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Round 6 - Jeremy takes the cake, Dino surprizes all

by Carl Brewer last modified 2008-05-29 04:36

Our last race for the season had some predictable results, and one no-one would have picked

Round 6 - Jeremy takes the cake, Dino surprizes all

Dino wins B grade from Mason Austen by the closest of margins

The day started early with the final elite riders match sprints from the deferred (washed out last weekend) Blackburn Club Championships, with Tom Leaper, Jamie Goddard, Jason Plowman and Barry 'The Wizard' Woods contesting the Blackburn sprints, The Wizard took the spoils of that lot, but only Jason Plowman stayed on to race the TSSS.

We had fine weather but a little more wind than forecast, a straight southerly that would make flying 200 times slower than normal, and this was reflected in the times, only one rider able to get into the 12 second slot, an a lot of riders doing high 13's and mid 14's. Unfortunatly we were without regular competitor Fast Eddie Wilson due to an injury, and also Stu 'V-Train' Vaughan had other commitments which meant Big Jeremy was in a class of his own, with our other 3 A grade riders left to fight it out for second and third places.

The big surprize of the day was Dino Apolito. Dino had been consistenly solid in C grade all series, but his flying 200 time today was not only a personal best, but put him as the number one seed in B grade. Other notable performances in qualifying were Karen Wiggins with another PB and first timer Julian Vince, and Mason Austen showed last round was no fluke as he set a great time also to consolidate his B grade standing. The grade split had us with 4 in A grade, 6 in B and 5 in C grade. Neil Robinson was down on form, having ridden a 6 hour MTB enduro race on Saturday and having a very late night chasing computer problems his time put him unexpectedly into C grade.

Racing started off with C, B and A in that order, and to start with there were few surprizes, most races going to flying 200 times except Shane Miller got caught napping in his first race against a keyed up Jason Plowman with Jason reversing a 0.4 second F200 defecit to record a win. Shane perhaps paying for the exertions of a long road race at Lancefield on Saturday. Neil Robinson found his legs after a thorough warmup behind a motorbike during the draw calculations and it looked ominously as though his F200 time was an aberation on the day. We had to grade him on that time though, so C grade it was for Neil. Jeremy took his round easily in A grade, but the big tussles were in B grade, all riders in B with less than 0.5s between them in qualifying. This meant we'd have lots of close finishes, and we did.

Dino held form throughout the rounds, winning his first two contests before going down in the third to a hard charging Dean 'Gags' Gagnon. Gags having a lot of fun in particular when racing Shane Miller though the day's races. Mason Austen had a clean sweep in B grade for the rounds and at the end of the B grade rounds we had to use flying 200 times to sort out the finals, with only Mason clean through in that grade.

In C grade, Neil had found his legs and was riding final 200's at speeds that would have had him very competitve in B grade, to the dismay of the rest of the riders in C, Rob Montheath putting up a good fight for Neil, but like A grade, it was to be a battle for the minor placings come finals-time. Nathan Larkin, still suffering from the after effects of a virus and the pressures of working at a busy local bike shop was able to make it through to the finals to race against Julian Vince, with Karen Wiggins vowing to be back next season faster. Karen rode a tactically great race against Julian but Julian's superior strength in the end too much for Karen, who was perhaps hoping that Jane Barnes would have been able to race today, the two of them having some very close races on Saturday in the Blackburn Club Championships.

In A grade, apart from the seeming inevitability of Big Jeremy taking all the races he was in, the struggle for the minor places was fierce, Adam King proving to be the best of the rest. Adam started racing this series late last year and his progression and improvement has been dramatic, we're expecting big things from him next summer. Adam clearly through to race against Big J for the top place in A grade, while Mick Thomas and Richard Hurley would end up fighting it out for the last spot on the podium.

At the finals, Nathan did his best to keep Julian boxed in but left a hole open and Julian, in his only his third ever match sprint saw a chance and jumped hard, gapping Nathan and Nath never able to pull back the lead, giving Julian third for the day in C grade. The race for first and second between Neil and Rob Montheath was close, but Neil just too fast in the end, and Rob's best effort just not enough this time.

B grade's 3 vs 4 race between Shane 'teh Llama' Miller and Dean 'Gags' Gagnon was ridden in good spirit, the boys poking their tongues out at the photographers early on, but with 300m to go they jumped hard and made a drag race of it, with Shane having the legs on the inside to hold off Gags. Shane taking third for the day.

The big race now was between Dino and Mason. They'd done F200's of 13.95 and 14.04, so less than a tenth of a second between them. They hadn't met in the rounds. Who had the most energy left? Dino had pulled up in the last round against Gags with a twinge in a hamstring, Mason had looked solid all day and been undefeated. Dino had the lead and having learned from a tactical mistake previously against Gags was keeping Mason jammed up against the fence. Dino wanting short and sharp. So it was for almost two whole laps before Mason jumped with around 350m to go, and Dino was on his inside - a long sprint saw them desperately close, and the finish, Dino benefitting from the inside line around the corners ending up ahead by the tightest margin for the day, a tyre and a rim seperated them. The crowd thrilled by the closeness of the result and no-one more surpised at the end of it all than Dino, who was earlier wondering how he'd cope in B grade after riding C all series. Mason too was very pleased, this was his third go at match sprinting and he's got plenty of talent. Watch for him next summer.

In A grade, the tussle for third was taken by a resurgent Richard Hurley, Richard went down to Mick Thomas in a heat, but in the final reversed the result. The race for first between Big J and Adam King was one sided, but Adam pushed the Man-Mountain hard and made him earn his win, Adam's come a long way in a short time and we're expecting that next summer he'll do more than chase Jeremy.

One of the unintended side effects of Dino's B grade grading meant that Jeremy was almost assured of winning the series prize, and this he did, with a clean sweep of the day and fastest flying 200 (adjusted by grade) by a big margin. Jeremy is now the proud owner of a Trek T1 track frame.

At the presentation we had a free BBQ and many riders stayed around to talk of what was and what could have been, and what will be next year. The series over for this summer, but we'll be back, put October 2008 in your diary and come race with us!

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