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By Mike Van Niekerk
Race directors introduced a variation of the track elimination discipline at SKCC's Sunday morning crit this week: for the last 15 minutes of A and B grades the last over the finish line each lap would be pulled out. And this certainly livened up proceedings for the 92 entrants who turned up in mild, clear conditions for some of the best racing all summer.
A grade got off to a cracking start, snaking around the two-block course close to Melbourne's casino and Exhibition Centre in single file as attacks continually blasted off the front. Cam Lester, who took the win just over an hour later, clocked an average speed of 44.2 kph.
Lester got away with at the 35-minute mark with Adam Murchie and last week's hero Daniel Nelms in a moment of confused attack and counter-attack that had the bunch momentarily fragmented. The trio then worked hard together to build a lead, averaging more than 55kph each leg down the Boundary Road back straight - not much slower than traffic on the other side of the fence heading for Westgate Bridge.
While the break went to an eventual half-lap lead up the road, the bunch went into sudden death mode, flattening out across the wide finishing straight to keep their back wheels hidden on the line and giving spectators more than usual entertainment.
In the end the placings were decided when Lester led home Muchie and Nelms, in that order. Adrian Salter brought home the bunch. The early pace in B grade was more varied, with Robbie Moore and Finton McCormack the most promising of several unsuccessful breaks until another duo - Ben van Duijme and Joseph Stoltz - got clear and finished in that order, Russell Wallace making up the top three.
Details of racing for C and D grades (from 9am) and A and B grades (10am) at the SKCC website: www.skcc.com.au .
A grade 1 Cameron Lester 2 Adam Murchie 3 Daniel Nelms B grade 1 Ben van Duijme 2 Joseph Stoltz 3 Russell Wallace C grade 1 Steven Di Tullio 2 Dave Roberts 3 Harry Fricke
Previous Australian Results