MATCH REPORT: South Australian State Championships

Saturday the 4th of May saw the running of the 2024 South Australian titles at LeFevre Cycle Speedway. With the sun shining and over 100 nominations, it was set to be a fantastic day. The Lefevre volunteers must have been up early because their club was presented to a high standard for the event with the BBQ fired up, all banners and flags erected, and the track fully prepared before most competitors arrived. It really did look impressive.

The Junior and Veterans categories saw victories for:
Santiago Tiani – Div7, Darcey Frencken – Div 6, Lucas Hancock – Div 5, Jacob Ffrench – Div 4, Hayley
Williams – Girls under 13, Connor Scriven – Div 3, Hannah Williams – Girls under 16, Brad Williams –
Div 2, David Hartman – Over 30s, Dom Tiani – Veterans.

The Women’s Category was fielded by five former and current Australian team representatives. Holly Greenhalgh went undefeated all day with an impressive 20 point maximum to secure her first Open Class South Australian title. After completion of her final race and with a bit of convincing from the senior men, she rightfully grabbed the checkered flag and waved it proudly on her victory lap.

Division 1 had 16 nominees including the defending Champion however a late withdraw saw only 15 competing and this meant the race formatting would be 3 heats of 4 and 1 heat of 3. There were a few Australian juniors from last year electing to ride up in Div 1 hoping to get their name on that senior trophy. The racing was fast and clean throughout the day and eventually saw Ty Geertsen and Daniel Robb finishing on 16 points a piece, Cody Chadwick with 14 and the final spot in the final going to Bobby McMillan on 13. Notably, Braylan MacDonald and Blake Frencken both narrowly missed out with 12 points each.

Once again, the efforts of the LeFevre volunteers, particularly Robert Fleming, had the track in great condition for the Open final. Being tied for points, Ty and Daniel met referee Steve (Denno) Dennison at the grid for their toss of the coin, with a very unconventional toss by Denno, Daniel Robb won the toss and quickly moved into grid 1, Ty taking grid 2, Cody onto grid 3, leaving Bobby with grid 4.

After some mind game tactics at the grid from the riders, the tapes were up. Daniel with his signature first pedal quickly moved off the line to cover himself from the expected outside pressure from Ty and Cody. The first turn saw Daniel bunch up the riders before putting his head down for turn 2. Ty and Cody came in level to turn 2 but Ty with the inside line would come out of the turn in a favourable position. Now with eyes set on first place he put in some hard pedals to quickly reel
Daniel back in, unfortunately a slip of the pedals on the back straight for Ty on lap 2 would see Daniel stretch his lead out and ultimately come home with a big wheelie to secure the South Australian title back to back. Ty home in 2nd with Cody in 3rd and Bobby in 4th . The immediate hand shaking and hugging by the riders after crossing the line shows that these men are still a very tight group and should they make their way to England next year, will form a very strong team.

The win for Daniel is his third South Australian title (2017, 2023, 2024).

Clearly showing no signs of slowing down, the win comes just weeks before he is set to fly out to England for the Ade Gale Laurels at Poole Cycle Speedway on the 26th of May.