Results and Reports for March 23-24, 2002


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St Kilda Cycling Club

March 24, 2002

Tailwind gives way to countless attacks

By Andrei Zaitzev

The windy conditions did nothing to deter a large contingent of riders from making their way to Port Melbourne for SKCC's weekly criterium on Sunday March 24th. With no racing scheduled for SKCC over the Easter break, this race was the last opportunity for riders wanting to test themselves on the Port Melbourne circuit in advance of the club championships and Victorian criterium championships in April. In addition, it was the first time in seemingly months of racing that competitors were able to enjoy a tailwind down the finishing straight. It certainly appeared to spectators and officials alike that this contributed to the unusually high number of attacks that were attempted across all grades.

Proceedings commenced with C grade and a particularly uncharacteristic race in D grade. Damien Clancy decided to attack very early and although he was joined by a cluster of other riders, his constant pace allowed him to pull away from the entire field to finish a length of the finishing straight in front. Michael Roberts proved too strong in the sprint for second and Andreas Rojas held off Brenton Smith for fourth.

In C grade, the strong tailwind down the finishing straight made it difficult for anyone to escape the large bunch in spite of the efforts of Nick Chapman, Paul Davine, Ian Duffin, Geoff Diamond, Eid Elkheir and Noel Newell who were all responsible for notable attacks. With the tailwind playing a major part in the race, it was clear that riders holding an advantage coming around the last corner into the finishing straight would probably hold off the charges from those further back in the field. Murray Hyde was able to position himself best and managed to hold off the fast improving Chris Hui for first. David Coppinger, Peter Window and Patrick Cruse rounded out the top five.

The B grade race was unfortunately marred by the disqualification of three riders who were deemed to have gained an unfair advantage through drafting behind the passing A grade bunch. In spite of this (or perhaps because of the break that those three riders were able to establish), the race featured numerous attacks and breaks - far more than has been the case in previous weeks in B grade. Marcus Moore (who received a poorly timed mobile phone call in the midst of his early break) went off the front within the first lap in a group of three that also contained Justin Burgemeestre but only Justin was able to maintain the early momentum for more than three laps. However, after sitting up to allow a duo of A grade riders to pass (at the request of the officials) he was quickly dragged back by the chasing bunch. Carl Moroney then launched a solo effort at the head of the bunch, but he too was absorbed when the bunch of well in excess of thirty riders decided to work together to pull him back.

Shortly thereafter, three riders launched off the front just as the bunch was being overtaken by the passing A grade field. The three B grade riders were then caught up with A grade and failed to heed warnings from officials to sit up to allow them to pass, choosing instead to sit amongst the higher grade for a period of some laps. Rob Moore, Andrew Sprague, Burgemeetre and Graeme Cole chose to take things into their own hands and launched an attack which would last until the finish. For over twenty minutes they chased down the leading trio (not knowing that a decision had been made to disqualify all three of the leaders) at the same time drawing steadily clear of a decidedly unorganised bunch. With less than two laps to go, Moore and Cole had been able to make contact with the three front runners, joining them in the sprint to the line with Moore finishing second and Cole coming across in third. Burgemeestre (who lost touch with Moore and Cole within five minutes of the finish) was able to come across the line in sixth place (just off the back of the leading five riders) and he was closely followed by Sprague who still managed to hold off the chasing B grade bunch. With the disqualification of the riders in first, fourth and fifth, that left the thoroughly deserving Moore, Cole and Burgemeestre to fill the top three spots.

In A grade, the field was split into five teams with the overall honours going to the first team with two riders over the line at the finish. Daniel Nelms (representing the purple team) was first to attack, making a break on the first lap and establishing a small lead before coming back to the main field. A number of other less successful attacks followed before Kon Kakris (of team green) took off with a member of the orange team and the pair worked successfully to build a lead that stretched out to entire length of the finishing straight. The main bunch appeared uninterested in bringing the pair back (perhaps with e exception of Nelms and Andy Van Slobbe of the purple team) and it wasn't until the forty minute mark before another break (containing another member of the orange team and Adrian Salter from team pink) was able to secure an advantage over the main bunch. This second pair gradually pulled the leading duo back and at the same time continued to pull further clear of the main bunch. With three laps to go, the two pairings had merged while still holding a significant lead over the chasing peleton. By this time, Adam Murchie (of team pink) launched an attack of his own in a vein attempt to win the day for his team (together with one of Kakris' green team-mates), but in the end, the race was won by the orange team (Michael Tolhurst, Peter Bolton, Cam Streistemanis and Finton McCormack) with two riders in the lead break of four. Kakris received some consolation for his huge effort all day by coming across the line in second place (the meat in the orange sandwich!). Murchie finished in fifth place and secured second place for the pink team (Murchie, Andrew Aquilina and Salter - a fantastic effort from the only three man team in the field) while team green (Kon Kakris, Alexander Sceales, Paul Anders and Ben Dougall) finished in third spot.

No racing over Easter but things will get back into action the following week with the SKCC Club Championships on April 7th. This event will only be open to SKCC members. In other big news, SKCC will host the Victorian Criterium Championships on April 14th (at the Port Melbourne criterium course) and this event will be open to all riders who are current members of Victorian cycling clubs - definitely mark that down in your diary! See the club website ( for further details.


A Grade
1 Team Orange (Michael Tolhurst, Peter Bolton, Cam Streistemanis, Finton
B Grade
1 Rob Moore
2 Graeme Cole
3 Justin Burgemeestre
C Grade
1 Murray Hyde
2 Chris Hui
3 David Coppinger
D Grade
1 Damien Clancy
2 Michael Roberts
3 Andreas Rojas 

Australian results from the past week


Complete Australian results for 2002