CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS. NEWS IN BRIEF. A depleted A grade field did not diminsh the specale that was the club championship. It only bolstered the the tenacity of the hardened starters in all Grades
Early efforts from Tiago and Brandon set the scene for what was going to be a tightly contensted event. However, it wasn’t long before a two man break was allowed to inch away, with Bridgewater and Skerke putting their to in the water. What started as a wet track in the morning, deterring some of the club’s more precious riders, presented as perfect conditions for the later morning A grade start. Peter and Bren quickly established an 18 sec lead, before lap by lap second by second edging out to an 45 sec break and the race was well beyond doubt. During this time there was suggestion that there may have been a few ‘team’ orders, not to peg back the gap. With a smaller chasing group, it would be left to only a few able to attempt to real them back in. With 3 laps remaining and Brendon and Peter working brilliantly together, it was a question of who was going to be crowned Club Champ, with the rest of the field left to battle the remaining podium position. Swinging into the straight for the final time, Peter Bridgewater, back from a tremendous showing as the recent National Masters, out duked Brendon Skerke taking the race with Brandon Hutton well back in third spot followed by Lincoln Carolan and Bart Duraj.
Saturday’s ABC with Bluey Forsyth predicted that Scott Beaven, being around the money in recent times, was due to Strike and Strike he did with Scott overpowering Gordonvale youngster Luke Azzarpardi with Mal Lindsay close up in third spot, followed home by Paul Thuesen, Alex Starmer and Nick Loukas. It was a terrific win for the affable Beaven as Scott is never far away in any race he contends.
Russell Eustace threw out a warning to grades above with an outstanding effort to run away with the championship with a comfortable victory over tablelands Merrilynne Pryde or Mel as we know her with Jaime Thurtell and Gary Perkins next in.
This race was being described by the ABC’S commentators as a match race between Tony Nastasi and Michael Etherington. However a disastrous crash on the final corner saw both men bite the dust and finish their morning in the Cairns Base Hospital thankfully with minor injuries. Andrew Mills shortly after his win commented, concerned for his fellow riders that his win was hollow. However the way Andrew was riding he was going to be smack in the action anyway. Second place went to a new rider to the circuit in Idan Piercy and another newcomer in Shane Lawrence finishing third followed by John Petersen and Katie Gelling. Ever the competitors, Michael and Tony were vying for the accolades of who hit the ground first and rumor has it that were seen comparing scars in the hall way of the Base. Both departed with a little DNA but both will be back to contest to new season.
All races and series were carried out in the best of spirits and a testament to all the took part, from participant to the loyal crowd, officials and marshals. The new Criterium calendar is currently being drafted and will be posted on the club media platforms in the coming weeks.