ONCE again the weather cleared in time for the Optus Nowra Velo Club to get racing under way on the Flinders Industrial Estate course last Sunday.
The four races all provided close sprint finishes with Tristan Ward, Ian Kielly, Jose Pereira and Chelsea Oaten taking the prizes.
Competition started on wet roads and the riders cornered with caution on the early laps.
Ward and Jake Stuart were breakaways at different times during the division one 60 minutes of racing, but four riders were there for the finish, where Ward had a half wheel over Michael Troy on the line.
Scott Thompson was third ahead of Stuart, while Shane Visser punctured on the last lap to finish on a flat tyre.
The division two 50 minute event was the closest finish of the day when Ian Kielly flashed past the bunch to grab the win right on the line.
Only centimetres separated Kielly from Dylan Oaten, while Godfrey Green was only half a length back in third place.
Sean Oaten finished fourth ahead of Tim Devlin and Phil Jones.
Mark Williams is always a contender on this circuit, but he was forced out with a mechanical before the halfway point.
Division three was ridden over 40 minutes and the real excitement started halfway through when Scott Barrett attacked over the top of the Trim Street climb.
Barrett opened a 50 metre gap and Frank Neri chased.
As contact was made, Barrett went to the roadside with a double puncture.
A lap later, triathlon champion Tarni Cunningham was off the front and leading over the climb.
All together again for the final lap and Jade Colligan led into V and C corner with too much speed, clipped the kerb, and crashed onto the grass.
Neri stopped also but the race went on and Jose Pereira took the win by a length from Hubert Driehuis.
Matt Clark was two lengths adrift in third place, ahead of Gary Bryce and Cunningham.
Colligan was back up and dusted off to ride over the line with Neri to record a finish after her first racing crash.
There was no bike damage, but some scratches on her hip.
Chelsea Oaten took a win for the girls in the division four 30 minute event.
Oaten was well placed throughout the event and never looked troubled despite Brian Corrigan’s attacks and accelerations from the start.
Bruce Jenkins kept it under control, and this week Mel Kilby waited for the finish to try for the win.
The dash to the line saw Oaten half a length ahead of Kilby, with Jenkins close in third place ahead of Corrigan and Dave Gray.
FTP coach Damian Mason continued with coaching and guiding the new junior girls around the circuit, where Libby Randall and Georgia Mason fought out a neck and neck sprint after 30 minutes of effort.
Next Sunday the third round of the MacDonald International 2013 Teams Challenge series will be run on the Braidwood Road (MR92) course as a 42 kilometre handicap.
Berry Mountain Cycles is the leader in the teams classification, but other teams will be catching up as the Mountain team stands down to marshal this event.
Greg Showell (Gordon McDonald Electrical) starts this event as the individual points leader.
Racing will get underway at 8am.
Optus Nowra Velo Club graded scratch races, Flinders Industrial Complex, March 3.
Division one, 60 minutes and two laps – 1. Tristan Ward 2. Michael Troy 3. Scott Thompson 4. Jake Stuart. Shane Visser did not finish (punctured).
Division two, 50 minutes and two laps – 1. Ian Kielly 2. Dylan Oaten 3. Godfrey Green 4. Sean Oaten 5. Tim Devlin 6. Phil Jones. Mark Williams did not finish (mechanical).
Division three, 40 minutes and two laps- 1. Jose Pereira 2. Hubert Driehuis 3. Matt Clark 4. Gary Bryce 5. Tarni Cunningham 6. Jade Colligan 7. Frank Neri. Scott Barrett did not finish (punctured).
Division four, 30 minutes and two laps – 1. Chelsea Oaten 2. Mel Kilby 3. Bruce Jenkins 4. Brian Corrigan 5. Dave Gray.