Good field of cyclists enjoy full and varied program in bad weather

A good field of cyclists enjoyed a full and varied program at the Velodrome on Friday night, even if the conditions were less than ideal.
Nanjing Night Net

There was a strong, cold and at times gusty southerly making it difficult as riders rounded the western bank into the head wind.

It was good to see both Keith Gibbons (seniors) and Jonah Mislov (juniors) out on the track for the first time this season.

The opening event, the senior A grade 15 lap heart starter, saw the riders juggling for positions with three laps remaining, which is a bit earlier than usual and Sam Campbell retiring two laps before hand, leaving six riders to contest the sprint.

It was at this stage that Kelvin Rohrlach made his move from three back, lifting the pace and taking the lead but he may have begun a bit too soon.

It was Jai Sutton leading Rhyse Carpenter and Connor Margaritis on the bell pulling away from Sean Larsen, Lucas Hoffman and Kelvin Rohrlach, Margaritis taking out the event from Sutton, Carpenter, Rohrlach, Larsen and Hoffman.

All of the riders were together at the beginning of the final lap of the combined Silver Foxes/B grade 12 lap, with Peter Werner, Keith Gibbons, Adam Prater and Brett Harvey hot on the wheel of Robert Pollard as the sprint began.

Unfortunately Pollard could not hold the lead for the whole distance, Gibbons the winner just ahead of Werner, Prater, Pollard and Harvey.

In the junior 10 lap race, the A grade riders plus Jonah Mislov pulled away slightly from B graders Dylan Stanton, Amalia Evans, Cooper Jacobs and Daniel Margaritis after six laps as the pace began to lift.

Stanton struggled a bit to maintain the speed, but the rest of the B graders managed to bridge the gap to the lead bunch in the next two laps and it was Leigh Hoffman and Corey Gibbons in a battle during the final lap for first place.

Gibbons had his wheel slightly in front of Hoffman as they crossed the line followed by Jacobs, Evans, Leroy Risborg, Harry Chen, Mislov, Margaritis and Stanton.

A welcomed addition to the program this week was a Keirin, where riders are paced behind a motorbike until the final lap and a half when the bike pulls off the track and the riders sprint for the line.

As the bike pulled off the track in the senior eight lap Keirin, Larsen, Sutton, Margaritis and Hoffman all went up to the top of the track and completed almost a lap close to the fence before using the bank to gain momentum before moving the track to begin the sprint for the line.

It was Margaritis who was first to the finish ahead of Sutton, Larsen and Lucas Hoffman, while Gibbons took out the combined silver foxes and B grade event from Werner, Prater and Harvey.

The juniors had a six lap Keirin, something many of them experienced for the first time with Leigh Hoffman fastest in the sprint of the A grade event to be first followed by Gibbons, Risborg and Chen.

Some of the junior B grade riders made it harder for themselves by not sitting close to the wheel in front of them and so riding into the wind, but next time all are sure to remember this valuable lesson.

Mislov took out the event with Jacobs, Evans, Stanton and Margaritis not far behind him.

The handicapper was kept on his toes this week making adjustments after each round of minis races, as these riders become more confident riding around the track and fitter.

Tyson Blackwell, Lachalan Pickert, Brayden Lee, Cody Risborg, Sebastian Hubner, Ewan Landman, and Will Thompson rode well in group A, while group B consisted of Jai Azzopardi, Charlie Hubner, Isaac Pickert, Kane Azzopardi, Elisha Hubner, and Caitlin Pickert.

The handicapper was interested in the results of the junior four lap handicap and senior six lap handicap to finalise the start positions in the Lynn Peters Memorial Junior wheel race and the open wheel race which will be held during next Saturday’s Whyalla Track Carnival, racing starting at 5pm.

JUNIORS: Juniors riders Leigh Hoffman, Corey Gibbons, Daniel Margaritis, Leroy Risborg, Harry Chen, Jonah Mislov, Dylan Stanton, Amalia Evans and Cooper Jacobs almost in single file around the track during a race on Friday night.

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