An absolute bonanza of summer crit racing available with CA Open crits starting last weekend and shifting to Tuesday nights once dalylight savings kicks in, SAVCA Vets crits on Wed nights.

Based on the current race calendar it looks like all racing will be at the new Vic Park crit circuit, presumably on the "big" circuit until the Clipsal closes the pitt straight, then on the shorter eastern circuit.

Will be interesting to see whether more people come out to race now that Regency Park has been scrubbed from the calendar and also how the new circuit works.

If you have both a CA and vets license you can now potentially race Tues and Wed nights at the crits, track at Edwardstown on Fridays and CX once every month or so!

Details of the CA Open crit racing here and click on the "event Calendar" top right to download the calendar

Details of the SAVCA vets crit racing here and click on the "SAVCA Criterium Series" to download the calendar

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They also doing Little Crit-ters for kids aged under 11
Basic kids licenece $16 for a calender year and they get a proper licence just like Dad or Mum :-)

Thanks Michelle, I forgot to mention the kids "racing"!

Pat, racing under lights would be fun! It might also give the seabreeze some time to die down. Summer headwinds at Vic Park are a PITA.

First race of the season tonight (2/10) with shortened races for all grades due to the lack of daylight savings. I wasn't going to race due to the dodgy weather forecast but around 430pm the sun was kind of shining and the wind looked like it was dying down. Of course by the time I got home to pick up my road bike the rain was back and the wind howling. Hoping the rain had missed Vic Park I headed in anyway, and made it with about 2 minutes to spare before B grade started. Mild panic!

The weather at the start was pretty grim - windy and raining and I hadn't had time to ride the new Vic Park course so the start was pretty tentative for me (especially with the wet corners and the act we were riding in the opposite direction to previous years). The pace was on from the start and I really struggled to stay with the bunch for the first few laps, especially the first corner which was very wet and slippery. I think we dropped about 5 guys in those first couple of laps.

I stayed on the back of the bunch almost the whole race, mostly because I was struggling with the pace, but also as I was really nervous about people, including me, coming down in the corners. Luckily the rain stopped and the wind helped dry the course out a bit. However the wind also played havic with lines...riders were moving left and right all over the place causing a few dodgy moments. The wind put paid to any breakaway attempts - no one could survive alone for more than a few minutes in the gale.

With two laps to go the pace slowed a little as everyone recovered for the sprint, and coming into the last corner I reckon I was in 5th place. The first three guys got a bit of a gap and held onto the finish, I somehow managed to pass the 4th guy and hold this place to the line. Pretty happy with this result given the weather conditions and my nervousness on the course.

A novelty finishing in rapidly gathering darkness, which I hope we dont need to repeat again, and I'll be happy to not have to race on a wet track again either.

Roll on next week where daylight savings will be on our side and hopefully some sunny and wind-free racing!

Race 2 of the vets crit season. It was Teams and Graded racing combined and the first 20 minutes in B grade was a bit of a schmozzle. Different bunches getting mixed up, riders from different grades overtaking on the wrong side. At one point I think we had almost all the bunches riding as a single peloton.

B grade was a good solid pace (38-39km/h average speed), with almost no breakaways. With only 12 or so competitors every breakaway attempt that did go was quickly chased down. It was hot and windy (from the north) and started getting dark by the time we finished. The last lap one guy went nuts and towed the bunch the entire lap at some insane speed - the sprint was pretty clean and I was happy to maybe grab 5th, especially since my legs didnt feel great after yesterdays Wattbike session. If the weather is OK next week I'll be keen to see how big the B grade bunch gets.

I want to come next week but really nervous...

Hi Michelle, CSA or vets? I havent raced CSA crits for a long time, but in vets the lower grades (C-E) have smaller bunches so its not as hairy as the Teams or A grade, and they start first/finish first.  Last night was particularly bad because its the first time the Vets have raced on the new circuit with such large numbers and going clockwise. A lot of people had trouble with the concept of staying right and being passed on the left and this is what caused most of the issues. I am sure the Race Commissaire is going to spell things out very clearly next week.

I was in Melbourne last week and in their crits they have marshalls (wearing fluoro vests) riding around with the bunch who give people verbal advice/warnings if they see anything dumb and will come to the front of the bunch and make the bunch ride neutral if different grades are constantly getting in each others way or another grade is on their final lap and need clear space. Its a good idea and something that could be considered here.

I currently only have a CSA licence as I am competing in the women's challenge series and I need to win the crit to win my grade! I have never done a crit and I finding it hard to get to the city to practice! I have and will be doing stuff down here but I really need to have a go. I will only be it the bottom grade but I have to take the plunge...

I raced in E-grade in the Vets crits last night. Last week I was on my own but yesterday there were 5 of us. So this was really my first crit. Was fun and certainly worth having a go.

Wasn't a lot different to a road race except that the course is clockwise which means all the turns are to the right and slower riders (my group) had to keep to that side. One team (?) passed on our right as we were setting up to go around the turn at the end of the straight. We were 50 metres or so from the turn and only 1 - 2 metres off the right-hand edge but they saw some advantage to passing on that side. And another faster rider cut back in on our group a bit closer than was really necessary and caused us all to brake. So, overall, no different to commuting or racing on the road; there are idiots out there.

Of course things might be quite different in the higher grades.

Paul, I got third. Wasn't really tuned-in for the final sprint to the line. Into head-wind, although down-hill. No-one wanted to take-off first so it was all fairly sedate. Expect each race to be different, but suspect it would play to your strengths. You should come out.

Interesting you were instructed to stay right, I guess the vets are continuing their practice of the faster group should pass on the outside.  I did CSA (hence clockwise) for the first time on Tues and we were told to stay left and it worked really well with the big groups.

Last week I followed my instinct and sat out to the left. As soon as marshalls saw that they told me to keep to the right. Our group was given that specific instruction again last night. They also said that no-one would pass on our right!

 

The only trouble with staying left and passing on the right is all the right hand corners. If the slower group slighlty cuts a corner with a faster group coming in underneath them then all sorts of problems could occur in and coming out of the corner. Interesting that is seemed to work well though...

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