Friday night had riders and spectators having the first taste of autumn evenings as the club ran the 2021 track titles. There was a good roll up of riders and spectators and plenty of encouragement for riders. The riders have all made improvements to their skills over the season and for some riders it has been quite a journey of self-discovery.
The track title placings are based on a points aggregate over three events – a time trial, sprint and scratch race. The time trial was increased from 400m to 500m so that riders can get a marker to compare with other riders around the state. However, before the riders settled into the title competition, they were given a warm up scratch race. In the A Grade 6 lap race, Fletcher Hill had a clear win from Ethan Davis and Ryder Evans. In the B grade 4 lap scratch race, Zac Evans took the win ahead of Ryan Beggs and Kate Geary. Kate was having her first night back after a doctor ordered lay-off so it was pleasing to have her back.
Onto the title events, run in age groupings of Under 17 and Under 15. In the Under 17, the first surprise of the night was Ethan Davis quickest in 43.51, ahead of Fletcher Hill 44.07, Oscar Davis 44.34sec and Renee Hardacre in 54.13sec. In the Under 15 group, Ryder Evans posted a 46.77 sec time to be quickest. Then came Zac Evans 51.57sc, Kate Geary 53.06 sec, Ryan Beggs 56.57sec and Bastian Jefferies at 62.24sec.
The next event was the sprint racing with riders ceded into heats based upon the time trial results. The first round was basically a semi final round with riders having a best out of three competition. For the Under 17 group, Ethan Davis was having a blinder taking out the event from Fletcher, Oscar and Renee. In the Under 15 group, Ryder Evans was the dominant rider winning from Zac Evans whilst Kate Geary won the dash for third place.
Moving into the scratch race round, the Under 17 section had Ethan with 2 wins and hands on the gold medal. He only needed to secure a third place to be the champion. The riders had an 8 lap race and at the bell Fletcher Hill moved through to lead the riders home. Ethan was glued to his wheel and as he had done in the sprints managed to find the speed to come over the top in the dash to the line and complete a stunning effort. Fletcher came home in second and secured the silver medal whilst Oscar took care of the bronze.
In the Under 15 group, it was a similar scenario for Ryder. Zac needed to win and Ryan needed to score at least a second to have a chance of grabbing the bronze medal. With the race over 5 laps Ryder moved clear with 1.5 laps to go and raced home a clear winner and taking the gold medal. Zac finished second to collect the silver. Ryan surged home with a great turn of speed to grab 3rd in the event however that left him with 4 points to Kate on 5 points so Kate secured the bronze medal.
Next week the club will finish track season on Friday night with racing followed by a BBQ. On Saturday, March 13, the club will run the first road race with riders assembling at the Outtrim Reserve at 1.30pm. All the seniors who have been missing the competitive urge can come out of hibernation and saddle up.