Track – 7th December

Post date: Dec 12, 2016 8:20:32 PM

Session 9 for the track racing season provided excellent conditions for racing. The evening was clear, warm to hot, with a slight headwind in the back straight. Attendance was eighteen riders with a big roll up in A grade.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race started at moderate pace. However, the pack held together for just three laps before things became interesting. First to attack was Ed Garnett. Ed’s attack was covered by Alec Millett and Ben Davis. The trio opened a 7 metre gap and splintered the pack for a few laps. However, by lap 5, the pack had consolidated. With 2 laps to go, Ben Robey made a break with Ben Davis in tow. At this stage the bunch was just winding up and soon streamed past the lead pair to set up for the bell lap. Steve Jones took the win from Michael Langdon with an excellent ride by John Paul De Sousa for third place.

In B grade, Sue Powell joined the track group for her first race this season. The 8-lap B grade scratch race settled into a solid pace with no attacks until the penultimate lap. As the bell lap approached the pace cranked up, splintering the group and spitting out two riders. From a torrid final lap, Sue Powell emerged with a victory over Tony Beasley and Phil Anderson in that order.

The second event of the evening was a taxing, 24-lap points race. The race rules permitted lapped riders to participate in sprints and allowed a bonus if any rider could gain a lap on the field. In the event, no rider in A or B grade managed to lap the field.

In the A grade points race there were four sprints. Ed Garnett and Ben Robey ventured out early for the first sprint. However, they were overcome by Alec Millett and Steve Jones with Ben holding on for third place points. As the second sprint approached, Rowan McMurray, Michael Langdon and Kerry Knowler ventured out early. This was a good move as they crossed the line in that order. When further laps ticked by, the stronger riders held front positions and cranked up for the sprint points. The order for the final two sprints was Steve Jones, Michael Langdon, Andrew Peel then Michael Langdon, Steve Jones and Ben Davis. The overall points wash up put Steve Jones and Michael on top points (19). Next places were Kerry Knowler and Ben Davis (6 each) and Alec Millett, Andrew Peel and Ben Robey (5 each).

There were three sprints in the B grade points race. The first two sprints provided an identical result with the order being Sue Powell, Tony Beasley, Phil Anderson, Ross Scutts and Phil Coulton. As the final laps approached, Ross Scutts put in an effective attack. However, Tony Beasley soon followed Ross’s wheel and easily overtook him at the finish. Phil Coulton held on for third in the final sprint. The overall points result saw Tony Beasley (18) take first placing followed by Ross Scutts and Sue Powell (12) then Phil Anderson (10).

The final event was an all-in Italian Pursuit. There were initially eight pursuit riders on each team. However, a miscount required adjustment in the initial laps for Team 2. The pursuit was one of the closest to date. Each team had a good run with riders coordinating well and putting in their best effort. As the laps ticked by, the teams were holding within 1 – 2 metres each lap. For the final lap, anchor riders Steve Jones (Team 2) and Michael Langdon (Team 1) were matched up. Michael had about 1 metre initial advantage. Steve put in a good lap but could not gain at all on Michael. At the finish the margin was around 1.5 metres for Team 1 – a great contest.

Major place getters were as follows:

8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade): Steve Jones, Michael Langdon, John Paul De Sousa (B Grade) Sue Powell, Tony Beasley, Phil Anderson.

24-Lap Points Race: (A Grade): Steve Jones & Michael Langdon (19), Kerry Knowler & Ben Davis (6), Andrew Peel & Ben Robey (5) (B Grade) Tony Beasley (18), Ross Scutts & Sue Powell (12), Phil Anderson (10).

Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Phil Anderson, Graeme O’Neill, Ross Scutts, John Paul De Sousa, Antony O’Connor, Ben Robey, Andrew Peel, Michael Langdon).

Current Points Score Leaders: Steve Jones (166), Michael Langdon (157), Phil Anderson (136), Ross Scutts (131), Alec Millett (121), Kerry Knowler (110) Graeme O’Neill (90), Ben Robey (89).

Graeme O'Neill