Wet weather makes for fast pace

A WET start cleared to a hot finish for round 2 of the Grafton Cycle Club’s winter race programme at Coutts Crossing last Saturday afternoon.

Despite a number of riders away at other events, the lure of hard cash in the four grades’ points race saw a combined field of around 25 riders battle on the fast Coutts course.

A and B-grades both had strong fields.

With points up for grabs on each of their four laps at both the finish line and the top of the KOM rise, racing was a little more stop-start than in a straight scratch affair.

Nevertheless, Greg Allen took the B-grade field out at a scorching pace, nearly rounding up the A bunch by the half-way point of lap one.

It wasn’t to last, though, as the strong A-grade field duked it out for the KOM and put the hammer down.

Ultimately it was Jai Reardon who, for the second week in a row, showed excellent form to pip Dion Wilkes for the points and cash, with Tony Brindle, in a welcome return to competition, in third.

Back in the B bunch, Lockie Oberg chased down the early break by Greg Allen and nothing the chasing bunch could do made any impression on their lead over the next two and a half laps.

Lockie got over Greg for the points and dollars, leaving the chasers to fight over the scraps.

Their were some dogged attacks up the KOM hill, which left the likes of this correspondent searching for a wheel to drag him back to the fold.

In the end, Mark McGrath battled cramp to get up for third, but not without a big effort to top Big John Harrison and the ever tenacious Jon Ingram.

Son Brady "Scrubby" Ingram also rode like a man possessed, only tailing off slightly in the dying stage.

The three lap, 30km C-grade race didn’t have quite the numbers of the other two fields.

Rikki Corcoran got up for a fairly comfortable win and looks likely to have blown his grade.

Craig Mackenzie dug into his reserves for a very well deserved second and Andrew Weatherstone continues his good form back on the bike with third.

By the look of Craig after the race he couldn’t have gone any harder and might be seen spending his winnings on some aspirin.

D Grade saw a field of only three take to the road. David Brown acted as chaperone to youngsters Hayden Mitchell and Madeline Davis, having her first race with her new club.

David left it to the two juniors to share the spoils and Madeline got the better of the younger Hayden, topping the points and probably enjoying her first and last ride in D-grade.

After a wet first lap, the skies cleared, the roads dried and an excellent afternoon’s racing promised plenty more as the season progresses.

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