Close finishes thrill spectators

Patrick CouttsManjimup-Bridgetown Times

The 2018 Pemberton Classic cycling event was a thrill for competitors and spectators with many close finishes across the grades in the weekend of racing.

There was great racing in ideal conditions in all Ring Series Criterium grades on Saturday with a number of close finishes.

This was perhaps best seen in the A grade men where a breakaway group was caught with one lap to race and the result was a bunched finish with 30 riders sprinting for the line.

Four riders crossed within half a second of each other and another three within the next half a second.

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The race was won by 2017 National Road Series individual rider Michael Freiberg, followed by Tyler Lindorff, Craig Wiggins and then State Criterium Champion Stephen Hall.

Rebecca Mackey, a regular winner in Pemberton, won the A grade women.

The Road Race held on Sunday morning saw riders having to contend with strong side winds on Channybearup Road.

As such, riders who had broken away to lead through the first lap tended to tire and were caught during the second lap.

Again, there were a number of grades with close finishes.

All the men’s grades – A, B, C and D along with B grade women – all had close sprints to the line.

None of the events was closer from a time perspective than B grade men with 8/1000th of a second separating the first and second placegetters.

For the locals riding, Graham Blincow finished mid field in the D grade.

Gemma Brown was fifth in the C grade women.

Dale Blincow was seventh in a big B grade field that was won on the line by Eddie Hollands.

Jordan Schmidt was 14th in a big A grade field after being in the early breakaway.

Tim Sellar won A grade, just staying ahead of a fast-finishing Freiberg, with Wiggins third.

Mackey was one of the few riders to breakaway and stay away to win the A grade women.

The organising committee thanked the sponsors who contributed to the prize pool and the 44 volunteers who gave of their time to help over the weekend.

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