Becoz bromance – Becoz Captain Lloyd Henrikkson and star rider Richard Smith get up close & personal before the race.

Well if you thought everyone was away at the Tour Down Under and this week’s racing would be easy then you were wrong on both counts. The only thing on holiday was the wind because with the sun shining and the crowds huge it was going to be another massive day for SKCC.

Men’s A Grade had a cracking field led by Floris Goesinnen, Patrick Drapac, Stuart Grimsey (Porsche Drapac), Charles Howlett, Tom Donald, Nick Walker (Search 2 Retain), Johnnie Walker, Tiji Van Der Steeg and Luca Giacomin.

Like every A Grade Race not a minute goes by without an attack and the first break of the day had its first surprise of the day with Hollywood actually finding himself in the break for 5 laps until his wishes of being caught came true as the 3 man breakaway was reeled back in. Search 2 Retain and Porsche Drapac tried to get things going but failed to land the right combination to stick away.

Hayden Kerr (Sole Devotion) & Tom Donald (Search 2 Retain) both worked hard all day. Note Hyden’s sexy Enve wheels.

Thomas Donald (Search 2 Retain) was busy as always, Peter Jones, Neil Robinson (ABOC / Campagnolo), Ross Mueller & Nick Misfud were all active. The Sole Devotion duo of Stuart Hill and Hayden Kerr worked relentlessly all day to establish or get into breaks. Stuart is due to compete in the Iron Man in a couple of months and has been spotted eating Nutri-Grain whilst wearing speedos.

With the bunch on high alert after last week’s lapping and the wind not being a factor it was always going to be hard to get and stay away and so it was to be a bunch sprint yet again.

Floris Goesinnen made his move early down the back straight as the congested bunch surged together there were too many riders going around the last corner and riders sprinting for 20thplace when a couple of riders came together and BOOM down they and a couple others went.  Johnnie Walker who was looking great got taken down from behind and was yelling “what are you doing” as he was falling to the ground. Nick Walker (Search 2 Retain) was so fast he had time to check if his brother was OK on the way through as he sprinted to another impressive win ahead of Patrick Drapac (Porsche Drapac) with Nicolas D’Ambroiso 3rdand Big Aaron Salisbury (Bike Bug) 4th.

Bridie always looking cool, calm and  a million dollars (despite the knicks) 🙂

Women’s A Grade again had a smaller field as many girls were still in Adelaide enjoying the sun, racing and boys. All eyes were on Justyna Lubkowski (SKCC / Giant) due to her strong performance last week. Grace Phang (SKCC/Giant) was determined to do no work and sat last wheel most of the race just counting down the laps until the sprint. Nadine LeMescam (Bicycle Superstore) looked strong and dangerous but with every attack marked it was going to come down to a bunch sprint.

Nicole Justice (Bike Gallery) looked the goods coming into the bell lap however a surprise move came from Northcote CC’s track star Laine Hammond and she stole the show with a beautifully timed win ahead of Grace Phang. If you are a girl and you are serious then you need to be down at SKCC next week for the massive Neo Metro / Beller Women’s Feature Race that will be at a special time with extra prize money.

Men’s B Grade saw the continued emergence of the new Canard team and the battle for supremacy with Becoz. Becoz big hitter Richard Smith was looking the goods early and his form is continuing to grow as he has already won B Grade at Sandown with SVCC and is racing A Grade comfortably there. His time in B Grade is numbered at SKCC.

Becoz Captain Lloyd Henriksson is always a strong and dangerous rider and must be watched at all times. Andrew Verduci and Samuel Heslop both looked strong throughout the race. Bike Force’s big two Stephen Mayes and Dave Phiilips were always menacing and Dave gave the crowd his usual “TV turn” off the front and looked good for the 3 laps he lasted.

Dave Phillips driving the bunch hard with Richard Smith Becoz hot on his tail with Bridie O’Donnell calling for drinks

In the sprint to the line Alistair Donohoe was too strong as he powered away to win ahead of Tom Russel 2ndand Erik Holt 3rd.
Women’s B Grade saw a great race under the watchful eye of Bridie O’Donnell who volunteered to marshal before she mixed it up with Men’s B Grade.  Alison McCormack (Northside Wheelers / Capo) fresh from her podium last week in Women’s C Grade seemed not to learn anything from the week before and continued to sit on the front and do the bulk of the pace setting. Carolyn Baker looked good and her improvement continues to draw the ire of WADA officials. Fiona Neuwirth was looking like the one with the most left in the tank but a mechanical cost her a chance to finish.

In the dash for the line B Grade star Renee Nutbean got the win over her long-time rival Danielle Ahern with the super-fast finishing Alison McCormack home for 3rd.
Men’s C Grade had all the regular big hitters with Shaun Sutcliffe, Ash Abdou and Chris Dalamagas. There were a few attempted breaks but like most weeks this was going to be a bunch sprint. On the bell lap disaster struck on the back straight with a touch of wheels causing a spill that left everybody scrambling for survival. In the wash-up it was Mitchell Barry for Blackburn CC who got the win against Christopher Dalamagas with James Kent 3rd.

Becoz Captain Lloyd Henrikkson driving the break with loyal big gun teammate Michael Neal close behind
Women’s C Grade saw low numbers but a high standard of racing with the pocket rocket, Brunswick Junior, Sarah Gigante always busy and active. Her early hard work came back to bite her because in the end Nicole Schneller was too strong and powerful as she overcame Sarah to take the win ahead of her.

In Men’s D Grade there were some great battles as Pete Canny continued to look the goods and a win is only around the corner for this all round great guy. E Grade star Marcus Nyeholt had a strong race and Christopher McKay was always pushing to get into a break and found himself in one but confused B with D and sat up thinking he was about to be caught.

There was a nasty crash in D Grade where the rider was lucky to walk away smiling after his Shimano Ultegra derailleur snapped coming out of the final corner and threw him off his bike like a bucking bronco and luckily he only brought himself down as the D Grade marshal nearly ran over the top of him. In the end it was Jonathan Dredge who just got the win ahead of an extremely fast finishing duo of Michael Dredge 2ndwith Michael Rousch 3rd.

Bob the dog enjoying the weather and the day out

E Grade had great numbers again as the guys went through their paces.  Sam Byrne continues to improve and it’s obvious he picked up his Mum’s genes because he can already beat his Dad Bug.  Sam looked great and only came unstuck in the final half of the bell lap. Brendan Moore and Denis Hawkins looked the goods but in the dash to the line Stuart Jones got the win ahead of Nicolas Robinson.

A reminder that next Sunday is going to be huge with the Neo Metro / Beller Women’s Feature Race with revised start times and increased prize money for the Women. Make sure you come down and support the home of Women’s cycling because it’s going to be a great day.

The face says it all. James had a tough day on the bike. It’d be a lot easy with Campagnolo James!

Thanks to Asha again for the great shots!