ROUND 6, CRITERIUM 2 IN THE SLCC SERIES THE FINALE
The 2017 Skinny Lattes Race Series finished with the second of the criteriums in Victoria Park. This time the SLCC combined with the NCC to share resources, and even though the day was extremely busy, were still able to provide the quality of event expected from SLCC Series for women specific racing.
Beautiful weather and the professional commentating of Graeme Zucker provided the backdrop for exciting racing across all grades. With this final event determining the overall series placings in each grade, the Overall Series winner and the Most Improved Rider awards.
Race officials again decided to mass start C & D Grades and A & B Grades which provided plenty of action on the track and bigger fields for riders to work with.
C & D Grades were off first with two women pinning on a number for the first time, and appreciating the opportunity to race in D Grade. Andrea and Gabrielle embraced the experience which saw Gabrielle taking the D Grade win over season riders. The close battle between Sharleen, Alison K and Heather W who had raced together all series, continued.
Eight strong starters in C Grade made for some fast laps and the riders worked well together jostling for position with Rachel Goud leading a breakaway early on which was slowly reined in. Great stuff to watch Rachel. Emerging young rider Fern Davies also broke away just past the last lap bell and we watched her pull away in the distance and manage to maintain that lead with Rach G, Rach T, Emma T and Helen Luu closing in and sprinting in a tight finish.
The juniors were next, a well organised and very similar skill set meant these girls were flying – especially on the finishing straight, a really hard battle on each lap and finishing in a sprinting group.
Then it was the A & B Grades. A big group of riders sought protection in the bunch as they faced the strong winds heading down the back straight. The early laps saw a bunch of four breaking away, with Stacey Reidel and Sophie Edwards doing their best to bridge the gap to the winning group. Maddy Steele showed strong form throwing in plenty of attacks in the main bunch, however the breakaway stayed to see Chloe Moran take out line honours followed by Maeve Moroney-Plouffe, Dani McKinnirey and Eloise Vaughan for fourth. Christine Page proved too strong in B Grade, hanging on for the win with Nat Morgan second.