TEAM Optus Nowra stormed into the lead of the MIEngineering 2014 Teams series with a decisive win in round nine on Sunday.
Optus took their sprinters to this program on the Flinders Industrial Complex circuit with the intention of scoring as high as possible over the grades.
This team took wins in C grade with Chris Harrison and D grade with Kate Darke. Dave Gray added to the Optus points with second in D grade while Levi Johns was gathering points in A grade and Nick Johns, Lawrence Schinella and Aaron Lauder brought more points to the team in B grade.
Michael Troy has returned to the Shoalhaven and lined up in A grade on Sunday’s program.
Troy attacked early and went off the front with Levi Johns in his first move and this was followed by another Troy attack that took Tristan Ward with it.
Johns chased along with Dylan Oaten (Hanlon Windows), Mitch Cunningham (BVH/Coffeeliscious)and Paul Mackie (Ultimate).
Troy took the mid race Watts Factory sprint and kept going to the finish.
Ward dropped back to a splintered chase group and Mackie jumped clear in the final lap to take second position from Oaten, Johns, Cunningham and Ward.
Godfrey Green launched a similar early attack in B grade and raced clear with Nick Johns.
Green attacked the Trim Street climb hard every lap and Johns returned to the chase group.
Green was first through for the Watts Factory sprint points and went further ahead to a clear win.
Richard Vitiello took second place in a bunch finish from Johns, Scott Barrett (BVH/Coffeeliscious), Schinella, Lauder, Tim Devlin (BVH/Coffeeliscious) and Phil Jones.
With Harrison being the only Optus rider in C grade, he outsmarted the East Coast Ultimate, BVH and TLE teams by jumping into their lead out trains and then sprinting clear out of the final corner for a three length margin over Ultimate riders Rob Pickard and Brendon Miller.
Pickard had taken the Watts Factory sprint points at halfway from teammate Miller and Frank Neri (BVH/Coffeeliscious).
Neri also finished fourth in the race finish ahead of Gary Bryce (BVH/Coffeeliscious), Bruce Jenkins (TLE Electrical), Hubert Driehuis (Ultimate), Mark Robbins (TLE), Tarni Cunningham (Ultimate) and Mark Bagnall (TLE).
A tyre blow out, a crash and a splintering field sorted out the D grade field, but those at the front were driving the pace to deter and chasing riders regaining.
Kate Darke and Dave Gray were up at the front of the race with Lawry Byrne.
They crossed the line for the midway Watts Factory sprint in this order and went into the finish with Darke leading.
Gray was anticipating a move from Byrne and was watchful of the TLE rider into the finish straight but Darke made the jump first and held on to the line a half length ahead of fast finishing Dave Gray.
Rod Pierce finished in fourth position.
With Optus the clear team winner it was close for the minor positions.
Bomaderry Vet Hospital/Coffeeliscious did not get a win but placings were enough to get them into second by a narrow margin ahead of East Coast Ultimate.
A and B grade scratchings from the TLE team gave this team little chance of a good result on this program.
The Nowra Velo Club continues with the 2014 MIE Team Challenge series next Sunday on the Braidwood Road course where round 10 will be an individual time trial over 15 kilometres.
The Optus Nowra team will host this program which starts in Wugan Street, Nowra Hill at 9am.