Deneaka pedals way to victory in junior division
CYCLING: Deneaka Blinco has ended the year on a winning note, racing to victory in the junior grade in the Rockhampton Cycling Club's criterium on Sunday.
Blinco was one of more than 50 cyclists who trialled the new road racing circuit at Gracemere. It is being considered as an option for future racing given growing vehicle congestion on the club's existing circuit around Parkhurst.
There was some close racing in all grades, with Robbie Reid taking the honours in A-grade, Paul Smith winning B-grade and Wayne Blinco victorious in C-grade.
Organiser Matthew Tennent said he was thrilled with the turnout for what was the last road race of the year.
"The number of riders exceeded my expectations and it all went off without a hitch,” he said. "A-grade would have had the most entries but the other grades were quite evenly contested in terms of numbers.
"We also had quite a few young riders out of the course and it was great to see some of the older riders jump in with them to help them navigate their way around what is a pretty lengthy course.”
Tennent said feedback on the circuit was also positive and added weight to the possibility of an extended criterium series being staged next year.
"It's really solidified in my mind that that it is feasible, rather than just being a pipe dream,” he said.
"We had guys from Gladstone who did a two-hour trip to compete on Sunday. That speaks volumes.
"If they're willing to come for what was effectively a trial, then I think we could expect increased support for a regular series.”