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Champs Champs Crit Preview

Logan's picture

By Logan - Posted on 06 November 2014

Ok so the second week of club champs is almost upon us and I hope all of you had a decent Melbourne Cup day like I did. There were some outstanding performances coming from the TT Event last week and the Grafton form line is proving itself with Harrison, Marcus and Matt putting in some big performances last week. With 4 Divisions it is going to be difficult for me to know every competitor, so if I miss you off I apologise!

Plenty of unknowns going into the club champs this weekend, especially in Division 3 where I dont know half the riders in the field but anyway.

The big question on my and maybe a lot of yours mind is what grade will Matt Garnon race, will his Ego get the better of him and he sign up for Division 1 or will the temptation of a slightly easier $150 in prize money in Division 2 sway his decision. After all, we all know how important it is for Matt to pay off his mortgage....

Division 1

A competitive division this one, with Marcus Culey, Harrison Bailey all being eligable and I know that Rich Makin and a few others are going to sign on for this event. With no Michael Potter attending the event as he is racing the Fling and no Harrison Morgan as he is away as well, I see the main threats in this race being last years champion Phil Nelson, Marcus Culey, Harrison Bailey and Matt Garnon (if he races this grade).

Harrison recently took our Heffron on a Tuesday night, so strong Crit racing form there and Marcus is going very well again after a broken collarbone as well. Matt Garnon is always a danger and Phil has to be respected for his recent 4th place at Manly as well a 4th place at Beauie two weeks ago. Looks like he has timed his peak in form to perfection.

Rich Makin is coming back from a injury however showed some good power in the TT last week and that solid 40min effort would of done him the world of good as well, he will chase everything down, so I expect a very tactical race in Division 1.

The dark horse for me, is Mr Secret Miler himself Brett Aitken, not been seen since April this year, but made a re-apperance at Beauie the week before last and went pretty well. In Brett's case if it isnt on Strava don't believe him as he only uploads selectively and my spies all over the North Shore have been reporting sightings of him out training. Has to be watched and he knows how to suffer.

Others to consider, Jacob Patterson who won C Grade Grafton, Tom Green, Daryl Noolan, Phil S who could mix it up and make it interesting.

Will the fav's mark each other out of the race and it come down to a bunch sprint? Who knows, but a I think it will be super tactical and probably a little negative in parts.

Division 2

Division 2 is Masters 2 and 3 and we know, probably the two strongest divisions in the club I would say. Again some solid form lines from Grafton off this one, Dan Daly in particular spent the majority of the time on the front up Gilbralter, has lost 10kgs and is absolutely flying at the moment. My only question on his form, is how would of his all night parting antics from last Saturday effected him, would it of taken off some of the sharpness? Who knows, but Dan is definitely one to watch.

Next up is Ran Virdi, leading the B Grade Points Series, has won a number of Beauie's this year by simple riding off the front and again two weeks ago was in a breakaway all day with Andy Helmich from Central Coast, only getting caught with a few laps to go. Again raced Grafton, massive engine as well. Personally I think it could be a case of Ran vs Dan Daly, but who knows.

Plenty of other M3 riders to consider in there, Simon Davies, can he recapture some of his form, the former M3 National Crit Champion would have solid claims here, but his hiking adventure with Tinkoff-Saxo Bank has killed his form, will he recovered some glimpse of his former self?

Others to mix it up, Doug Robinson, famed for the early attack, will he perhaps look to hold something back for

this, no doubt there will be some dark horses in there to mix it up as well.

Division 3

I dont know many of the M4 riders that are competing I am afraid, is Craig Hobart racing? If so then he was only 10 seconds of 550 Phil last week in the TT, so easily capable of soloing off the front and definitely the man to watch in this grade.

Steve Hume could be there, isnt that keen on crit racing but was at the TT last week. Complained of a broken engine but a weeks rest could of seen some form of recovery, again another super strong rider. Would be even stronger if he shaved his legs though!

Division 4

The combined division, plenty of strong Masters 5+ riders in here with Archie Wilson, Neil Matthews, Geoff Dhu etc in this division. Following on from last week, Neil will be wanting to make amends for dropping his chain in the TT (a likely story) with a solid performance in the Crit.

Archie has been particular strong of late, combining some solid efforts down in Bobbo for a while and going very well in State Masters, I for one am hoping Arch can put in a solid performance in the Club Champs over the weekend. No other club members to chase down either, so we should see some of the old men putting in some big efforts to try and get away.

So that's it for the Crit Champs Preview, plenty of action across all grades and I am sure we are going to see some solid racing with the Prime's in there as well. Remember sign on from 7.45am for a 8.45am start. NSCC Members only I am afraid and obviously you need your gold license.

See you all there.

FullNelson's picture

great preview Andy. I'M PUMPED!

shumey's picture

Thanks for your form guide Andy.

As you say, it's difficult to know will be racing on Sunday or who is likely to switch between Divisions. Some very strong riders are eligible to race in Division 3 but are contemplating switching to Division 1 to give the younger riders are bit of curry.

Amongst the Genuine Division 3 (Masters 4) riders who will be racing, I agree that
Craig Hobart has some serious TT form and could do the double in this division. Here's another 4 riders that I'm sure will be near the front of the field:-

1) Craig Stevens led the field home at Fitz's and was in top form on his road bike at last week's TT. He looks very hard to beat this weekend.

2) Leethal Robson is also getting back into race form after showing great early season form at Cootamundra. He is likely to be the dark horse in the field.

3) Stu Robertson has been racing consistently all year and is back riding a new S-Works. After another strong effort at Fitz's challenge he brings some great hill climbing form to this event and is likely to be near the front of the field.

4) Recently, Anthony Ryan has been quietly collecting a massive amount of Strava rewards. His recent performance on the Tuesday night Dash and the double Gong ride marks him as another serious threat in this division.

I'm sure there are many others that are capable of popping out of the woodwork to claim the Division 3 trophy. Good luck and safe riding to all racing on Sunday.

Super Domestique's picture

Just checking that it is the usual 8:15 start not 8:45 as per the race preview?

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