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While a few of the Elite riders were away at the VIS training camp in Glenmaggie, the A Grade field who remained put on a good display of racing around the testing circuit. Robert Tighello (ACR) and Club member Brad Davidson, recently confirmed to spend his second season with the Saeco Pro team, were joined by Alan Iacuone (iteamNOVA) and James Taylor, in the first break to gain any serious distance.
After a couple of laps of hard chasing driven mainly by Chris Carr (SBR) they were brought back into the fold, only for Tighello and Davidson to have another go. Again, the bunch was quick to respond and the attack was short lived.
It was only a matter of time before the 2 strong riders would make a move stick, and when their next attack was joined by come back rider Shaun Boschert and Matt Jackson (ACR), the bunch could not respond. The quartet went away at the 38 minute mark, and stayed away to fight out the finish. Jackson lead out of the final corner, but was quickly passed by teammate Tighello. Only Davidson could hold his wheel, but the former Australian Road Champion hugged the left hand side of the finishing straight all the way to the line, and Davidson could not come off the wheel and had to be content with 2nd, ahead of Boschert and Jackson.
B Grade saw the evening's biggest field with 50 riders greeting the starter, although the fast pace and tough circuit saw many riders lose contact with the bunch and retire early. Former European Pro and track guru Doug Garley tried hard to break things up, forcing the early break along with last week's winner Glenn Hutchinson, Mike Clucas and Kieran Love.
The big bunch had no shortage of chasers, and within a few laps the escape had been neutralized. Garley tried again a few laps later, and while his attack saw a few more lose contact off the back, his breakaway companions of Shane Mills and Brett Morton could not sustain a pace high enough to hold off the hungry bunch.
At the finish Hutchinson made it 2 in a row, sprinting a bike length clear in the closing meters. Gary Trowell took second with a well timed throw on the line, ahead of Richard Knight and Mark Gallagher.
C and D Grades both finished with all up sprints. Recording his first win in C Grade was Grant Jamieson, who had been among the places for the past few weeks without quite pulling off a win in his first season of racing. Leading out for the length of the finishing straight, he was just able to hold off a late charge from visiting Queenslander Glenn Harvey, with Ross Edwards and Adam Forster filling out the minor placings.
Blackburn junior Sean Bourke won the D Grade race with a good sprint, easily holding off Joe Jones, Chelsea junior Peter Johnstone and Daniel Bermiard after a closely fought race.
In Women's racing, Louisa Hamilton White (SBR) was the only female B Grade competitor to finish on the same lap as the leaders, to record a good win on a tough day. Cheryl Hickman and Katrina Purcell both rode well in C Grade, to finish in the top 10, with Hickman sprinting in a couple of places ahead of Purcell to take out the win.
Tess Downing, winner of the Under 15 2002 Victorian Track Scratch Race Championships last weekend (Don't ask me why the 2002 Titles were held in 2001!), saw off Louise Bourke in the D Grade event, preventing a Blackburn brother and sister double triumph.
A Grade - 50 mins+ 3 laps - 25 starters 1 Robert Tighello (SKCC) 2 Brad Davidson (Saeco/CCCC) 3 Shaun Boschert (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Matt Jackson (Footscray CC) B Grade - 50 mins+ 3 laps - 50 Starters 1 Glenn Hutchinson (Footscray CC) 2 Gary Trowell (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Richard Knight (Blackburn CC) 4 Mark Gallagher (Footscray CC) Women: Louisa Hamilton-White (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps- 41 starters 1 Grant Jamieson (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Glenn Harvey (Victor Cycles) 3 Ross Edwards (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Adam Forster (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women: Cheryl Hickman (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps- 24 starters 1 Sean Bourke (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Joe Jones (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Peter Johnstone (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Daniel Bermiard Women: Tess Downing (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
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