Young riders show mettle in rain
MORE than 100 riders took part in the Dog Hill circuit in Baldivis on Saturday.
The field included a number of juniors from around WA, checking the course for the State Junior Championships to be hosted by the Peel District Cycling Club in two weeks time.
The conditions looked great for racing – warm, sunny with light winds. This soon changed and after a little more than two laps, the heavens opened.
Riders got wet and cold quickly, but only a handful withdrew.
With only two riders, E-grade started with D-grade.
The pace in D-grade was frantic at the start. Deb Reid and Sally Carter were dropped, along with a number of D-grade riders.
After three laps and in pouring rain, Carter outsprinted Reid to take the win.
The pace in D-grade eased a little after the first lap, but fast enough that the dropped riders could not get back on, and steady enough they did not lose any more riders.
The pace picked up at the end of the fourth and final lap.
Former WA junior track sprinter Hayden Thorpe launched a devastating attack to win, with Dan Fieldhouse second and David Baker third.
C-grade contained the best under-15 men and under-17 women, preparing for the state titles.
It was the older riders who kept the pace up early in the race and chased the attacks down.
In the bunch sprint, it was an older rider, Michael White, who won, from under-17 women Dharlia Haines second and Laura Hodges third.
The under-17 men were the aggressors in B-grade and again the older riders kept them in check.
In the bunch sprint, it was Kelana Saleh first, Ian Ferry second and third was the best-placed under-17 rider Oliver Bleddyn.
A-grade was dominated by under-19 riders.
Just as the rain hit, a group of four, with three under-19 men and a former state Masters criterium champion, gained a break and held it for more than two laps.
It took a concerted effort from riders young and old to bring the break back with a lap to go.
In the chaotic bunch sprint, under-19 rider Bryce Lanigan took the win, Ben Blacklock was second and Bernie Swart was third.
For the pdcc.asn.au full results, visit Nick Cowie
Bryce Lanigan takes A- grade honours.