Tonight was the first of four Club Championship Races – the Criterium. A Criterium is often a street race with lots of twists and turns, but for this one the club is very grateful to be able to use part of the drag strip as the course. It is a circuit race, with sprint laps every second lap ridden over a set time, plus 2 laps. Points awarded are 5, 3, 2 and 1 point for 1st to 4th on each of those sprint laps. The winner of each race is the person who accumulates the highest total of sprint points over the whole of the race.
This is another race that riders have a tendency to either love or hate. The ones who love it are often natural sprinters, or the riders who love the hustle and bustle of trying to outwit your follow competitors, to find the right wheel to follow, and to position yourself ‘just right’ and those who can kick hard in the critical moments going into the sprints that count for points. The other way to win is the tactic that Mark Langlands tends to use, and that is to use your power and ability to ride away from all your competitors!
In each of the races tonight the bunches split as the pressure was applied in the first couple of sprint laps. In the A-Grade mens (Championship) race, contested over 25 minutes plus 2 laps, Mark Langlands rode away early on, and then was pursued by most of the peloton. Being out the front on his own, Mark accumulated a good lead in the points tally before the Peloton eventually caught him. The remaining points on offer were strongly contested between Johnny Burkhart, Derek Roberts, Simon Butler and Devan Simmonds.
The B-Grade and Women’s Championship races, contested over 20 minutes plus 2 laps, also contained our Junior girls and boys. Splits also happened in theses races early on, but no single rider was brave or strong enough to ride away from everyone else, so each of the sprints for points were again hotly contested. Ricky Blade demonstrated his sprinting prowess and a clean pair of heels amongst the men, with Caleb Roberts, John Allen, Dave Hodder and Rex Dowding contesting the remaining available points. Amongst the women Emily Lutyens and Lesley Mouat went wheel to wheel for top points in each of the sprints with Michelle McCabe, Sydney Blackburn and Judy Brown all in the mix for the remaining points.
Congratulations to our new Club Champions:
Open Men – Mark Langlands
Open women – Emily Lutyens
Junior Girl – Sydney Blackburn
Junior Boy – Caleb Roberts
B-Grade – Ricky Blade
Once again, thanks to our race officials and social committee for looking after our racing, and refuelling us at the end of the evening. Next week, note that the race start is in Martinborough for a little circuit that takes in Hinakura. Might be one for the climbers..maybe!
|Men’s Championship Criterium – A Grade|
|Mark Langlands||30||1||Men’s Champion|
|Women’s Championship Criterium|
|Emily Lutyens||21||1||Women’s Champion|
|Sydney Blackburn||4||4||1st Under 19 Girl|
|Men’s B-Grace Criterium|
|Ricky Blade||25||1||1st B-Grade|
|Caleb Roberts||11||2||1st Junior Boy|
|Rod Sutherland/Peter Jones||0|
|Doug Maclachlan/Meri Murphy||0|
|Jono Didsbury||0||2nd Junior Boy|