Melbourne - Sorrento - 1.5

Australia, January 3-7, 2001

2000 Results     Past Winners

Snorrasson too quick in scorching Sorrento

By Jeff Jones and John Doggett-Williams

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Kristjan Snorrasson
Photo: © Cyclingnews/JDW

Kristjan Snorrasson showed that his recent form is no fluke by taking out the second edition of the Skilled Melbourne to Sorrento Cup, the first UCI one day race of the year. Snorrasson surprised Jayco's Baden Cooke and Steve Williams in a tough event that saw many favourites succumb to the searing heat and high speed.

The race got underway in a stifling 37 degrees, with the 75 rider field facing a 21 kilometre neutral section before the official start. From there, it was 144 kilometres of hard slog including twice up the 3 kilometre climb of Arthur's Seat, with the first ascent coming at the 79 kilometre point and the second at 96 kilometres. A few smaller climbs followed this before the race finished in Sorrento.

Just 6 kilometres after the flag dropped, a break of 10 had formed including the likes of Baden Cooke (Jayco-VIS) and Mike Tillman (Crown). Although early in the race, it was obvious that there were a lot of itchy legs in the peloton. After some juggling of the names up front, a group of 12 established a clear lead by the 60 kilometre mark with a couple of minutes in hand. Seven others bridged up by kilometre 65, and it was looking dangerous for the main bunch.
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Phil Thuaux
Photo: © Cyclingnews/JDW

Phil Thuaux (NSWIS) was one of those in front, and he unleashed a strong attack prior to the first climb of Arthurs Seat. He was chased by former Olympian Robert Crowe (Fitzroy Cycles) but could not close the gap. Thuaux stayed away until the bottom of the second climb of Arthurs Seat (96 km), when he was absorbed by a fragment of the leading group, but he did enough to win both the KOM and Sprint prizes on the day. Robert Crowe, Baden Cooke, Chris Carr (Balance), Steve Williams (Fitzroy), Nic Brown (Skilled Development), and Luke Roberts (Skilled) were part of this, and they had 40 seconds on another chasing group, with the main field a minute and a half behind.

After the 80 km/h descent, the main field closed to within a minute, before finally capturing the break at 128 km (Neakins Road hill climb). At this point it was scorchingly hot, and several riders including joint defending champions Stuart O'Grady and Jamie Drew, Magnus Backstedt and Jay Sweet had pulled out.

However, there was to be no bunch sprint to decide the second Melbourne to Sorrento. Four riders (Kristjan Snorrasson (Balance), Baden Cooke, Steve Williams and Robert McGowan (City of Greater Geelong) attacked with approximately 5 kilometres left and put 200 metres into the depleted field. Although Cooke was favoured to take the win, Snorrasson had superior speed on the day and was able to sneak by Cooke for his biggest career win.

Just under half of the field finished the race, mainly due to the conditions and relentless speed.


1 Kristjan Snorrasson (Aus) Balance	3.54.28 (42.40 km/h)
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) Jayco-VIS
3 Steve Williams (Aus) Fitzroy Cycles
4 Adrian Laidler (Aus)
5 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Balance
6 Robert Crowe (Aus) Fitzroy Cycles
7 Russel van Hout (Aus) Cafe Paesano
8 David Harrigan (Aus) Motorola/Alchemy
9 Gene Bates (Aus) Woolmark-Aus
10 Marcel Gono (Aus) Fitzroy Cycles

75 starters

37 finishers

King of the Mountains

1 Phil Thuaux (Aus) NSWIS		22 pts
2 Robert Crowe (Aus) Fitzroy Cycles	15 
3 Nic Brown (Aus) Skilled Development	12


1 Phil Thuaux (Aus) NSWIS		4 pts
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) Jayco-VIS		3
3 Steve Williams (Aus) Fitzroy Cycles	3

Past Winners

1999 Stuart O'Grady/Jamie Drew (Aus) - Dead heat