There were strong entries, particularly at Bendigo, in both numbers and quality of competition, allowing for 2 grades for most of the series. Although how Thomay Michaltsis makes B grade rather than A beats me! The weather was great, low 30s on the first two days, with Shepp being a stinker in the high 30s. Racing was strong, competitive but friendly.
A bit of a joke with the Chief Comm FLN, before the first race of the meet, Maryborough. (BTW, check out the intensity of the light. hot! yes!!)
Time to get serious - find out what's in the legs after 7 rides in 2 weeks, and to see if the virus has gone. Came 5th, with final position of 4th after a relegation.
Maryborough on Monday was very different to Country Tracks - dry for one! I rode better than I anticipated, and even suggested to Shirley Amy we ride the women's madison for a laugh. Unfortunately there weren't enough entries, so a pointscore was offered instead. Shirley and I sat it out - I wouldn't have lasted the distance, and was very aware of keeping myself strong for another two days of racing.
Next day Bendigo. Me making my Big Move of the meet, attacking with 400m to go in the B Grade Scratch. I blew up, and came in at the back of the bunch, having dropped a few on the way home.
1000m handicap, me at third wheel, having worked well with Sophie Waldron and Jess Morgan, about to get hit by the back markers in the home lap. I stayed with them and finished midfield. We again worked well in the 2000m handicap, keeping the backmarkers at bay until the final lap. I unfortunately was slow to step out with the chasing group as they came through and was boxed in, unable to get out until they had gone. I chased them down, finishing off the back but midfield again. There were 19 women entries for Maryborough and Bendigo, slightly less for Shepp the final day.
Bendigo is a big flat open track, D shaped and rather unique. Although I prefer a shorter, more traditional track, I rode quite well on Tuesday night, finally hitting my limit with 4 to go in the final scratch race of the night, after the legs and brain had a bit of a discussion, which I was privy too, but had no real say in the matter. After a 6 or more week racing hiatus (excluding Country's at the end of November, which was a different beast), it was a hoot to be donning the suit and spinning the wheels! Handicaps, scratches, derbies and kierins = good racing and a real blast.
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