Cat 1 Reports
In a first for the Super Series, Cycling South Australia was excited to deliver the Mischief Brew Round One at Pakapakanthi as a Points Race. Originally this was met with some trepidation from the riders in all categories, with the tactical challenges and concerns around early season form being the main motivators of concern. Despite the blustery conditions, the end result was very much a success. Hard racing across all six categories meant that we saw some fantastic battles between riders and teams as they all wanted to have a strong start to the series. All grades saw sprints every four laps, with points awarded for the first four riders across the line (5,3,2 & 1) with the last sprint receiving double points.
The local Elite Women’s Field continues to grow, with riders continuing to transition and develop through Cat 2, graduating from Juniors or making the transition from other sports. We are fortunate that we also have access to some of the fastest bike racers in the world, with the Aussie Track Team lining up. The inclusion of this team meant that we had almost half of the field who are either current World or National Champions. It was one of these riders in reigning Masters Scratch Race Champion Gemma Kernich who kicked off the race in a bid to be the first rider on the board. The Butterfield Racing riders attempt though was ultimately futile, as she was hunted down by CA Academy rider (and PACC/SASI Graduate) Maeve Plouffe. Plouffe would consolidate her early lead by taking the second sprint.
It was after the second Sprint that Amy Cure would make her move, setting off to see if she could take a lap on the field. On the track, this isn’t such an achievement with riders only needing to bridge a 250m gap. This time around, Cure would need to cross a 1.2km gap. In an approximately 40km race, this is a considerable effort. In a remarkable ride, cure would manage this, and in the process picked up five full point sprints giving her an unassailable lead, landing Cure with the RoadID Most Aggressive award, and the Scody Leaders Jersey. Plouffe would take the final double points sprint, making her a clear second, and giving her the lead in the Adelaide Bike Fit Young Riders Jersey. Samantha De Riter would take the Chateau Yaldara Classification lead.
A large field took to the start line of the Elite Men’s Field, and although the men’s Aussie Track team wasn’t in attendance, the field was not lacking in class. With some shifting teams since last season, Justin Gassner and Jack Sutton (last year’s first and second) joined each other riding for the rebranded Tonsley Village (formerly Lighstview). Both would feature during the highly animated race, but it would be the Australian Cycling Team Academy riders who would do the early pace-setting. Connor Leahy took the first sprint before Drizners would loop away to take a clear victory in the second.
Midway through the race a large break slipped away with 14 different riders sharing the points, before 2019 series winner Gassner and Butterfields-Appselec p/b VDR rider Tristan Saunders would slip away in a last-ditch move to get the double points but were overhauled by a chasing bunch, led by National Road Series leader Drizners. The double points would be enough for Drizners to leapfrog his teammate Leahy and take the round win, with Sutton taking the final podium spot. Gassner would earn the Road-ID most aggressive for his efforts.
Masters Cat 1
Super Series specialist (well most types of road racing) Tim Decker (Team Prochem) was always going to be the most marked rider in the peloton having won the last two additions. This year he’d face a greater challenge, with the influx of strong riders in the Chesser Chemicals and Zero Friction Cycling team. After a couple of years away from the Super Series, Zero Friction let their intentions be known immediately, taking the first sprint of the day though Juan-Pierre Jacobs. Not long into the race, a move formed off the front with the majority of the teams represented. Most notably was the Chesser Chemicals team who placed four riders in the break. Although they did manage to pick up some points, they didn’t fully capitalise on this opportunity with a stage win but did enough to put Margrate on the podium, and Currie, Smith and Varricchio in the points. This will set them up with plenty of options going into the rest of the series.
Last years runner up, Cameron Speares, showed that he was once again on form, taking points in six of the eight sprints, putting him into second for the stage, a position he’s all too familiar with. 2017 and 2018 winner Tim Decker sat back for much of the race, leaving Prochem teammate Shane Johnson be the aggressor. Unfortunately for Johnson, a crash on the second last lap put a dent in all his hard work, but he’d done enough to earn the Road ID Most Aggressive. The always calculating Decker sprung into life in the final sprint, taking the double points on offer to slingshot him up the standings into fourth, a solid start to his title defence.
The day, however, would belong to ZeroFrictions JP Jacobs, whose consistency saw him finish one point clear of Speares, taking the opening Scody Leaders Jersey on offer!
Racing for Cat 1 Resumes this Sunday at the Altitude Cycling & Fitness Teams Time Trial at Lenswood.
Full results can be found Here