As the B race was running, the A racers were watching the sky nervously hoping the rain would hold off. Unfortunately this would not be the case, with the rain coming half-way through the B race resulting in all 30 or so A racers huddling under the registration tent. For people that claim to be so tough, a little rain sure does get to us.
After the B race, the racers made their way onto the course with the Wheelers showing a strong contingent consisting of myself (Maxim), Eugene, Nick, Duncan and Isaac. Also out in force was pro-city, with at least 6 riders by my count. Other notables were the young Attwells, Oliver Evans, Megan Rathwell and a number of Tripleshot juniors. While I joked about the rain, there was good reason for trepidation. When the course isn't being used for bike racing, it is used for car racing, meaning it is absolutely covered in gas, oil, rubber, and all other manner of slippery substances that come from motorsports. This coating of hydrocarbons combined with rough pavement and water makes for a very slippery track - one that would claim some scalps before the day was done. There was talk of cancelling the race, but the rain had eased, and there hadn't been any crashes... yet... so the race was on.
The race started with the usual attacks going and being brought back by teams not happy with the break, with the chasing being split evenly between the wheelers, pro city, tripleshot, and others. There were some promising moves, including one containing Nick, who unfortunately was the first casualty of the day. I don't really know what happened, but coming around the second corner I saw Nick on the grass sitting down. I hadn't heard a crash so I assumed it had been a puncture, but the blood we would see on Nick's knees would tell a different story. Next was a promising move with myself, Eugene, Oliver, and John Watkin in it that took half a lap on the field, spending ~10 minutes up the road before being slowly pulled back by a motivated Pro City. As everything came back together the pace lifted, and around that same corner 2 Duncan lost his front wheel on a slick patch, taking Gordon Tulip of Pro City down with him. As this crash was in the bunch we actually heard it this time and the race was neutralized. Everyone (minus a couple people who deemed the race too sketchy) lined up for a second start with just 10 laps remaining. The pace was immediately high, and attacks were flying. One attack saw myself, Oliver, and another Aussie accented rider I don't know off the front with 5 laps remaining. With 3 laps left we were just about to be caught but I still felt good, so I went for a solo full-send flyer. This attack would see me stay away for most of the 3 laps, just being caught at the line by Nick Rowe in first and our man Eugene in second after a spirited chase by Pro City.
Despite the crashing it was a good night of racing, and I hope everyone who did go down heals quick for the bigger races coming up.
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