Granted special permission, the Townsville Cycle Club raced their Webb Estate criterium on closed roads as a full-dress rehearsal for next week’s Tour of the North.
The Webb Estate criterium will be the second stage of this year’s tour, taking place in the morning of Sunday 27 June.
Despite the taper beginning for a few local tour hopefuls, 43 riders made the trip yesterday morning for a final hit-out before this weekend’s Tour of the North, which has attracted a total 117 riders, hailing from Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Kicking off Sunday’s proceedings was the C Grade field with their 20 minute criterium. The pace was on the whole time; however, the bunch remained together for the duration of their race and came down a very fast and closely contested sprint finish.
Up for grabs was a bandanna from our Tour of the North kit suppliers and sponsors, Kalas, and a tomato from a wild tomato bush our chief commissaire, Danny Ormonde, located on his reconnaissance of the course.
Chris Browning was the fastest man on the day taking the win ahead of newcomer to the club, Fabio Lucano – an impressive debut to finish second!
A desperate final throw of the bike from James Clem granted him third place ahead of Jarrod Fife. It was only on the last Webb Drive criterium on 18 April that it was Clem who finished fourth by the narrowest of margins; this time around, luck was on his side.
“I was completely devastated that I didn’t get on the podium at the last Webb Drive crit,” admitted Clem, “That race was sponsored by Pace Farming and I really wanted to win my wife some fruit to make her an amazing fruit salad – however it just wasn’t meant to be.
“This time around though, I’m super stoked to have nudged my way there and receive this tomato. Now we can have a delicious salad!”
Jon Kerswell is timing his run in to the tour perfectly with an auspicious first place in D Grade ahead of Gary O’Neill and Stephen Craige.
Sienna Monteith returned to club racing after a successful week away at the Gold Coast junior tour to take to the top step of the Division 1 juniors cirterium ahead of second placed Mikayla Gibbs and third placed Imogen Kerswell.
A and B Grade was run as a combined 30 minute criterium and was ultimately decided by a timely break-away. The wind showed the effect it can have on a race at Webb Estate, tiring out the riders in the final minutes as the peloton desperately tried to reel in the breakaway quadruplet of Marvin Baumeister-Schoenian, Jon Entriken, Hamish Wright and Justin Tomlinson, who stayed away to finish 1st through 4th respectively.
The club is looking forward to this weekend’s Tour of the North, and wish everyone participating all the very best in their racing. The full program will be released shortly.