More graded scratch races today, this time back at Woodstock for the 46 km Deer Farm Hill circuit. They're proving pretty popular, with another 30 plus field sorted into five grades.
A grade was an interesting affair. Brett Williamsjumped off the line to warm up as he usually does and Mathew Grealy took this as a signal to attack, so the two of them ended up spending the first half of the race off the front before Brett rolled back to the bunch. Matt suffered for another 10 km before he was swamped but he managed to get on, only to feel the effects of his efforts and lose contact with just a few kilometres to go, leaving just three to fight out the finish. Peter Cavallaro triumphed, largely due to more efficient use of his wattage 🙂, followed by Jo Stolz and Brent Gibson. The strong B Grade field opted for a high, steady pace with Geoff Bennett providing much of the horsepower, and at one stage the bunch almost caught A Grade. The whole field lined up for the sprint where Ian Stringer underlined his return to form by winning convincingly from Robert Gartside and Carl Harris. Some old stagers in C Grade made sure it was a tactical race by trying to shake the sprinters with a series of attacks up each hill, with some success. When Peter Ladd charged to the front with 300 metres to go, Shane Delavedova saw an opportunity too good to miss, jumped on the wheel and rolled Peter on the line. Ricky Lovell led the rest home. The small D Grade field meant attacking opportunities were few and far between. Sprinting powerhouse Tom de Vries won from Pam Robertsonand David Hare. E Grade was the biggest field of the day and it turned out to be a great race. The field was largely intact for most of the race until Susan Jennings and Karyn Mackenzie jumped away. Eve Keetelar and Aileen O'Brien fought hard but lost contact, and Karyn prevailed over Susan in the sprint to the line. Eve and Aileen learnt a valuable lesson when they rolled to the line not far behind, only to lose third place to a barnstorming finish from Di Jane.