Stage 1 - January 2: Rye. Start 12.30pm, finish 3.30pm
B Grade puts on the pressure
By Karen Forman in Rye
They may have technically been the minor grade, but the riders in the B-grade event on the first day of the 2002 Skilled Geelong Bay Classic at Rye certainly knew how to put the pace on.
Won by Benjamin Jackson of Victoria with Codie Stevenson of NSW second and Daniel Newnham of Queensland third, the event proved to be a showcase of the cycling talent to come up through the ranks in the not so distant future.
Stevenson took an early lead in the 45 minute race and was never really out of the top of the field.
Fifteen minutes in Sean Finning broke away, leaving Stevenson to lead the bunch.
Up came the first intermediate sprint and it was Jackson first across the line ahead of Stevenson and third place getter Nicholas Sanders from Victoria.
Luke Dale of NSW had a turn leading but at 22.5 minutes it was William Walker of Victoria, Bradley Bullock of Victoria and Luke Dale swapping the turns at the front.
Bradley Milligan took off early before the second sprint but was dragged back after a few laps and a three man breakaway formed comprising Stevenson, Ric Steele of Tasmania and Bullock.
Three became two (Stevenson and Steele) with five lengths back to the bunch.
Dahl, dubbed "the little bulldog" did plenty of attacking throughout the race, working hard to reel in any breakaways.
The field was together with three laps to go, with Robert Young of NSW leading.
The second sprint was a bit of a surprise with Stevenson sneaking up Jackson and Christopher Pascoe of NSW.
Light rain was coming down with 15 minutes to go, making the road surface a little slippery but there was a convincing breakaway, by Sion Jones of Wales and Scott Dixon of NSW, pumping giant gears.
Stevenson was quick on the chase and soon the breakaway had a 50 metre gap to the bunch.
With seven to go, predictions of a bunch sprint for the finish were rife. Dahl continued to apply pressure and at the bell, it was on. Jackson and Stevenson crossed the line together.
B Grade Men
1 Benjamin Jackson (Vic) 2 Cody Stevenson (NSW) 3 Daniel Newnham (Qld) 4 Stef Van Zundert (Ned) 5 Bradley Edmunds 6 Dane Cheers (SA) 7 A Tully 8 James Hannan 9 Leigh De Luca 10 Robert Young (NSW) Sprints Sprint 1 1 Benjamin Jackson (Vic) 2 Cody Stevenson (NSW) 3 Nicholas Sanderson (Vic) Sprint 2 1 Cody Stevenson (NSW) 2 Benjamin Jackson (Vic) 3 Christopher Pascoe (NSW) Overall standings after race 1 1 Benjamin Jackson (Vic) 12 pts 2 Cody Stevenson (NSW) 10 3 Daniel Newnham (Qld) 8 4 Stef Van Zundert (Ned) 7 5 Bradley Edmunds 6 6 Dane Cheers (SA) 5 7 A Tully 4 8 James Hannan 3 9 Leigh De Luca 2 10 Robert Young (NSW) 1 Sprint Ace 1 Benjamin Jackson (Vic) 5 pts 2 Cody Stevenson (NSW) 5 3 Nicholas Sanderson (Vic) 1 4 Christopher Pascoe (NSW) 1