What a cracker of a day we had in Melbourne! A hot day at over 30 degrees made for a hot night’s racing at Sandown, and 290 eager riders were keen to race with the added bonus of getting a head start on their summer tans.
Bunch sprints were the order of the day, with only A Grade bucking the trend – much to the surprise of a big part of the A Grade bunch! After the early break of big hitters was shut down just past the half way mark, a counter attack by Sir Michael Gallagher (Jayco VIS), 51 year old hard man Peter Barnett (Tete de la Course), Paul Mason (Charter Mason) and young gun Alistair Donohue(Quick Cycle) caught the bunch napping.
As the quartet built a good lead, the main field was pre-occupied with a series of chase groups caught in no-mans land. These groups were all neutralised but the four leaders were never in any danger. Mason led the sprint out but couldn’t hold off the speed of Donohue, with Barnett and Gallagher third and fourth. The bunch sprint for fifth was a nail biter between Luke Parker (Jayco VIS) and Rico Rogers (Invert Building). Judges were split as to who had timed their throw better, but the video showed Parker had the win by less than a tyre width.
The B Grade bunch sprint saw pocket rocket Lachie Holliday claim his second win on the trot, with his now familiar finishing burst seeing him hit the line almost a length clear of Jeremy Cameron (African Wildlife Safaris), Lachie Davidson (Artisan Cycles) and Tom Christie (Melbourne Uni). Ruby Greig-Hurtig (Melbourne Designer Floors) won the women’s sprint ahead of Amy Bradley (Total Rush) and Miranda Griffiths (Holden Cycling).
Young riders dominated the C Grade finish, with Thomas McFarlane and James Tickner (Bikes de Ver) drag racing to the line, with the Leongatha flyer holding on for a good win. Ben Andrews (CBD Cycles) continued his run of good form with third place ahead of Josh Dux. Mel Hunter claimed another win in the women’s division and must be ready to challenge the B Grade women soon.
Kallum Parlevliet was another to claim back to back wins with his sprint to lead the D Grade bunch home with the minor places going to Kyle Muir, George Sarris and Craig O’Sullivan. Jess Cox was the only female racer to survive the dramatic wind up in speed over the final two laps to finish with the main bunch and took the women’s win, with Georgia Cummings (Apollo) and Mel Nicholls next home.
The novice races saw Jaime Gooding outsprint Alana Field, Donna Hill and Kerry Gigante in E Grade, while in F Grade Jason Zheng was too quick for Hampton Cycles pair Josh Heather and Tom Jones, with Bill Simpson fourth.
A full gallery of Mike Eaddy’s photos can be seen at https://plus.google.com/photos/103110114927998248117/albums/5805048325920435681/5805048337318684018
Mike will provide hi-res copies of his images in return for a donation to the Movember campaign at https://www.movember.com/au/donate/payment/member_id/12210/
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|A Grade||68 riders|
|B Grade||82 riders|
|Women’s B Grade||3 riders|
|C Grade||63 riders|
|Women’s C Grade||2 riders|
|D Grade||43 riders|
|Women’s D Grade||6 riders|
|E Grade||2 riders|
|Women’s E Grade||3 riders|
|F Grade||18 riders|