Thursday, November 3, 2011


Photos via CSA by Chameleon Photography

Congrats to Frank Smith who pulled off an excellent win in B- Grade on Tuesday night, in fact his win was so good that he beat the A-grade boys too. Well done to Steve Walker on a third place in D-grade, and a bit of bad luck to Sam Webb with a stack in the same race after someone went down in front of him
Full story after the break...

So for some reason, despite the fact that the A-graders and B-graders race together. When a B-grader wins no acknowledgement is given for winning A-grade. This was found out last year when another of the BG elite, Shawn Kasbergen took out the race, and might I mention, beat home Korean and Asian champion Sanghoon Park.

Anyway back to Frank's victory....
Many of the B-grade boys had been complaining about the defensive tactics so far this crit season. That all changed on Tuesday night, when they were combined with the A-graders. As usual, Frank and Shaun played cat and mouse throughout the race, regularly doing work at the front of the pack with both somewhere in the middle of the pack coming down the straight for the second to last time.

Frank made his move near the toilet block (not for the first time I hear you say??) and surged towards the front of the group by the last corner, leaving him with the need to hold on the sprint which is currently over 400m. Frank held on for his first win of the season, and no doubt a move up to A-grade.

Given it was Melbourne Cup the only other grade with BG racing was D-grade, after my win in E-grade on Sunday I was bumped straight up to D's (cheers for the write up Frank!) meaning we had a strong contingent of 4 BG's in the race, with our 5th (AT) no doubt leading the way at the Maid and Magpie!
The remaining contingent of Sam Webb, Steve Walker, and Brian Virgo all did an excellent job of telling me I'd be fine, despite that, I still felt even more nervous than my first e-grade outing last year. This was not helped when Brian went down at 0kmh in the warm up.

For me, the race started at a hectic pace. (up about 5km from E's) However, after about 3 laps I settled in to the pace and hung on between the middle and the rear of the group. Sadly, as I began to get comfortable I heard an almighty shriek followed by the vision of a bike going sideways as a girl hit the deck hard taking out two other riders including the unlucky Sam. This time around I waited for all bikes to stop before getting past and back on to the group.

The race continued to surge every second lap or so, but with a strong headwind the pace was always comfortable, heading into the final corner Steve Walker got in to good position for the final straight and managed to get his first podium finish for the year with a very solid third place.

Well done all, and better luck next week Sam!! The racing starts at 5:45pm and now that it is on Tuesday nights should provide for more consistent groups, so if any of the other BG's were thinking about heading out now is as good a time as any. AW

B GRADE (& A-Grade)
1 Frank Smith

2 Andrew Clarkson
3 Craig Yates
4 Joshua Blake
5 Sam Opperman

1 Richard Lam
2 Mike Craig
3 Steve Walker

4 Jon Blank
5 Matthew Double