SKCC are rapt to have Bike Force on board for this awesome series.

It was yet another big week down at SKCC with Race 3 of the Bike Force Points Series Races which is one of the most hotly contested series on the SKCC calendar. Thanks to Bike Force the prizes and prize money for both men and women is huge.

A Grade men got off to a flyer and as soon as the neutral lap was over it was single file and a world of pain. The nasty hot head wind down the back straight didn’t deter anyone from attacking and you could sense from the early going a break was going to get away.

Reece Gillett was very aggressive and active early and was determined to get a break going as too was Nick Bensley (Sole Devotion). The Drapac Porsche boys were out in full force to help Patrick Drapac build on his points lead. Rico Rogers was being watched and can never be let to go into a break but the big talk of the town was that all 3 Walker brothers were racing together – Will, Johnnie and Nick and all for different teams but surely brotherly love would prevail.

Charles Howlett and Reece Gillett in the break & driving hard.

Malachi Moxon (Sole Devotion) who surprisingly celebrates his 50thbirthday this week showed the legs and aggression of a 21 year old and was always patrolling near the front of the bunch and marking attacks for his team mate. Team mate Jarrad Lory-Smith made a return to racing and didn’t look out of step and showed why when 100% he will be a force to be reckoned with.

When a break finally formed and Will Walker missed it he worked tirelessly to get something going to help get across however not everyone shares his amazing strength or talent and his chase was often left short. In the end pure persistence and help from his new Drapac teammates helped Will get across to the break with young star Eric Shepard.

There’s more to life than cycling for this young fella

Nick Bensley continued to work hard in the break that saw Will and Nick Walker, Eric Shepard and Rico Rogers. Nicks Sole Devotion teammates sat on or near the front content for the gap to get bigger. In the end Will Walker and Eric Shepard attacked the break with 2 laps to go and managed to hold their breakaway counterparts off with Will taking the win easily ahead of Shepard. Brother Nick took out the sprint for 3rdjust in front of Rico Rogers with the hard working Nick Bensley 5th.

Will Walker – Will he be a superstar again?

In Women’s A Grade the heat and wind were up for Round 3 of the Bike Force point’s series race, but that didn’t stop the almost 20 starters from putting on a good show. All the top contenders for the overall series were on the line –most notably the SKCC Club Champ who had earlier that morning proclaimed for the girls of SKCC to ‘look out, I’ve got my Mojo back!’ And so she did.. There was rarely a move that didn’t have J Mac on the wheel within seconds.

Everyone loves racing at the best Sunday Crits in the World

The stiff wind around the back of the course combined with the frequent attacks was causing some to fall off the pace, but not until they’d done their work for the team. Justyna (SKCC/Giant) was active as usual, as was Clare ‘The Potato’ Dallat (BSS/Torq). In only their 2ndA grade races both Claire ‘WWVD’ Homsey (Becoz) and Kellie Mathers (Total Rush) were mixing it up the front, helping to close gaps and set the pace.

Justyna driving the bunch hard with Nicole, Amy and Carly all waiting to pounce

However it wouldn’t be a race without the resident Goddess of Thunder Nicole Whitburn (Liv/Giant) making her presence felt, and the most threatening move of the day went with just over 10 minutes of racing to go. Nicole combined with Jenny Machpherson (Rapido Cycles) and Carly Williams (Total Rush), with SKCC/Giant rider Madi Pape close to making contact but not quite getting there. This sent the SKCC girls to the front to bring back the break a couple of laps later, and immediately a counter attack came from Amy ‘Noodle’ Bradley (Total Rush). Joining her were again Jenny and Nicole, and the 3 stayed away until the whistle for the $100 Bike Force Gift Voucher Prime was called. Jenny took the Prime the following lap, and the trio were joined by Justyna. The break was reeled in shortly after and it was apparent the race would come down to the usual Bunch Sprint.

It was all smiles after an awesome performance

In the final lap, SKCC were clearly looking to set up their sprinter Grace Phang, and Justyna charged to the front to provide the ultimate Renshaw leadout. Unfortunately for them it was J Mac and Nicole on her wheel who benefited from the lift in pace. Reversing the results from the first race in the series, Nicole took the win with an impressive sprint over Jenny Macpherson.

Men’s B Grade was an interesting affair that saw the highlight of Carly Williams go off the front on her own in horrible conditions only to have no boys strong enough to go with her. The Canard boys were out in force as always as too the Bike Force boys keen to represent in their sponsored race.

