Penrith Cycling Club hosted a Monday night crit series, which finished up last Monday night. We sent along a club representative to check it out.
Located at the foot of the mountains, the Penrith CC host their crit series around the Olympic Regatta centre. Closed from cars, this venue has some fast and furious racing with some great facilities that are available at the venue.
The trip out on the motorway was surprisingly quick, admittedly I had left work early and so wasn’t travelling right in the peak hour. I arrived at the Regatta centre and a parking attendant directed me to a large parking bay, right near the start line.
The course makes it way along the bike path and so one side of the track is probably the width of one car lane. I was a little nervous prior to race start, however during the race it didn’t really prove a problem. The main area that could cause some pain was a fast little section where you go through some S bends and judging by the bandages at the end of the night, a few of the lower grades miscalculated those corners.
The course is essentially a rectangle, with 2.5km on one side, 500 metres across and then 2.5km down the other side and 500 metres across. On our night of racing we had a stiff breezing running down the lake and so one side had you going straight into the breeze and the other side had you whizzing along with a nice tailwind. Hotmix the entire way and with only a small bridge to ride over ever lap, this is a sprinters dream – probably why NSWIS Track superstar and upcoming roadie Jack Edwards was on the start line.
A Grade waiting to roll out
The club hosts grades A-E with a $12 entry fee, although this was the last race in the summer series. Road racing doesn’t commence until the end of April. There was also a juniors race that was underway during the main event on a section of carpark.
The standard of rider in all grades was quite impressive, we had Masters Legends Eddie Salas and Pete Milostic on the startline, as well as Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth rider Ben Dyball along with plenty of other big hitters. Surprisingly I was the only MWCC rider at the race awaiting to be pack fodder, although I did spot a NSCC rider amongst the riders as well- I thought more riders might be making the weekly trip out.
On the night, it was a fast and furious race, with the pace never relenting and throw a sprint prime into the mix and you have plenty of time spent in your drops. While I miscalculated where I should be positioned in the sprint for the finale, it was still a great, early week hit out.
This course is the same that hosts the Sydney Road titles.
Thanks to one of the Penrith riders sharing his stats from a prior week with the site. After the race, it was back in the car and back onto the M4 then M7, then M2 before the Pacific Highway lead me to home. Had to get to bed, Heffron Park is on Tuesday nights.