Summer is done, the March Equinox has come, and Crit racing has finished for the season. And what a season it has been. The Ring Summer Crit Series finished up last Sunday with the Leederville round. The Series itself was another success story, and whilst numbers were higher in some rounds compared to others, the overall patronage of the series was strong.
For SPR, hot on the heels of two Second in Division places at ToMR for our Women’s 2 and Men’s 1 teams, the SPR racers kept momentum going and pulled some huge results. For a little comparo, two years ago we would have been doing well to grab a single podium position on a race day, more than likely from A Women with Amanda Nabi in a team kit. At the Pemberton Classic weekend this year, SPR took away 11 podium places. ELEVEN. The last round at Tech Park we nabbed a win, a second and a third place over all the grades. We’ve had at least one racer on the podium every round of The Ring Series across the first 9 rounds. And this is SPR racers in SPR kit – not team racers in team kits, but with SPR membership – SPR Green!
Many of them were newer racers – The Frequent Flyer, Express Service, Dizzy, Green Jersey Pending/Locked and Loaded and More MOORE. Some of them returning to regular racing – Walker Texas Ranger, PoppySocks, Eastwood. Others had never left – Check 1-2 with the BossMan and Nowhere Man. And while Midland CC and Peel District CC took the top Club Championship places over SPR , it looks like the strike rate for podiums per racer is waaaay in SPR’s favour! Not bad for a Perth Club that has not traditionally been known for it’s race focus.
The number of SPR Chicks racing this year was a veritable explosion of green talent. Some new to racing, some new to SPR, but all making an impact on race days at various times. There were a number of the SPR Chicks stepping up grades this year, and mid-year, and still showing themselves to be competitive. The striving to learn, improve, support each other and celebrate the wins big and small was one of my highlights. I think it shows that the support structure for the women – as much amongst yourselves, as from the Club Committees – has a real kick to it. And we hope it is able to continue into Road Race season, and beyond.
The other highlight for me was Men’s B grade. Two blokes made for a giant killing team! Check 1-2. BossMan and Nowhere Man. Elar and Craig. After teaming up in the ToMR in SPR Men’s 1, and working together for the season, we saw some of the best racing of all the grades from these two. Spectacular animated racing – attacks, chases, bridges, sprints. All of this in the same realm as wunderkind James Derrick, a young up and comer that may well be a superstar of the future. But the old blokes were stellar, week in week out. That consistency saw Craig take 3rd overall in the The Ring Series for B grade. We can see a Men’s B grade team around these guys in the future……. just sayin’.
For me, C grade racing with the Numbers Man most weeks, and having Hanno, The Crumpet, Y-Vo and a few guest cast members was a blast. We didn’t see the podium, but we animated, we stayed safe (not always a given in C Men’s!) and had a ball. And got a 4th. And we ALL know that 4th is so hot right now. Cheers Gentlemen.
There were some low points, with a few crashes through the series. Faceplantix (ABallam), Dr (Dave) Manners, and Frequent Flyer had some big offs and got to spend some time with the Ambo’s. Thankfully all have or will make full recoveries.
The target for Race@SPR this season was to be present in support at all of the rounds where we had reasonable representation, and we did well to achieve this. SPR Van, tents and at some rounds volunteers on hand to assist in getting our racers ready and recovered made for a series of really fun days out. The manner in which the SPR crew came out to support each other was significantly more prominent than the other Clubs and teams. Community indeed. Thanks Everyone.
So, here are The Ring Summer Crit Series Winners….. and some of our own SPR grinners:
Mixed E grade Jordan Williams; SPR Ashley Brown and Peter Lander in mid-pack.
Women’s D grade Jasmyn Quick; SPR Debbie Bertolatti 2nd overall (including a lovely thank you from young Jasmyn’s mum for Deb’s support through the series!) and Belinda Evans mid-pack!
Men’s D grade Calum Milne
Women’s C grade Emily Wiggins; SPR Sam Flockart mid-pack
Men’s C grade young Matt Connan; SPR Daniel and Greg mid-pack
Women’s B grade Danica Wiggins; SPR Kirstie Moore, Caroline Crow, Kate Bonner, Rebecca Kelly and Olesya Alutina top half of the pack
Men’s B grade 1st Eddie Hollands, 2nd James Derrick and 3rd SPR’s Craig Denham; SPR Elar a HUGE 7th overall after working towards Craig’s points for a lot of the series.
Women’s A Natalie Britz
Men’s A Craig Wiggins
The Gallery below is but a selection, a portion of which are from the Cycliq FaceBook coverage of the series, and marked accordingly.