Horsepower makes way for pedal power

Round 5 of the Mount Gambier Cycling Club Summer Series saw riders line up at McNamara Park in a graded scratch race. Four grades – A, B,C and D – were offered for some fast racing around a circuit better known for its Motor Bike Racing.

In A grade, professional cyclist Josh Harrison from Team Giant let his presence known in the bunch, with Nick Kidman applying pressure from start to finish. Ash Herrwyn settled in early, but the continuous surges saw him distanced from the main peloton.

Mathew Opperman and Neil Van Niekerk held their own only to succumb to Kidman and Harrison’s relentless pace. Harrison led into the final turn with Kidman planning a last ditch effort to roll the Team Giant rider.

But Kidman left it a touch too late allowing Harrison to claim the win from Kidman and Opperman. B Grade saw South Australian Sport Institute rider Tess Wight establish early on that she would be one of the stronger riders in the bunch containing Matt Fiegert, Mark Wight, Bruce McLaughlin , Phil Stasiw, Malcom Tirrabassi, Riley Hill and Rowan Kruysse.

Tess Wight established an early lead and found herself in no man’s land eventually returning to the main group of riders. With almost 40 minutes of intense pace and swapping off turns, Kruysse showed he had the legs to win, burning off the diesel engines of Tirrabassi, Mark Wight and McLaughlin.

In C grade a mix of young up and comers including Harry Opperman, Jami Buckley, Mark Brooksby and Aaron Dally rode alongside some more senior figures. John Cranwell and Spek Peake had their game faces on showing their true form to finish first and second respectively.

In D grade juniors Emma Van Niekerk, Freya Miller and Molly Opperman joined the more senior riders and initially found cover early behind Dan Harpham. Damian Buckley showed he had recovered from his recent fall at the velodrome and gapped the main bunch early on.

Harpham eventually found his legs gapping the junior trio, but Buckley put the after burners on to establish himself as the strongest rider taking out first place. Molly Opperman and Miller worked relentlessly coming within eyesight of Harpham, who eventually finished second.

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