The first race in the Women’s Grand Prix racing series.
McPherson Park in Melton is probably not the first place that springs to
mind when thinking about cycling but that was the venue for the first race
in the Women’s Grand Prix racing series. The series includes four criterium
races over four different venues, once a month until March 2012.
It was a hot, dry windswept Saturday at Melton with a surprisingly good
crowd of on-lookers in attendance to support the girls and watch some
competitive racing on a tight 700 metre criterium circuit. A two lap
prologue to sort out grading preceded a 45 minute plus three lap criterium.
The Southern Masters was represented in force with a team consisting of
Carolyn Phillips, Helen Bean, Jane Ollerenshaw and Catherine McInerney.
Other SMCC members, Andrea Frankpitt and Suzy Barrett were also racing.
Our ladies are more used to racing against the blokes, so it was a
relatively rare experience to be mixing it against their own gender for a
Racing was fierce from the get-go with several riders testing their legs.
The big field was soon split by a punchy mid race attack by Carolyn
Phillips. As the field started to thin out, the colours of the Southern
Masters team became even more prominent as Helen and Jane continued to
Andrea Frankpitt and Suzy Barrett also raced keenly
with Andrea piloting the field on several occasions in an aggressive
display of racing.
Sadly, Catherine’s race ended prematurely when she was involved in a mishap
on the tricky bottom corner early in the race. Unfortunately, she hit the
deck hard and was soon whisked away by ambulance for precautionary tests
and some patching. As a result of the crash, a lap out was granted to
almost half the field and racing was soon underway in earnest again.
Ultimately, it was a great showing by the Southern Masters women with
Carolyn finishing in a close up fifth position and Helen and Jane finishing
strongly in the sprint to both snare top ten spots.
The next races in the series are:
Sat 28 January 28 2012
Casey Fields, Cranbourne
Host Club: Carnegie Caulfield CC
Sunday 12 February 12 2012
Mayfair Park Industrial Estate, Bendigo
Host Club: Bendigo Cycling Club
Saturday 3 March 2012
National Blvd, Campbellfield
Host Club: Coburg Cycling Club