Warm and humid conditions and a mischievous wind made for a tough afternoon for the 24 riders in four graded scratch races at Newbridge today.
D grade splintered early on with Jim Field puncturing after just a couple of kilometres then David Collier breaking clear a long way from home to record a solo victory in his return to Vet's racing with Di Jane coming in second. Cool heads Gary Needs and John Weir kept a firm hand on the C Grade field so that none of the break attempts looked like succeeding, but Tom de Vries caught everyone napping by jumping clear with Gary with half a kilometre to go and holding of the field to record a gutsy win. John Weir ran second and Ray Colwell third. B Grade was pretty much neutralised for the first lap but a few surges over the rises between Newbridge and Laanecoorie on the second lap thinned out the field. New member Cameron Smith broke clear with over 20 km to go and held off the chasers until just a couple of kilometers out. Neil Andrews led out the sprint, only to see Brett Williamstake a short cut through the gravel to hit the front 100 meters from the line. Cameron showed amazing resilience to fight back and snatch the win by half a wheel to Brett with Murray Rankin coming in third. The A Grade race was the best of the day. Geoff Bennett, Tony Byrne and Tim Phillips found themselves in the clear at the end of the first lap but only Tom managed to survive, staying clear of the field for most of the second lap. Soon after he was brought back, Andrew Bos jumped away with Brad Geyer on his wheel. Tim Phillips had recovered enough to hit the front briefly before Brad went past him to take the gold from Tim with Brent Gibson not far behind them rounding off the dais.