21st Top End Tour, Katherine to Darwin, Cat 2

Northern Territory, Australia, June 5-8, 1998


In the A-grade, a break of six developed some 40 kilometres from the finish, and established a handy lead, with Nic Brown winning the stage with a margin of about 20 seconds on his breakaway partners. The womens race was a "sprint royal" with Sonya Simpson winning the stage from Jodi Kaesler. This stage put Nic Brown and Sonya Simpson in their respective leaders jerseys.

The second stage was a very quick criterium for both grades. The A-Grade men came down to a sprint finish with Graham Brown winning a very tight finish from Tom Leaper and Chris Brown. Tom Leaper regained his leaders jersey.

The womens race proved to be an easy victory for Jodi Kaesler, who regained the Leaders jersey. This gave the two favourites the favoured starting position of starting last in their respective time-trials. The time-trial proved to be where Tom Leaper would establish a winning lead in the Tour. Over a 20km Time-Trial, Tom won the time-trial by over one minute to second placed Nic Brown. The womens time-trial also proved to be where the tour was won and lost, with Jodi Kaesler winning with a two minute advantage over second placed Tambra Simpson.

The fourth stage for A-Grade men was from Pine Creek to Adelaide River, and was the scene of the gutsiest rides of the tour. Chris Brown rode 100 kilometres of the 120 kilometre stage by himself to win the stage by just 23 seconds from Graham Brown (who is no relation to Chris). Unfortunately for Chris, this was not enough to take the overall lead from Tom Leaper who kept his overall lead by 41 seconds from Graham Brown. The womens race saw the withdrawal of one of the major players of the womens tour when Margaret McLachlin fell breaking two ribs, puncturing a lung and losing some skin. Meanwhile, the other women fought out another bunch finish, won by the Tour Leader, Jodi Kaesler.

This left the fifth stage roll into Darwin from Batchelor with what should have been an easy ride. However, the A-Grade mens race blew apart when the bunch reached the Stuart Highway, with six riders breaking away. This break stayed away to the finish, with Tom Leaper winning the stage from Chris Brown. The womens race was won in a bunch finish with the Tour Leader winning the stage from Sonya Simpson coming second. The hill climb was won by Graham Brown in the A-Grade, with Jodi Keasler winning the Women's Hill Climb.

All that faced the riders was the final stage criterium. The womens race livened up about midway through the race, with plenty of attacks taking place, particularly from Sonya Simpson and Jodi Kaesler. These two got away with Sonya looking for 32 seconds to take second place overall from Tambra Simpson. Unfortunately for Sonya, she only found 15 seconds, and Jodi Kaesler won the stage , with Sonya Simpson coming second and Tambra Simpson (no relation to Sonya) taking third place. The overall for the womens race was Jodi Kaesler winning the Tour, Tambra Simpson taking second place overall, with Sonya Simpson taking third.

The A-Grade race proved to be a display of pure strength and speed from Tom Leaper. The race started very quickly, with plenty of attacks from the Chris, Nic and Graham Brown on Tom Leaper. However, Tom Leaper attacked, and took Nic Brown away with him. For the rest of the race, Tom rode on the front, dragging himself and Nic Brown away from the rest of the bunch. The stage was won by Tom Leaper, with Nic Brown just behind, with Graham Brown taking third place. The overall General Classification was won by Tom Leaper, with Nic Brown in second, with Graham Brown taking third place.

Final Results:

A Grade Cat 2 Race

 1. Tom Leaper              	9.03.25
 2. Nic Brown               	9.04.32
 3. Graham Brown            	9.04.48
 4. Chris Brown             	9.05.04
 5. Nick Haddon             	9.05.56
 6. Darren Baker            	9.08.52
 7. Steve Sabine            	9.09.19
 8. David Hennessy          	9.10.43
 9. Peter Verhagen          	9.10.51
10. Tim Dewar               	9.11.04
11. Malcolm Crumpler        	9.11.11
12. Steve Morrow            	9.12.17
13. David Clark             	9.14.38
14. Matt Jenkins            	9.14.49
15. Andrew Simpson          	9.18.23
16. Andrew Hall                10.14.46

Womens A Grade CaT 1 Race

 1. Jodi Kaesler           	7.20.47
 2. Tambra Simpson          	7.23.26
 3. Sonya Simpson           	7.23.43
 4. Katrina Skellern        	7.26.14
 5. Karen Perkins           	7.27.20
 6. Jytte Tiley             	8.52.34

B Grade

 1. Kym Hansen              	7.13.31
 2. Michael Street          	7.14.52
 3. Owen Pike               	7.14.53
 4. Alistair Hartley        	7.15.22
 5. Dave Wilkinson          	7.16.00
 6. Andrew Koop             	7.16.17
 7. Dean Rackley            	7.16.42
 8. Dwayne Thompson         	7.17.32
 9. Robin Tiffany           	7.17.47
10. Joe O'Leary             	7.18.36
11. Rohan Gaskill           	7.21.29
12. Kevin Webster           	7.21.59
13. Gordon Atkinson         	7.30.53
14. Justin Miller             	   *

* rode fewer stages due to illness

C Grade

 1. Ken Aldridge            	7.03.19
 2. Martin Hardie           	7.06.25
 3. Charlie Fryc            	7.07.20
 4. Eddie Alblas            	7.09.09
 5. Florido Bizzozero       	7.19.46
 6. Peter Strong            	7.27.49
 7. Steve Carson            	7.44.13
 8. Robin Mather            	8.32.20
 9. John Andrews            	8.47.51
10. Dal Hartley             	9.33.30
Results from Martin Hardie, Race Organiser