Cantina Bendigo Twilight Series kicked off tonight under the watchful eye of sponsor Peter Cavallaro who spent most of the evening reminiscing about past glories on the very same Murphy Street criterium circuit.
32 riders started including try rider Murray Stephens. After a couple of early flourishes by Jo Stolz, A Grade followed the predictable pattern of Darren Lapthorne getting away after a few attempts and then being joined by Martin Banfield and Brendan Schultz who together held the rest of the field at bay. The sprint was interrupted by a car but Brendan prevailed anyway ahead of the car in second, Martin and Darren. B Grade was a ripper, the field intact for the entire journey. No surprises that Paul Dalton won comfortably from Stuart Laing and and fast finishing Arnie Lindsay. C Grade was another good race, with some riders returning from injuries and breaks and others showing good form to move up a grade. In a great sprint, Steve Bilton pipped Mark Buckell on the line with Brad Steigenberger not too far away in third. Visitor Amy Benham from Northern bolstered the numbers in D Grade and acquitted herself admirably. Greg Chapman showed the field a clean pair of cleats in the finishing straight to win from Jo Lythgo and Paul Stuckenschmidt. At the presentations Peter handed out a stack of Cantina Bendigo margarita vouchers to worthy recipients in every grade - more incentive to join in the fun next week!