After nine rounds of close racing, the final round of the 2017 Super Series was held at St Clair. The Corsa dello Stivale (“Course of the Boot”) took riders on a technical and twisting route around the AV Jennings Community. Some of the competitions were already decided, but most were going down to the wire with several lead changes on the cards.
Category Two Masters
Racing Kicked off with the Category Two Masters. A new category for 2017, the riders were excited to get on the course for the first time. The series was clearly being dominated by the new ADX Depot team. After controlling the early part of the series, Brad-lee Bennett had given up the lead to his teammate, Todd Rolton, in the round prior. Rolton who was in dominant form had already sewn up the sprint classification in what was a clinical display. However, it would be Nick Chabrel who would ultimately show his class, breaking through for his first win of the series. After making two podium appearances already in the series, Chabrel powered away to take the win, and in doing so overtook his teammate Bennett and moved up to second overall for the series.
It wasn’t a complete domination from the day’s proceedings by ADX, with Anthony Mead of Team Scyon taking the most Aggressive rider. In the Over 50’s Classification, Tony Wagner of Power On-Resonate Acoustics held off a charging Bryan McIntyre to hold onto the classification, after South Coast Cycling Club’s McIntyre scored points in the Classification all of the last three rounds.
Category Two Women
A booming category Two Women saw some of the most contested racing of the day. The Over 50’s, Sprint and Young Riders classifications were almost all completely wrapped up, but the overall GC was going to come down to the wire. The two main protagonists of the series Emily Hill (Butterfields Focus) and Hannah Seeliger (State Development) were locked in a tight tussle. With two laps to go Hill went on the attack, charging off the front of the bunch. However, it wasn’t to be. With a bunch of riders hungry to take something out the series they never let Hill get far, and it was Seeliger’s teammate Chelsea Holmes who slipped off the front of the bunch to take a comfortable victory
Joining her on the podium was Annoushka Sathianathan (PACC Silver) and Seeliger’s third teammate Staci McCudden. This move pushed Sathianathan up to second overall with Hill slipping to third. Hill would receive a consolation prize, taking the Overall Sprint honours. Sathianathan would claim the Master’s Category to go with her second place after a hard-fought battle with Bronwyn Dolman (PACC Black). Margaret Easson (PACC Silver) was a clear winner in the Master’s O50 Competition, claiming maximum points in five of the eight rounds. Seeliger would take home the Overall and the Young Rider’s Classification making for a very successful series for the promising rider.
Category Two Men
After taking the Scody Leaders Jersey after Round Two’s TT Hill Climb, it was always going to be Harry Askew’s (State Development Red) Series to lose. The talented allrounder established an early buffer in the series, and it had taken considerable effort by Mark Samson and his Gravier CC X Spin Cycle Clothing team to try and close the gap. Heading into the final round, Askew maintained a handy eight-point buffer, but he would need to be on the top of his game if he wanted to hold this lead.
The racing was some of the most intense of the day, with a large proportion of the field not managing to keep pace with the racing. In the end, Russell Christie Taylor, riding as an individual, stole the show riding away from the bunch to take a well-earned victory. Askew continued his run and came home a strong second, with Samson following him home in third.
Overall, they were joined by Frank Smith in third place (Norwood Cycling Club) who had ridden very consistently through the series only missing points in Round 2’s Hill Climb. Askew cleaned up both the Young Riders Classification and the Sprint Classification, and will no doubt be of interest to all Elite Teams looking to recruit riders for the 2018 series.
Cat One Masters
The Category One Masters series had become a three-horse race. The Lightsview duo of Tim Decker and Cameron Speares were battling against Keystone Cycling’s Phil Dixon for overall honours. All three riders sowing that consistency was key, as all three had been in the top 10 for every round.
This race continued the theatrics seen over the proceeding rounds.
The series main aggressors – Jarrod Currie (Bicycle-Express BMW) and Tom Wright (Keystone Cycling) continued with repeated attacks off the front. These were complemented by the equally aggressive Daniel Gale (also of Keystone), and all three looked to put pressure on the main bunch through the technical corners.
It would not be enough, with the bunch staying together coming into the finish. Phill Dixon timed his sprint perfectly, even allowing space for a victory salute as he soared across the line. It would not be enough to overtake series leader Decker who joined him on the podium in third place behind Lightsview teammate McKessor. 2016 series winner Spears claimed third place overall. The 050’s classification was claimed comfortably by BE-BMW’s Michael Davies.
With the dominant SASI team unable to attend Round 10 due to track commitments, it was the perfect opportunity for other riders to pounce. Breanna Hargrave after only just regaining the leader’s jersey, and holder of the masters, and sprint classification, could do little but hope that things would fall her way in her absence.
This was not going to be the case. Madeline Steele (Butterfields Focus) was in touching distance of the sprinters classification. Five points behind and with a maximum of six points on offer, she would need to take the opportunities on offer. Despite Jessica Mundy (Mercedes-Benz Adelaide-Blackchrome) pushing her on both, Steele took the honours in the two sprints, demonstrating the skills she picked up as a former track sprinter, and Claiming the classification over Hargrave in her absence.
Unfortunately for Hargrave it would be a similar story in the overall classification. This time she would fall from first to third, with Jessica Mundy claiming the series after placing second on the stage. This makes back to back wins for Mundy after taking out the 2016 series. Hargrave was also passed by Victoria Veitch, who came in with a crafty third on the stage, and making it a 1-2 for MBA-Blackchrome.
The stage honours would go to Jenny Macpherson, with a well-executed move. MacPherson, riding for Ventou Cycling Team, is also a CSA development coach, showing that our future stars are in good hands. Hargrave managed to hang onto the Masters Classification, and her teammate Maeve Plouffe took a comfortable victory in the young rider’s classification 10 points clear of her next closest competitor.
With the dominant Mitchelton Scott also on track duties, a real opportunity for other teams to step up was on offer. The Overall, Young Riders and Sprint Classification were all out of touch, with Sam Welsford taking the first two, and Jordan Kerby the Sprint. This meant that the focus of the day’s event was purely on the Round Win.
Chris Harper of Isowhey-SwissWellness had no intention of waiting for a bunch sprint, or anyone else for that matter, as he set off on a lone mission to take the stage win. This approach saw him take both of the intermediate sprints, but an organised bunch was never going to let him stay away. Harper was awarded Most Aggressive as a consolation but would come up well short of the line.
The attention then turned to those with fresh legs. There were several riders to watch. Chris Luxton (Lightsview Cycling) had shown his skill and strength already after taking out the two-previous technical criteriums in the series. With a strong placing, he’d be in a position to move up in the overall standings into second place. Also in contention was Jack Sutton, Sutton placed second overall in the 2016 series and was making his first appearance in 2017 after a busy national and international race schedule. Sutton broke away with Edmondson in the dying minutes of the crit. Edmondson, who rides professionally with Orica-Scott, was everyone’s favourite for the stage, and he duly delivered overcoming Sutton in the last 100m to take the win. Luxton did enough coming in 9th to move up one step on the podium.
Cycling South Australia would like to acknowledge AV Jennings, and the Saint Clair Community for hosting our event in what is quickly becoming a rider favourite.
We are already busy planning for the 2018 Series. The 10th Anniversary Series will be bigger and more exciting than ever, and we look forward to seeing you all there!