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Central Australia Bike Challenge - NE

Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, March 14-20, 2003

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Stage 1 - March 15: Desert Park - Red Centre Resort, 40 km

By Joe Ward

Riders rolled out of the Alice Springs desert park to meet the first rays of the sun in conditions that were appreciably cooler than yesterday's prologue.

The opportunity to build up a sweat wasn't far away as riders attacked the Asprint Hill Sprint for an extra time bonus. The first man to the top of the rough and technical climb was local Chris Jongewaard followed by Amtutz and the Dutch contingent of Tommy Velthuyzen and Viergever.

Just after the big climb, the race was turned on it's head when Jongewaard flatted. Amstutz took the lead with Viergever just warmed up and reeling him in.

Viergever built up an impressive lead at the second water stop; it was harsh outback daylight second. Velthuyzen suffered three flats during the stage and had to walk 2km to a water stop for assistance as well as losing some bark in an over the bars episode. The brutal course taking it's toll; very few came back without an injury to the body or machine.

At the line a lone rider appeared in the distance, Viergever out in front by a long way and coasted over the finish. After 1:59:39 in the saddle he was still looking remarkably fresh. The endurance specialist said he finds it hard to get warmed up on short stages like this and is looking forward to tomorrow's 85km stage.

Jongewarrd was fortunate to have the one minute time bonus up his sleeve, as it would mean that he only lost 2:34 to Viergever. In third place, 7:18 behind the leader, is Marcus Amstutz.

Jill Burstin continued her good form taking out the women and combined with her time bonus from the prologue puts her 2:15 ahead of Melissa Curry.

Tommorrow the tour heads west out to Ross River, a stage that's not only long but challenging as the riders descend into N'Dhala Gorge.

Results

Open Men
 
1 Jaap Viergever             1.59.39
2 Chris Jongewaard              2.34
3 Marcus Amstutz                9.52
4 Ben Hodgson                  10.46
5 Gwyn Tavener-Smith           21.27
6 Ken Wilyman                  21.38
7 Mark Harris                  22.39
8 Adrian Laing                 27.47
9 Graham Rankin                31.46
10 Chris Ravenhall             32.22
11 Michael Tobler              37.29
12 Chris Waring                37.47
12 Julian Fox
14 Damian Wells                38.51
15 Mark Mannering              39.18
15 Aaron Caden
17 Damian McGrath              40.05
18 Joe Schifano                40.31
19 Andre Voegeli               40.34
20 Sean Keeney                 42.38
21 Michael Greig               42.58
22 Corey Gerdsen               44.12
23 Tommy Velthuyzen            44.30
24 Gordon McConnachie          46.42
25 Huw Kingston                47.21
26 Benjamin Gooley             48.00
27 Jack Dermody                49.37
28 Jason Hewerdine             55.59
29 Paul Guerin                 59.04
30 Steve Bryan               1.06.28
31 Kyle Bawden               1.11.01
32 Daniel Davis              1.11.20
33 Miguel Blanco Embun       1.12.31
34 Brian Sandercock          1.16.17
35 Alex McNee                1.19.27
36 Tony Roberts              1.19.35
37 Cameron Gray              1.29.42
38 Bruce McEllister          1.37.51
39 Tim Vidler                1.56.30
40 Calem Glover              2.00.20
41 James Bateman             2.04.32
42 Marc Carney               2.46.19
42 Michael Kerr
 
Women
 
1 Jill Burston               2.41.56
2 Melissa Curry                 2.15
3 Alison Culpin                36.18
4 Nadine Kelly                 38.17
5 Sue McConnachie              51.49
6 Jennifer Caldwell          1.08.01
7 Stacey Connor              2.08.51
7 Kelli Hersey
DNS Kate Norstrom
 
Veteran Men
 
1 John Dermody               2.32.14
2 Robert Watson                40.36
3 Peter O'Callaghan            45.41
4 Garry Lyon                 1.15.03
5 Peter Haarsma              1.34.55
6 Jon Presswell              1.39.27
6 Graham Butt
8 Lawrie Nicholas            1.40.24
9 Gary Laver                 1.54.53