Aaron Coghlan won the Nowra Velo Club’s A grade criterium championship ahead of Levi Johns at the end of a hectic race.
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Coghlan and Johns were seconds clear of a chasing field in the closing stages when a crash had two riders down and others delayed. Nick Johns avoided the pile-up and chased the leading duo all the way to the line for the third place finish.
Brooklyn Henry had skin removed from elbows, knees and hip as the first rider down while Ben Rolfe crashed into Henry. Rolfe was back into the action while Henry went for a wound clean up.
The other riders to contest and finish this event included Michael Berriman, Mark Williams, Scott Thompson, Rolfe, Richard Vitiello, Jade Colligan and Godfrey Green.
Scott James covered every move in the B grade championship and blasted away from a compact field in the final 800 metre lap. An early breakaway containing Phil Rice, Col Hunt and Stephanie Lord looked dangerous for some time but Gavin Nethery, Isaac Mitchell and Tim Devlin made efforts to pull the field back together.
Mitchell bolted away from the field at two laps to go and was looking good for a win but just after the bell it was together again. James was first into the finish straight with a 30-metre margin and went to a clear win. Nethery chased all the way and held Mitchell at bay to take second. Hunt was fourth ahead of Rice, Lord, Devlin, Brendon Miller, Tony Kuipers, Rob Rix, Ben Wallis and Ian Kielly.
Brad Oaten was the C grade winner but he had a hard race to get this event. Bill Stahlhut was raiding the C bunch early in this grade championship but Gary Bryce negated that move before Stahlhut was charging away off the front of the race again. Brad Oaten chased across while Geoff Lockhart and Dean Jackson were in close attendance. Oaten was first into the finish straight and raced ahead to a five length winning margin over Lockhart with Jackson just a length back in third. Bryce was next over the line ahead of Jose Pereira, Stahlhut, Dave Gray, Graham Johns and Mark Klein.
John Cullity was wary of the sprinting speed of his opposition in D grade and watched every move from Bruce Jenkins, Jo Chalain and Amy Mottram. Then Hubert Driehuis almost stole the show when he bolted at three laps remaining. Through to the bell Driehuis was still holding a gap on the field but was feeling the effort. Up the back straight Chalain closed the gap and Cullity attacked.
Cullity held a lead through those final two corners and had enough to spare to take the win. Chalain fought out a close finish for second with Mottram while Driehuis had enough steam remaining to finish fourth. Then came Mark Robbins, Rod Pierce, Bruce Jenkins and Ashley Johns. The Nowra Velo Club 2018 race season was finalised with this program and racing is due to resume in mid-January, 2019.
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