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Biting cold and strong winds promised a tough day for all competitors at Melbourne's premier weekly criterium circuit. Good fields turned to race, with a classy A grade bunch to close the evening's proceedings. The long flat circuit was used, and proved more than tough enough for all riders.
Arguably the four strongest A Grade riders broke away early in their race, with and James Taylor of the ACR squad joined by former Linda McCartney Pro Alan Iacuone and member of the race long successful breakaway at this year's 265km Melbourne to Warnambool, Brendan Rowbotham (Fitzroy Cycles).
The quartets left the bunch at the eight minute mark of the race, and were not seen again despite a good chase by Ray Turner (Diamond Back/Park Tools/Repco), Tom Leaper (ProMotion Cycles) and Matthew Jackson (ACR). At the finish it was Tighello, winner of the KOM at this year's Tour Down Under ahead of ACR team mate Taylor, Iacuone and Rowbotham.
B Grade saw two early breaks featuring Under 17 stars Michael Ford (O'Mara Cycles) and Simon Clarke together with popular local veteran Doug Garley brought back by the rapidly disintegrating bunch. The windy conditions reeked havoc, with only 12 strong enough to finish in the front bunch.
Second place finisher from the feature event at Saturday's opening indoor track carnival, The Melbourne Cup on Wheels, Glenn Hutchinson continued his good form with a good win ahead of Garley, Ford and mileage junkie James Giannakakis (Bicycle Superstore).
C and D Grades races both remained largely together, with no rider strong enough to tackle the windy conditions on their own for long. The C Grade win went to Graham ‘Milo' Answerth from David Taylor-Reid, Paul Lumsden and a promising rider in his first season with the club, Grant Jamieson.
Alan Cuneen took the win in D Grade ahead of the consistent veteran Ray Smith, Paul Groves and junior Sean Bourke.
Mary Rogers (City Cycles) won the days only Women's prize as the only female finisher on a very tough day while competing in the B Grade event.
A Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps - 22 starters 1 Robert Tighello (SKCC) 2 James Taylor (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Alan Iacuone (Melton CC) 4 Brendan Rowbotham (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) B Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps - 41 Starters 1 Glenn Hutchinson (Footscray CC) 2 Doug Garley (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Michael Ford (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 James Giannakakis (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women: Mary Rogers (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade - 40 mins + 3 laps - 33 starters 1 Graham Answerth (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 David Taylor-Reid (Melton CC) 3 Paul Lumsden (SKCC) 4 Grant Jamieson (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade - 40 mins + 3 laps - 10 starters 1 Alan Cuneen (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Ray Smith (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Paul Groves (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Sean Bourke (Blackburn CC)
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