Bill and Matt Gordon with Heath Jackson before the start of Men’s A

Stephen Mayes (Planex / Bike Force) and Gareth Knight were busy throughout the race and worked hard. Samuel Heslop, Sam Watson and Christian Varney looked strong and dangerous. Leigh Atkins recovered well from his fine for SHV (Sock Height Violation) the day before on the Hell ride and rode well and only faded at the end.

Liz and Kat – The friendliest reg desk operators in the world.

On the bell lap the field was single file for the first 25 positions and the pace was on and if you weren’t near the front you had no chance of moving up. All eyes were fixed all former sprint king Eddie “it’s not like the old days” Wilson who was tucked in nicely in 5thwheel.

Coming around the final corner the pace was furious and the sprint was explosive. Chris Smith did enough to hold the howling wolves at bay as he took a really impressive win ahead of Peter Howard with Nick Mifsud 3rdand Hamish Taylor 4thwith Eddie “It’s not like the old days” Wilson left to ponder what was going to be in 5th.

The Canard boys put in another top performance & are starting to be the kings in B Grade

Women’s B Grade had all eyes on Bike Force points leader Lysiane Belton (TFM) as she was the one to watch. Fiona Neuwirth who is slowly building and is looking more and more dangerous every week had other ideas on her mind. Today was billed the battle between Lysiane and Fiona as both are powerful sprinters. Lysiane was in trouble early after only having 2 hours sleep on Saturday night which made her task even more horrendous.

Danielle Ahern was the dark horse and was being marked every time she went off the front. In the end it was a sprint finish that saw the classy Andrea Frankpitt take a strong win ahead of the consistent Kaylene Charponiere 2ndwith Danillle Ahern 3rdthe fast finishing Fiona Neuwirth 4thand Michelle McMahon 5th.

All the D Grade Winners

Men’s C Grade saw the return of a trim and fit looking Costa Chronis and he didn’t disappoint. Costa was in every break and worked tirelessly all day. Jeremy Tyzack, Angus Thomson and James McPherson all looked good at certain stages in the race. The dangerous pair of Shaun Sutcliffe and Ash Abdou (TFM) always needed to be kept in check as they have the capacity to get away and lap the field.

The final sprint to the line saw Brent Woodlock pull out a sensational sprint to take the win ahead of Michael Sneyd who put in a monster effort on the back straight, 3rdwas crowd favourite Ash Abdou with Paul Aulakh 4thand big hitter Shaun Sutcliffe 5th.

E Grade was a great race that saw JK take his first win

Women’s C Grade had a fantastic field that saw some great individual efforts from Libby Williams, Helen Franklin, Megan Gillmer and Julie Jackson. With all the girls heavily marking each other it was always going to come down to a big sprint finish. Nicole Schneller handled the windy conditions best and timed her run to the line to perfection to take the win ahead of a gutsy Bianca Pickett.

All Class – Nick Bensley was flying on Sunday (note the impeccable sock height)

Men’s D Grade was the best race of the day that saw a tough breakaway have the guts to have a go and have the strength to work together and stay away. The huge crowd was going ballistic and cheering them on to keep pushing and stay away.  The break of 6 built up a lead of over 40 seconds coming into the bell lap. Chris McKay’s chances of another podium were blown when he missed the break and then lost lead out man Peter Thomson in a crash.

Cam McDonald (Bike Gallery) attacking with Malachi Moxon (Sole Devotion) marking the move

Coming into the last half of the final lap the break exploded and unfortunately for crowd favourite and young gun star rider Adam McGillivray he had a mechanical and lost contact with the sprinting group, Adam made up ground but lost too much to close down the big gap. In the sprint to the line Lachlan Brown pulled off a fabulous and well deserved victory getting the win ahead of the clever Kohler Preben with the tough Michael Rousch 3rd.

Men’s E Grade saw 11 tough riders venture out into the windy conditions to all have a shot at glory. Samuel Byrne (Planex) whose form is building week by week was looking the goods early. Andrew Cripps, Justin Karpiuk (TFM) and Alix Muir-Smith all pushed hard on the front.

Its compulsory to smile when down at SKCC 🙂

In the end it Justin Karpiuk (TFM) who threw the dice first and went early into the wind and his courage paid off. Justin came out of the final corner first and no other rider had the speed to go with Justin as he increased his lead and smashed the field to take out his first of many wins. Justin will go to D Grade next week where he will already start as one of the favourites.

Thanks to Bike Force for coming to the party big time with all the prizes.

Thanks to Adrian Vlok for the pictures and this great video

Skinsuit Sunday – Lee “Hollywood” Turner & Jarrad Lory-Smith