Well according to research conducted by the president from a reliable source (Wikipedia???), a crit circuit is up to 5km long.........Haven't got time or the energy to consult the UCI guidelines. BUT for the WCC Club, a 4km circuit at Newry was host to the club Crit championships and it was a star studded affair with the who's who of cycling lining up for a start. (Also see all images at actionpactpix)
|Dave Arnup was one of the short priced favourites.....following his stellar 2011|
|Allan Rankin was also in form and expected to do very well in B grade|
|Reigning C grade champion was Kevin Read and was crumbling under the pressure placed on him|
|Brunswick gun sprinter Chris Ray was not eligible for an overall Club Championship prize, but wanted to see how his "road legs" were going to travel this year|
|Katrina East is hoping for a big year this year and raced with the B grade bunch and was the sole female representative for the day|
|Racing was to start at 9:00am....seriously it is now 9:04 and Cotts is just arriving...WHAT???|
|Dark Horse Craig Keane was going to be one to watch in the race|
|First sprint of the A grade race, Mick O'Connor was watching Keane, and seeing how his form was travelling|
|Great to see Rohan Cook lining up in the B grade bunch|
|Alec Mates showed C grade how tough he was going to be to beat in this first sprint|
|The A grade bunch was going well as one big group until after the second sprint, when they were ripped apart after an attack from Shane Dove.....he is awesome.....seriously!!|
|But the group regathered to become five riders, leaving several in their wake|
|Club reigning time trial champion had to time trial to get back to the bunch.|
|Two of the sprint favourites, were left to work together to rejoin the bunch and unfortunately never quite got there.|
|C grade were together for a while, but an attack later in the race from Gary Cotteril left the bunch all racing for themselves, Alec Mates managed to rejoin Cotts, but the others were racing on their own.|
|B Grade was being contested hotly by Rankin, Dashwood and Palmer.....|
|Rankin works hard during the race|
|Gratuitous picture of Shane!|
|Club president decides to watch the final sprints......HANG ON THE RACE IS NOT OVER THERE IS STILL ONE LAP TO GO.|
|John East was club saviour and was race organiser and chief lap counter along with Craig Keane's wife and son.|
|Flag waving was an important job.....after bell ringing.|
|Final sprint in A grade had Craig Keane holding off Shane Dove (hidden from view) and Mike Renehan|
|Craig Keane takes the win in A grade|
All pictures from the race will be available for viewing at actionpactpix. There are 150 photos and they will be available to see by later tonight (11th March 2012).
I had a word to the bookies and they actually gave me very short odds for:-
- Kevin Read pulling out of the race before the end
- Dave Arnup making a comment before the race that he should be riding in B Grade
- Ben Dowsett arriving at the start late
- Wayne Alexander and a bunch of riders arriving to watch the race whilst out training (they should be racing)
Mike Renehan was ride of the day in A grade, Phil Browns impressive first sprint in B grade was the stuff pros are made of and Cotts showed his love of flat courses.
Thanks to John East and Sally Keane and Nige and Ruby Luxford for all helping during the race. Great showing of members went to Cafe latitude in Maffra for cappuccino and Milkshakes after the race......great venue and opened on a Sunday, so maybe more race and coffee days in winter could be considered...
Well done to all today and congratulations to Craig Keane for winning A grade, Allan Rankin in B grade and Alec Mates in C grade.