Warm night, hot racing. Despite the public holiday, some of the strongest fields we've seen for a long time turned up at Murphy Street this evening for the Dale Lowe Signs Summer Series crits.
Darren Lapthorne soloed for a fair percentage of the A Grade race, setting a scorching pace which sent some out the back, but was gathered in with a few laps to go. Lee Wallace went off the front with two to go in a valiant but doomed-to-failure attack, was overhauled with 300 metres to go and had to watch from behind as Brent Gibson scored the narrowest of victories in a thrilling sprint ahead of Martin Banfield and Peter Cavallaro, who just pipped Brad Geyer for third. B Grade was another ripper of a race. The field set a fast tempo and stayed intact for pretty much the whole journey with no serious breaks. Ian Stringer continued his hot form to win by a couple of lengths from Mark Buckell who snuck in to second by the barest of margins from Rob Gartside. The C Grade race ebbed and flowed but most of the field survived until the final half a lap. Kelvin Niblett and Steve Ligoli surged clear in the sprint which was won narrowly by the Reverend Kelvin, assisted, we are led to believe, by a greater force. Ultimately, no protests were lodged. Steve Baines ran a gallant third. The D graders put their heart and soul into the race, leaving nothing out on the track (well, almost nothing), Andrea Wilson fighting through the pain to win from Gary Johnstone and Carl Louchard. Apologies, the start sheet is too much of a mess to publish!