas.