TOBIA KIPPER CAUSES A MAJOR SURPRISE, WHEN THE SOLE MEMBER OF THE MAD DOG TEAM UPSET THE STONGER FANCIES BY TAKING OUT HIS FIRST WIN IN THE TOP GRADE AT THE WOREE RACEWAY ON SUNDAY.
In the strongest field assembled this year, Tobia held on after a last lap charge to defeat Bart Duraj and Damien Ingram in an enthralling encounter in which 13 of the 14 riders were still a chance over the concluding laps with young Cody Haseldine having his first ride for the season in need of the hit out, content to roll along out of contention.
Through the first few laps Bernard Cossar –Smith, Tobia Kipper, Damien Ingram and Bart Duraj made it clear that the course renown for being fast was just that as they set the field alight. Evergreen Gary Haydon joined the fray as did Luke Azzorpardi and Matt Driver, with Haydon remaining at the top as the race shot through the first 7 laps. Ingram and Duraj then took over with Kieran Mouldey, Gavin Taylor and Cossar- Smith right on their wheels and again the heat was on. On the tenth Duraj and Ingram swept up and took control and pinched a few seconds on the field, working well together they controlled the race through to the 13th lap when Gary Haydon, Luke Azzopardi and Brendon Skerke were able to reel in the two leaders.
That trio pinched a few seconds until joined by Matt Driver and the now foursome headed into the sprint lap with a narrow advantage over Ingram, Taylor and Cossar-Smith. However into the headwind in the Ponzo St straight, it became a duel between Brenden Skerke and Luke Azzopardi who had edged away from Gary Haydon with Ingram and Duraj making up ground behand them. However it was the inform Azzopardi belying his restricted gears defeating Skerke by a narrow margin with Gary Haydon third.
Sprint gone and the placegetters had eight seconds on the chase group headed by Duraj, Ingram and Taylor with Michael Haseldine and Paul Mashford midfield on their first rides of the season keeping in touch with the leaders. On the 20th lap Azzopardi, Skerke, and Haydon now had Duraj, Ingram and Tyson Sundman on their wheels however it was still a guess WHO contest. Ingram was back in front at the 22nd with Kieran Mouldey and Matt Driver close up and Duraj ready to strike as Bart took the lead with Ingram following, then Damien Ingram took control and led through the next couple of laps. Then it was YO YO STUFF, the race HAD various pacemakers, Haydon and Kipper, then Driver and Duraj, not to be outdone Haydon was back on top with Cossar –Smih wow what a race.
Three to go the order past the judge was Haydon, Skerke, Kipper, Azzopardi and Ingram however the rest still right in it. With the Bell ringing Haydon led Ingram, Duraj and Mashford when Skerke took off quickly rounding them up and sweeping to the lead only to be followed by Kipper and the pair pinched a break with Ingram looking for support with Duraj next. Maybe with Tobia Kipper and the MAD DOG team never having won a race in this grade, a little bit of complacency may have crept in because Tobia had whizzed past Brendon and went for home leaving Ingram and Duraj with a huge task to reel in THE NEW MAD DOG CAPTAIN. Who swung into the straight well clear, and riding desperately hung on to take the race from Bart DuraJ and Damien Ingram and although they were making ground on Tobia the BIRD HAD FLOWN Fourth in was Gavin Taylor followed by Paul Mashford in the ripper of an A GRADE RACE.
This race had Relative newcomer to the Cairns circuit Kieran Harrison and Hard Hitting local Gavin Butler whack spice into race, both at the start and the latter stages of the always super competitive under card event. Kieran Harrison was the first rider to inflict genuine pace by being the early pacesetter through the early laps, only to be quickly joined by Gavin Butler and thus ensuring an A grade type speed. Scott Beaven and Tom Cook were never far off the leaders early, as were Daniel Bakurski and Greg Reynolds however tucked in behind the hectic pace followed Kath Deed, Russell Eustace and Nathan Burstynowicz with Nathan appearing to have a mechanical issue that virtually put him out of the race. Leading up to the sprint lap Race Favourite Scott Beaven had his turn at the top along with Harrison and Tom Cook. A Lap out before the sprint it was again Harrison back in front with Beaven right on his wheel. So into the straight Harrison was fighting to hold off the fast finishing Beaven, however Beaven continued his run of success by claiming the honours from Harrison with Russell Eustace rattling home into third place.
Beaven and Harrison then slipped to slender lead, however only a couple of laps later were grabbed by Gavin Butler and Daniel Bakurski with Butler edging away to small break which he held for the next 3 laps when Tom Cook momentarily hit the front only to see Butler and Beaven claw it back to be in turn grabbed by Harrison, who along with Butler were riding one heck of an aggressive race. Heading toward the 3 to go mark the field was now back together.
At that mark Daniel Bakurski led, the commentator new he had called the right man in front because two youngster’s baring the same name were yelling COME ON DAD. Bakurski led from Greg Reynolds who was now looking a genuine threat with Beaven and Cook close by. Two out and in a swooping move Russell Eustace shot to the front with Greg Reynolds on his tail and the pair held about a four second break however they were dragged back and a lap out Bakurski and Reynolds took over with Harrison coming again, then not to be outdone Gav Butler somehow had the legs to kick on the back straight but Harrison was closing in with Beaven right on his hammer and these two straightened up in front to fight out the finish with Kieran Harrison looking likely until inch by inch Scott Beaven wore him down to nab him right on the line completing the sprint and the race double to continue Scotty’s great run of success. In finishing second Kieran showed all that he is a rider to follow over the rest of the season. Third went to Tom Cook with Greg Reynolds holding on to fourth place. Gav Butler’s tireless work through the race saw him drift back to mid field.
A massive field of 19 listened intently to Commissaire Sue Helmke giving instructions, making each rider aware of the pitfalls of the course, but also the fact that the Top Grade would be on the track at the same time giving the course a reasonable degree of Difficulty. Whilst on the degree of difficulty spare a thought for the hapless commentator, a big field lots of newish names plenty of similar colours, no wonder he has grey hair, thank heavens for Oliver Wacek and James Mort they were easily identified. The newish or new names to linkup were Georgina Beech, Adrian House, Mark Knowles, Damien Newton, and Jason Smith.
Away through the first lap Warren Elliot led the way from Damien Newton, Idan Piercy and James Mort, bless his Cairns Cycling Kit. Other riders to show out early were Oliver Wacek, Matt Grillo, Mark Knowles and Jason Whiteside. Lap 4 and Demian Bullock joined in however just prior the sprint lap Jason Smith and Matt Grillo pinched a small break, but they were again joined at the top by Demian Bullock and the rest of big field right behind them. Into the Ponzo St Straight lining up for the run in, the colours of Ollie Wacek loomed large with Adrian House and Matt Grillo upside and the pair swept past Oliver to fight out the sprint with Adrian House doing best to defeat Matt Grillo with Oliver Wacek relegated to third. They were followed by Mark Knowles, Andrew Mills and James Mort.
Sprint gone Oliver Wacek, Matt Grillo and Emma Simpson followed by Mel Pryde were the top four. However from lap eleven through to 16 the leader’s jersey passed through several riders including Idan Piercy, Demian Bullock, Andrew Mills and Jason Whiteside who led on the 16th lap from Emma Simpson. From then to the bell saw the lead chop and change with Idan Piercy being joined by Gary Perkins who burst on the scene in for a couple of laps, also prominent were Demian Bullock, Jason Whiteside, Emma Simpson and Matt Grillo. However at the bell the order was Jason Smith, from Matt Grillo, Adrian House, Mark Knowles and The Flying Vet Demian Bullock. The winner appeared to be in that group as they disappeared behind the shed toward Spotto St. The order at the bell was the same order as they swung into the straight, with Jason Smith putting up a brilliant performance holding off Matt Grillo and Adrian House third, next over the line was Mark Knowles and Demian Bullock in a very entertaining C grade race.
The smallest field of the day with only six competitors, however the club welcomed Newcomers Reub Hayes a member of the Waratahs Masters in Sydney, Nick Masasso who has been riding with the Cairns Strava Crew. John Ward only his second ride for the club plus Al Marcic a regular visitor from the Tablelands. Also lining up in the group I’ve dubbed the Warriors was our lone women in the race Danielle Charles who herself has only had a handful of rides.
This grade was eventually dominated after the sprint lap by Nick Masasso and John Ward up till then the group was reasonably compact with Nigel Hales, Reub Hayes and Al Marcic keeping in touch with John Ward and Nick Masasso both of whom were looking extremely comfortable through the early laps. Off the back of that group riding in her own rhythm was Danielle Charles who fast became the Crowd Favourite as she cruised by lap by lap raising applause each time. The lap prior the sprint John Ward and Nick Masasso had shot to a big lead over the rest and had the race to themselves with John Ward taking the honours from Nick Masasso with Al Marcic well back in Third spot. After that it was all Ward and Masasso they were locked together right until the second last lap when Nick pinched a few seconds on John and he led by 6 seconds at the bell and he maintained that margin to the end of the race. So at his first race for the club Nick Masasso convincingly took the race from John Ward third going either Nigel Hales or Reub Hayes.
Not sure about that placing with the transponder down for that race and the Commentator interviewing the A grade winner Tobia Kipper.
However both Nigel and Reub put up solid performances on their first ride for the club. One thing I can report is that DANIELLE CHARLES won the women’s race by a country mile.
HUGE THANKS TO SUE for expertly managing the biggest group of riders thus far this season to all our volunteers who cheerfully managed all the traffic issues, and Julie and Kim for the business side of the racing.
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