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By Geoff Frost
It's that time of the year again when the level of A Grade rises a notch or two, as the Coast's international riders begin their preparations for next year, and one by one their familiar faces appear on the start line. Robbie McEwen and Jason Phillips were ready to race this week, but Nick Gates was carrying an arm injury, courtesy of a road rage attack while out training during the week, and he was content to sit down the back for most of the race. The only name missing was the powerful Dutch road champion Jans Koerts, also training on the Coast and expected to race in coming weeks.
The A Grade race was run at a steady, high pace, with riders going off the front throughout, but nothing was able to stick. With five minutes to go McEwen used his power to get across to a small group, next lap it was McEwen, Riki Lanyon and Jason Phillips in the lead, and that was the bike race. Lanyon was the odd man out, as first Phillips and then McEwen attacked, with McEwen freewheeling across the line 50 metres in front of Phillips and Lanyon.
There was plenty of action in B Grade with Under 17 riders Peter Spencer and Ben Mockridge among those stirring up the pace. It came down to a bunch sprint though, with Dean McMahon clearly having too much speed for Brisbane rider Chris Wilson and consistent B Grade placegetter Steve Whittle.
Another bunch sprint in C Grade with Lindsay Smith a strong winner, the old fox Stan Brims was too fast in D Grade, beating his pupil Leonie Bradfield to the line, and in E Grade the ladies showed the men a thing or two with Helen Griffiths clearing out in the last two laps to win from Trevor Brennan and Robyn Francis.
Next week's racing is at Nerang, 7am start for all grades.
For information on CATS racing visit the CATS web site at the new address of: www.goldcoastcats.com
A Grade - 60 minutes + 3 laps 1 Robbie McEwen 2 Jason Phillips 3 Riki Lanyon 4 Jim Burke B Grade - 60 minutes + 3 laps 1 Dean McMahon 2 Chris Wilson 3 Steve Whittle 4 Geoff Willmot C Grade - 60 minutes + 3 laps 1 Lindsay Smith 2 Wilf Hubac 3 Joel Davis 4 David Sheppard D Grade - 60 minutes + 3 laps 1 Stan Brims 2 Leonie Bradfield 3 Maurice Liussi 4 Manuel Pereira E Grade - 60 minutes + 3 laps 1 Helen Griffiths 2 Trevor Brennan 3 Robyn Francis
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