McDonald Claims Crit Title
Former Australian Road Race Champion Peter McDonald showed that even on limited training he is still a class act as he comfortably took out the club criterium championships on the Quit Forest Rally circuit in Busselton.
It was an extremely pleasant day on the Busselton foreshore and there was a thumbs up for the circuit once again.
First group to test it out were the under 15 juniors. Cadel Adams was hot favourite in this group and quickly assumed the front of the group. Unfortunately he overcooked a corner mid race leaving Mian Grimbeek and Harrison Lawler with the opportunity to push on for an advantage. Courtland Wood was just off the back of these front runners resplendent on his new BMC.
In the last couple of laps Grimbeek put the pressure on and broke away from Lawler to finish on his own. Courtland was third ahead of Cadel with Josh Commons showing good sprinting technique claiming 5th ahead of Alex Hastie. Isabella Commons lapped strongly showing plenty of determination and took out the under 15 female category.
Cadel decided to have another go in the C grade event and was keen to race against young Ben Hastie. Erin had been pushed up to B grade based on recent form but missed the B grade start so headed off in C with Geoff Tremayne, Steve Camarri and Lyndon. Steve and Ben endeavoured to push the pace and establish a break with Steve doing a lot of the work early in the race before dropping off the front group. Tremayne and Adams also found the pace too much by halfway through the race leaving Lyndon, Ben and Erin out in front. Lyndon was under instructions that if he was to ride in C grade he was not to win, but was close to thinking the opportunity was there for the taking when Ben eased up after surging away. Unfortunately the front group lapped Adams and Tremayne just as they headed to the finish line impeding the sprint. Ben kept his speed up however and took out the win ahead of Erin with Lyndon third and Steve fourth.
In B grade there was a strong contingent of Geographe Grinders however they were unlikely to have it all their own way with youngsters Harrison Wood and Tony Doherty in the mix. Harrison was on the front and pushing the pace almost immediately however was then involved in a mishap with Aaron Pauley that saw most of the bunch come to a standstill. After a lap out the field was back together again and now it was Tony on the front. Doherty appeared to do much of the work and this was always going to be to the advantage of the sprinters. In the final run to the line Andrew McGruddy powered away to win comfortably with Joel just holding out Aaron on the line to claim second. Jessica had a great race sitting 2nd wheel much of the time and finished strongly claiming 4th ahead of Graham Clarke with Tony 6th and Claus 7th.
The A grade race was always going to start fast and with speeds of around 50kph in the first couple of laps the pressure was on. Robbie had assumed his usual spot at the rear of the field and seemed comfortable there until he clipped his pedal hard and skidded into the barriers. The race stopped while the ambulance was called.
After the restart Regan once again assumed his place at the front setting the pace, but Peter decided to liven things up after a couple of laps and his surge saw most immediately on the back foot. Nicholas was the only rider able to stay with him while Soren gave a good attempt at bridging across but was just not able to make it. Bryce Lanigan riding in A grade for the first time showed plenty of guts and was just behind Soren while James Stephenson and Regan realised their race was pretty much done.
Nicholas and Peter lapped out in front setting a good pace til Peter decided he needed to go to the line on his own and surged away again. A comfortable win but a great effort by Nicholas who was not far back and credit also goes to Soren in 4th and Bryce in 5th who continued strongly chasing on their own til the end.
Best wishes to all who suffered mis haps and particularly to Robbie Commons for a speedy recovery.
All in all it was once again a good concept running the event in conjunction with the Rally however and something we will hope to do again next year.
The club champions will be presented at the End of Summer function planned for the park in Dalyellup on Saturday 26th April after the Henk and Marg Stoffers Road Race at Stratham.
Many thanks to Jaiden, Ryan and Andrew for marshalling today, to Leonie for taking results, Maggie timing and Suzanne for running the race. Thanks also to everyone who has supported the criterium series.