City Limits Racing - Event 1

City Limits Racing

Powered by X-Drive Australia and made possible by Caribbean Gardens, Affinity Cycles, VTWO Events and Hunter Bros Cycling

In May this year, after a week where we had raced in the finals of both the Mission Crit and the Red Hook Crit, we rode over New York’s Williamsburg Bridge around midnight and knew that we had to put on a series of track bike crit racing in Australia. 

We had already held a number of one off events with MCL but to put on a series and to provide a platform for this raw form of bike racing to grow was the next step - how hard could it be?

Fast forward to Saturday just gone and we’re so proud to say that with our partners, VTWO Events and some wonderful sponsors, the first City Limits Racing event has been raced and done.  30 men and 4 women raced on the same track for equal points and prizes.  On top of that there was a 7km run event and a gravel race for both mens and womens. 

Caribbean Gardens was a unique location for event 1.  The huge market hall allowed us to take the race 350m indoors then back out into the carpark and beyond in a technical course.  In the end it proved ideal providing the riders and supporters some shelter from the damp conditions as well as the spectacle of racing at full tilt, no brakes, into a hairpin and inside!

Qualifying - 15 laps for both women and men

Women - with light rain falling most of the morning the track required some careful riding. Elizabeth Nuspan pushed too hard in the early laps coming unstuck a couple of times.  Elizabeth is a tough young rider and got back on the bike to finish a creditable third. 

Seal Yates rode the conditions perfectly and as the track started to dry outside, Seal applied the power to take an unassailable lead all the way to the finish line.  Emma Jackson had placed in the top 3 in our last track bike crit and rode a clever race to take out second position and Yvette Brown, also an experienced rider in this format, buried herself to finish 4th.

Men – as the top 10 riders from our last rack bike crit took the poll positions on the starting grid there was a mix of experience in this format - finalists at Mission Crit and Red Hook Crit, some riders racing track bikes on the road for the first time, and in some cases, riders racing their first crit.  Add to that mix some moisture still on the track and there were a lot of nerves for a lot of reasons.  Once the flag dropped though, things got sorted out very quickly. 

A number of groups established themselves in the first few laps and the experience of going into the corners at speed with no brakes started to tell.  Harry Scott pulled away from the lead group after 5 laps and in a 15 lap race the question was how long he could stay out there and whether the chase group of Hal and Ray Hunter and Jake Latham would work to bring him back in. 

The second chase group of Martin Hoggart, James Hall and Fergus Brown has their own battle for grid positions for the main race.  Martin and Fergus each tried to pull away but in the end it was James Hall’s effort in the final few laps that stuck – it was a strong ride to take out 5th position.

Back at the top of the race, Harry Scott drove through the final 5 laps to take a very dominant win.  Hal and Ray Hunter rode a tactical final few laps letting Jake Latham do the work on the front and in the final lap rode over the top of him to take the placings.

There were a few crashes but they were less to do with the course or conditions and more to do with racing bikes. Everyone walked away after some medical attention but it's the least enjoyable part of racing bikes.

Final Race – 15 laps women and 25 laps men

Men – Harry Scott lined up in poll position and led away an aggressive field of riders.  Riders knew what was ahead of them this time and the additional 10 laps meant that endurance would fast become a factor.  A lead group of 6 riders established themselves – Harry, Hal, Ray, Lucas Pittaway, Jake Latham and Shaun MacWilliam. 

Side note: we first met Shaun on a morning ride in New York where it poured rain from start to finish.  When we caught up with him a few days later at Red Hook, he was still speaking with us - class act. 

True to form, Shaun had raced in Sydney this Saturday morning, caught the plane to Melbourne and arrived in time to race the final City Limits Racing event and was making his presence felt on the lead group.  Further back, Martin Hoggart, Fergus Brown, James Hall, Ben Lehner and Jeremy Laverdiere Blouin fought to cross the gap.

As the riders reached the 10 to go mark cracks began to appear in the groups.  Eventually the chase group broke into 2 then 3 groups and Lucas Pittaway fell off the back of the lead group only to shred his rear tyre in fine style, bringing his day of racing to an abrupt end.

It came down to five riders across 5 laps and all eyes were on Shaun.  But with 2 to go Hal Hunter got away in a move that proved to be the winning one.  Harry timed his run well to take second and in his second race in a second city for the day, Shaun took third place.  

Women – Track conditions were perfect and the riders maintained a steady pace throughout the first 10 laps.  As they hit the final 5 laps Seal Yates started to drive away from the field dropping first, Yvette Brown, and then Emma Jackson, with her relentless pace.  Elizabeth Nuspan had recovered from her falls in the first race and hung on desperately, eventually taking the points in a final lap sprint. 

While it was a small field, it was great to have Emma and Yvette race for the second time and for Seal to travel from Adelaide with partner, Paul, AND do the 7km run as well was just fantastic. 

Wrap Up

It’s hard to credit everyone who contributed to the event but without the support from X-Drive Australia, Caribbean Gardens and Affinity Cycles the event simply would not have been possible.  Good partners are essential for any event and we could not have asked for more - hats off!

It's a long way from a bridge in New York to a start line in Melbourne but the support from a fantastic bunch of riders made the event a reality.  Riders came from Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, regional Victoria as well as Melbourne's local clubs, the fixed wheel groups and people looking to do something new and exciting on a bike.  It's this support that made the event what it was and will drive us on to make the next one even better.

Enjoy

Above photo by @s1ay3d

 

Above photo by @s1ay3d

 

Above photo by @s1ay3d

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @dellaberham

 

Above photo by @tr.n.ng

 

Above photo by @rh_spinergy

 

Above photo by @dellaberham

 

Above photo by @dellaberham

 

Above photo by @f.duniel

 

Above photo by @f.duniel

 

Above photo by @dellaberham

 

Above photo by @s1ay3d