09 4 February 2015

Narrabundah Track Racing – 4th February

There were 18 starters for the Wednesday 4 February track session. The weather was overcast but dry with a fresh headwind causing difficulty down the front straight.

With the season maturing, the A and B Grade scratch races were extended to 12 laps. The longer event provides more opportunities for tactical riding. This was born out in A Grade as Ben Robey and Kerry Knowler put in an early attack that established a handy lead. In due course, the break was brought back and a late break established by a group that included Andrew Peel, Ben Robey, Michael Langdon and Steve Jones. Steve Jones took the sprint from Michael Langdon and Andrew Peel. In B Grade, Aaron Rockey, Phil Anderson and Bruce Griffin proved strong, as usual. However, James Meredith put in a great performance stuck on the lead group like a limpet. Ultimately Aaron Rockey pipped Phil Anderson and Bruce Griffin for the honours.

The 2 Lap handicap had some surprises. In A grade, Kerry Knowler put on a great show from a front mark and could not be caught. Michael Langdon and Alan Bontjer took second and third place. In B grade there was a dead heat for the win between Phil Anderson and Bruce Griffin, to the great satisfaction of the handicapper. James Meredith was having a good day and took some catching before taking third place.

The next event, a 6 lap Snowball, was a challenge to score. The first lap was neutralised, after which there were gradually escalating points for places on each lap. It is a tricky event tactically. Various riders made good attempts to garner early points. However, with the first few laps down, Steve Jones asserted his dominance by taking the sprint in each lap. Steve took a win followed by Aaron Sedgemen and Michael Langdon who were both very enterprising in this race. In B Grade, yours truly tried to compensate for lack of form by taking a flier after the neutralised lap. The effort was run down easily by Phil Anderson. From that point Phil Anderson, Aaron Rockey and Bruce Griffin garnered most points on offer. Ultimately Phil Anderson took a well deserved win from Aaron Rockey and Bruce Griffin.

The track session concluded with a 6 lap race in which B grade were given a very handy start. A grade were well aware that the pursuit was a challenge, so Alan Bontjer sacrificed his chances with a solid three lap lead out that put A grade in the box seat. B grade worked well initially, but the earlier races had taken a toll, so their pace and form could not be held. With B grade caught, Steve Jones, Aaron Sedgemen and Ben Robey took first to third places.

Major place getters were as follows:

10 Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Michael Langdon; Andrew Peel (B Grade) Aaron Rockey, Phil Anderson, Bruce Griffin.

2 Lap Handicap: (A Grade) Kerry Knowler, Michael Langdon; Alan Bontjer (B Grade) Bruce Griffin & Phil Anderson (dead heat), James Meredith

Snowball Race (A Grade): Steve Jones (11 pts), Aaron Sedgemen (9 pts), Michael Langdon (8 pts) (B Grade) Phil Anderson (14 pts), Aaron Rockey (10 pts), Bruce Griffin (6 pts).

6 Lap Scratch (with B Grade early start): Steve Jones, Aaron Sedgemen; Ben Robey.

Graeme O'Neill