Stromlo – 14th March
Unfortunately, just as the racing was about to start, the heavens opened and the race was washed out.
Narrabundah Track Racing – 15th March
Attendance for Session 19 of the track racing season was similar to last week. Fourteen riders attended, split equally between A and B grades. The weather was quite cool and overcast. Fortunately the rain held off. The wind was strong and appeared to swirl around the velodrome – in the opposite direction to riders, naturally!
Six riders lined up in A grade for the initial 10-lap scratch race. The wind conditions meant that there was little profit in an early attack. Consequently, the pack circulated in unison for 8 laps. Ben Davis then dropped out with a fractured seat bracket. Mid way into Lap 9, Michael Langdon and Ben Robey put in an attack. Michael sustained the effort and soon had a significant gap. Ben backed off and was overtaken by Michael’s pursuers. Michael Langdon had a comfortable win over John Paul De Sousa and Andrew Peel in that order.
The 10-Lap B grade scratch race started at moderate pace and began to hot up around mid race. Lap 7 saw the first rider dropped. Tony Beasley was well positioned approaching the bell lap and rode a good tactical race for the win over Ross Scutts and Ian Drayton, in that order.
The evening’s second event was a 2-lap, standing start, time trial. This is a taxing event, virtually a 2-lap sprint. Ben Robey lined up with aero kit, again this week. The reaction was more muted this time and so was the effect. Ben had to settle for second fastest time after Michael Langdon blitzed the field in 51.20 seconds. Ben’s time was also good at 52.00 seconds. John Paul De Sousa set the third best times at 54.20 seconds. In B Grade, Steve Dean was the standout with a time of 56.40 seconds. John Lowe and Ian Drayton set the second and third best times in B grade.
The next event was a 4 Lap handicap race. In A grade, the back markers really put in to consolidate the field within the first lap. From that point, the bunch circulated in a compact pack with Michael Langdon initiating a big attack on the bell lap. The result was Michael Langdon first, Andrew Peel second, Rowan Mc Murray third. The margins were significant and an illustration of how unpredictable handicap races can be. In B grade, a good handicap did not help Graeme O’Neill as his pursuers were on fire and made the catch within two laps. From this point John Lowe made the most of his handicap to hold off the field. Ross Scutts and Phil Anderson took second and third respectively.
The final combined Italian pursuit had six riders drawn from A and B grades on each team. Team 2 had one less A grade rider than Team 1 with compensation via stronger B grade selections. Nonetheless, each team had to perform flawlessly to take out this event and both teams did exactly that. The first few changeovers were very close. By the back end of the race Team 2 had a modest margin that looked reversible. However, when the anchor riders Ben Robey and Michael Langdon took over, it was clear that Ben was not going to surrender this margin. Michael put in all he could. However, Ben scorched over the line for an emphatic win by Team 2.
Major place getters were as follows:
10-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Michael Langdon, John Paul de Sousa, Andrew Peel. (B Grade) Tony Beasley, Ross Scutts, Ian Drayton.
2-Lap SS TT: (A Grade) Michael Langdon (51.20s), Ben Robey (52.00s), John Paul De Sousa (54.20s). (B Grade) Steve Dean (56.40s), John Lowe (58.03s), Ian Drayton (58.53s).
4-Lap Handicap: (A Grade) Michael Langdon, Andrew Peel, Rowan McMurray. (B Grade) John Lowe, Ross Scutts, Phil Anderson.
Combined Italian Pursuit Winner: Team 2 (Ben Robey, John Paul de Sousa, Tony Beasley, Steve Dean, Ross Scutts, John Lowe).
Current Points Score Leaders: Michael Langdon (312), Phil Anderson (290), Ross Scutts (277), Steve Jones (260), Tony Beasley (242), Alec Millett (220), Graeme O’Neill (187), John Paul de Sousa (183), Andrew Peel (179).
Current Omnium Points: Ben Robey (9), Ross Scutts (9), Michael Langdon (9), Steve Dean (8), Phil Anderson (7), Andrew Peel (7), Ben Davis (6), John Paul De Sousa (6), Kerry Knowler (5). Dougal Torrance (5) Tony Beasley (5).