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By John Sunde
Another good turnout with over 60 riders lining up for the Eastern Suburbs weekly Tuesday night criterium at Heffron Park. A 25 strong B grade gave them a good start in the reasonably favourably conditions, windy, but not enough to slow the pace. A grade were a little depeleted with some of the regular riders away enjoying the delights of the AIS Track camp in Adelaide, however the presence of Steve Williams and Jono Davis ensured there was still enough horsepower to drive the bunch.
3 laps into the race, B grade started to improve on their good start by taking advantage of the momentum and speed created by the majority of the bunch doing turns (for a change) and had C grade in their sights at the halfway point with 7 laps to go. A couple of more laps and the 2 bunches came together with 5 laps to go and still no sign of the A grade bunch closing the gap from behind.
With everyone thinking about an overall win and A grade still out of the equation, no one seemed to want to force the pace, especially into the strong wind, until strongman Geoff 'Caveman' Butler put the hammer down at 2 to go. This finally threw some panic into the bunch as Dr 'Bob' Hampshire flew off in pursuit, but the bunch were quick to respond. As the bunch began to come back together 'Big' John Sunde launched the perfect counter attack which gave him and and a fast improving Luc Gowty a handy 250m lead at the bell.
One final effort down the tailwind section looked to have John Sunde away for the solo, but there still plenty of petrol in the bunch, especially from Br Bob Hampshire, John Kenny and 16 year old Warren Scott who hit the front with 200 to go. Warren Scott lead out the 2 more experienced riders and impressively held them off to claim his 3rd B grade in as many weeks and the first outright win for B grade this summer.
Jono Davis kept the St George Club colours flying by stamping his authority on the remains of the chasing A grade bunch and Alan Bozunovic claimed 1st C grade.
Next Tuesday 18 December is the Annual Trophy Race which is the pre Xmas finale with a combined A and B grade 20 lap scratch race and separate C grade race. No one has been able to win the Trophy Race from Anthony Spurgeon since 1993! Can the the King of Heffron make it 8 years in a row?
The Summer Pointscore Series gets underway when racing resumes on 8 January 8, 2002.
1 Warren Scott (St George) 2 John Kenny (Easts) 3 Bob Hampshire (St George) 4 David Gowty (St George) 5 Kristy Scrymengor (Bici Sport) A Grade 1 Jono Davis (St George) C Grade 1 Alan Bozunovic (Easts)
Previous Australian Results