Mechanicals and small flying objects could have ruined the day for some competitors in today's 46 km graded scratch races at Newbridge but, like the true champions they are, the riders in question rose above adversity to deliver the goods
Mechanicals and small flying objects could have ruined the day for some competitors in today's 46 km graded scratch races at Newbridge but, like the true champions they are, the riders in question rose above adversity to deliver the goods. Brad Geyer led the way in a strong A grade which included new members Peter Ladd Jnr and Steve Stephen Upton. Brad pulled a foot out on the way around then dropped his chain as the sprint kicked off after Peter had tried and failed to get way earlier. Brad had enough presence to mind to get the chain back on and run down the rest of the field, with Steve and Peter rounding out the podium. Rob Robert Gartside was next to suffer, first of all with a bee in his ear (fortuitously explaining the buzzing in his brain), then by hurling bits of his bike at his rivals in the sprint. Chris Draper had leapt off the start line after being relegated to C Grade then promoted back into B Grade and stayed out in front for a few kilometers in what turned out to be the only significant break of the day - Arnie Lindsay's attempt at the end of the first lap never took hold. The field was packed with gun sprinters and five riders fought out the sprint finish with barely a bike length between them. Brett Williams courageously held off Arnie Lindsay and Rob Gartside (who fortunately found his bike bits after the race finished). C Grade had its share of dramas too. Gary Ford heard strange noises coming from his bike and thought the best tactic was to get out in front of the bunch in case anything happened. After a couple of uneventful laps, Shane Dellavedova had had enough and took off a few kilometers from home, carting what witnesses estimated as about a kilogram of dirt and mud on his bke towards the finishing line. Peter Ladd Snr rained on his parade by dragging the bunch back, then Gary Ford outsprinted the field to take the win, just before his derailleur fell off. Andrew Berry and John Weir finished second and third respectively. In contrast, D Grade was relatively uneventful except for the fact that Lindsay Williams outsprinted Ken Lacey for possibly his maiden win with Karyn McKenzie taking a well-deserved third place.