Despite a slightly shaky start in 2017, 2018 saw Cat 2 Master’s line up with the biggest contingent of riders. The field had some considerable depth, and the racing was fast and frantic. The series finale at Saint Clair saw attacks came thick and fast from the start, with many riders succumbing to the pace on the technical circuit.
The man to watch for the whole series had been Tom Baxter, who was supported ably by his team/club (Norwood Cycling Club), who had arguably the most depth of all the teams. But Baxter wasn’t the only rider to watch. Baxter’s nemesis in the series, Gareth Davies, was also a strong contender, with a background in Mountain Biking, Davies (Team Envirosport-FIIG team), had shown his prowess on technical circuits after taking the win at the extended Victoria Park Circuit. Davies was also the only rider in touching distance of Baxter going into the round, but he’d need everything to go his way to overtake Baxter in the overall.
Unfortunately for Davies, Baxter’s NCC teammates made sure that he was in the right place at the right time, delivering Baxter to the line in the perfect position. Gareth would again have to settle for second and Shawn Kasbergen (NCC) held on for second after dropping Baxter off in the best possible position. This podium would reflect the overall podium, with Baxter ending up 14 points clear of Davies. Based on the efforts of Baxter and Kasbergen, finished comfortably ahead in the team’s classification.
NCC’s main club rival in PACC was a new entrant into the Master’s Class after entering three teams into the Women’s Cat 2 series in 2017. They weren’t going to let NCC have all the glory, with Kristian Didyk taking a comfortable victory in the Sprint Classification. Phillip Cartledge of Team Envirosport-FIIG came a distant second, with Team Scyon’s Anthony Meade just a few points behind in third.
Cartledge also rolled second in the 050’s classification. Fortunately for Envirosport-FIIG, it was Cartledge’s teammate Bryan McIntyre who took the classification out in a successful year which also saw him take the win at Norwood Cycling Club’s Berri Hotel Tour of the Riverland. PowerOn’s Anthony Wagner came home in third in the classification, largely based off a successful Copper Coast Cup.