Ring Race Reporter, Glenn Te Raki covers off on Round 12 and the finale of the Ring Summer Criterium Series.

On Sunday the 26th we had the last round of the Ring down in Pinjarra. It looked like it was going to be a rough day; weather conditions weren’t looking so good and certainly as we arrived to set up in the morning the rain was still challenging but as we got underway things started to clear up. It was still very blustery throughout the day but things were looking up.

The first race of the day was the under 13 junior riders, who raced 15 minutes plus one lap. We saw Keegan Dring, Ashton Sime, Joshua Trinne, Jordan Williams, Rusty Wisewood and Isabella Commons racing. It wasn’t long before there was a split in the field, Ashton Sime the winner of the previous 7 events was away with Jordan Williams and Isabella Commons. The three of them continued to contest throughout the 15 minutes, it came down to a final sprint but Ashton Sime was just far too strong. Jordan Williams was able to get over the top of Isabella Commons and there was a small gap to Rusty Wisewood. Really good racing there in the under 13s, Ashton Sime completely cleaned up the overall point series.

Men’s E grade came down to just 3 riders. Mark Dring was the strongest rider of the 3 with a clear win by approximately 30 or 40 seconds over Mike Madsen and in third position was Simon Stolton. Mike Madsen was able to clean up the overall series. So once again good riding there by him.

Then we moved onto the Men’s D, this event was always going to be a very tough race. It had the series leader Richard Reeves leading Ja-Yang Yen, Richard Reeves had to place in the top 5 to secure the points to take the series. The race was marred early on by some mechanical issues for Ja-Yang Yen the overall second place rider. He had some mechanical issues, which meant that his team was a little late off the start line and continued to chase for the first 5 minutes of racing. The race was 20 minutes plus 2 extra laps, as they settled in the Champion Lakes Team of Ja-Yang Yen, Nicholas Tan, Ben Walkerden etal. were able to take control of the race. We had a couple of little attacks off the front, Joshua Commons and Robert Commons were both very aggressive throughout the day but it came down a final sprint. Luke Colum was the winner and Ja-Yang Yen was able to grab second position and build some points, Nicholas Tan was third over the line and Richard Reeves fourth. With the fourth place finish Richard was able to stay on top of Ja-Yang Yen in the series points and won the overall event.

Now we move onto the Women’s C grade and Women’s D grade. Women’s C grade had a really strong field of over 13 riders, which is one of the strongest we have seen. It was always going to come down to a bunch sprint because the wind was so strong it didn’t allow anyone to break away. Kyla Gilbertson was just far too strong on the finish for the other riders. Caroline Crow raced into second position, she was strong throughout the day, and each time around she was leading, very strong riding from her. Megan Stalker was another rider who was prominent throughout the day but Kyla Gilbertson too quick in the finish, she won the sprint from Caroline Crow, Emily Wiggins in third and Megan Stalker in fourth. So great ride there from all the women in C grade. Women’s D grade was quite controlled throughout the day with just 3 riders. Heather Connan played a great role there to keep an eye on the girls to make sure they were doing everything right, lapping out, swapping turns just enjoying the day. It was Anne Boyle who was too strong on the day, Anne Boyle and Heather Connan were able to put a little gap to the third place rider Harriet Newsome and that’s how they finished for the day. Anne Boyle first, Heather Connan second and Harriet Newsome in third position.

Woman’s B grade, Laura Hodges has been in outstanding form over the last 4 or 5 weeks of racing since she’s been back from the track nationals and she was far too strong on the day. The wind was strong, the conditions tough and those conditions play right into Laura’s hand. She was able to get a solo break away about half way through the 30-minute event, she held onto this solo break away for about 3 to 4 laps but she was pulled back in by the two girls who were chasing her, Danica Wiggins and Dharlia Haines. Soon as they came back together, Laura attacked again and this time was able to get a 200m gap on the two other riders. She held this lead and was able to win that event solo, Danica Wiggins was able to out sprint Dharlia Haines for second and third position with a small gap back to Megan Gammie in fourth place.

Men’s C grade was another race that saw some really good riding and was always going to come down to the line. Shane Epiha was one of the very strong riders, Jay Lindoff rode extremely well but again very difficult to get away with the difficult conditions, in the middle of the morning it became really blustery so there was really no option for break aways. William Celis was the fastest on the day, he got a small break coming into the bottom corner and he was able to race away to win the sprint from Simon Breheny, Jethro Nagle, Adrian Berthelsen and Kurt Harmer. Simon Breheny was the favourite but he was just beaten on the day, William Celis was just far too quick. Simon went on to win the overall series and Jethro Nagle third place result put him into second place overall.

Really fast racing in the men’s B Grade. We were getting up to around 45km per hour on average and it was a really strong field. We had Conner Sherwin doing a lot of attacking, James Ismail was great, Ben Hastie always races really hard and James McWatt was doing a great job in there as well, he was looking after his team partner Daniel Smith who was sitting second overall. It came down to a final sprint like it had for most of the day and it was a really strong bunch of just under 30 riders who all contested the final sprint but it was Daniel Smith who really showed a clean pair of heels with a very strong final 200m he was able to take the win. Aron Barclay who was the overall season winner placed in second position and another solid finish from Daniel Trinne saw him take out third spot. The experienced Doug Stewart held onto fourth position from the young Peel Districts junior rider Jordan Dawson. So Daniel Smith, Aaron Barclay and Daniel Trinne were the top 3 on the podium.

Woman’s A grade was a strange race; we only had 6 riders start the day. Unfortunately there was an accident on the first corner, where one of the newer riders who wasn’t quite sure of the course took the first exit incorrectly and took out the front wheel of our series leader Melissa Robinson. Melissa ended up falling on that first corner and hurting herself quite badly. She had to go to hospital to have plastic surgery on her chin, so not a great way to finish the series for Melissa Robinson. Melissa was able to maintain the overall lead in the series even without finishing on the day, she had enough points to maintain her lead from the young rider Emily Mascaro who wasn’t there on the day. So the race came down to five riders and as we expected the strength of the Holden racing team rider Erin Kinnealy was just too strong. She was able to solo away from the main bunch and ride to an outstanding win around a minute in front of the chasing riders. 3 chasing riders, 2 riders from the BikeBookings.com team, Jade Haines and Corrie Fillemore they worked well together with Veris rider Erin Nolan, the 3 of those girls lapped it out but very evident that they were never going to pull Erin Kinnealy back. The race was shortened to 30 minutes plus two laps and Erin Kinnealy had an outstanding win ahead of Jade Haines, Jade sprinted in for second place, followed by Corrie Fillemore and Erin Nolan in fourth.

Men’s A grade, wow what a race. It was 11 in the morning and the wind was so blustery, it was an extremely tough day our there on the bike for all the riders. Consistent attacks Bryce Lanigan who was sitting third overall, he was very active during the race. We were always going to be keeping an eye on Stephen Hall and some of the other key guys, Bryce Lanigan as I said earlier; Theo Yates was always going to be pretty consistent. But as the race got on there was an attack that went off the front, Timothy Sellar rode solo for a couple of laps, got himself a gap of 15 or so seconds from the main group. There was a great bridging of that gap by Ryan Millar who rides for the Oral 7 GDT team, he was able to get across to Timothy and the two riders just lapped it out together. They shared the pace in those blustery conditions, became good allies and were able to hold on, they had a 35 second lead with about 5 minutes of racing to go. In the last 5 minutes of racing we saw a last ditch attempt from Nicholas Graham Dawson. Nick hasn’t raced too many of the Ring series events but is really starting to get some form back. Nick tried to get across the gap to Timothy Sellar and Ryan Millar but with the conditions it was just too tough for him, so he was caught in no mans land in-between the two riders out the front and the peloton. With one lap to go it became really evident that the two riders were going to stay away and Timothy Sellar was just too strong in the end for Ryan Millar, so Timothy took the win with a couple of bike lengths from Ryan Millar. Nicholas Graham Dawson had fantastic ride on his own, he was able to stay away from the peloton and he took third position. It was a super fast finish for fourth position, Theo Yates was able to take that spot and Bryce Lanigan was back in fifth spot. So Stephan Hall retained the overall lead and has won the A grade championship, With Bryce Lanigan in second place and Theo Yates in third.