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Burnie Bay criterium - NE

Burnie, Tasmania, Australia, December 31, 2004


Menzies power delivers well-earned win

By John Stevenson in Burnie

Karl Menzies (left)
Photo: © Shane Goss
Click for larger image

Tasmania's diesel engine Karl Menzies (TIS-Cyclingnews) won the inaugural Burnie Bay criterium this New Year's Eve. After providing the motive power for a five-man breakaway, Menzies still had enough in the tank to hammer for the line in the finale, coming past American Gui Nellesen and team-mate Wes Sulzberger to take the $2,000 first prize.

Menzies has been a major player in the racing here in Tasmania this week at the Christmas carnivals and the Launceston Criterium, and today's was a popular victory with the large crowd that lined the seafront in this resort and port town.

"It's awesome," said Menzies, conceding that the win had nevertheless been "close". Menzies thought "from the start" that the five-rider break of himself, Christian Lademann, Gui Nellesen, and the Sulzberger brothers Bernard and Wes would stay away. "Lademann can ride like that for 200km and I had two blokes, Wes and Bernie, awesome riders. Everyone worked well together. There was a few tactics at the finish and then I took the sprint. It was awesome for the team!"

How it unfolded

The pace was fierce from the gun and after some early jockeying the race settled down to the serious business of belting round the banana-shaped dogbone Burnie Bay course at high speed. After seven laps Menzies attacked, taking Lademann, Nellesen and the Sulzbergers with him. The five swept up and spat out Mike Friedman, who had taken a lap out after a fall, then set a blistering pace that gained an average of seven or eight seconds per lap.

A series of five sprint laps from the 15-minute mark was pointedly ignored as the five worked on building an insurmountable lead. Graeme Brown and Ashley Hutchinson attempted to drive the chase, but TIS-Cyclingnews riders darren young and Matt Goss policed the front of the main field and neutralised any pursuit attempts.

By the three to go mark it was clear that Menzies had been right and the break was uncatchable, and the only question was who would take home the two grand first prize. Menzies takes up the story: "Bernie broke away with two laps to go and I thought he'd win it. But Lademann hit out in the bottom bend and Gui hit over the top of him and I just had a bigger gear. I worked it up and by the time I was on top of it there was about 10 metres to go and was able to go around him and hit the line first.

Bittersweet win for Gilmore

Rochelle Gilmore won the earlier women's criterium, easily outsprinting Jess McLean, Grace Sulzberger and Louise Yaxley after a break in which Yaxley had clearly done the vast majority of the work. Gilmore admitted afterwards that it wasn't how she liked to win. "I'm a sprinter and that's my job," she said, "but Louise did a lot of work out there. I sat in and waited for the attacks and they never came."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Shane Goss/

Results (unofficial)

Elite men
1 Karl Menzies (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
2 Gui Nellesen (USA)
3 Wes Sulzberger (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
4 Christian Lademann (Ger)
5 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
6 Daniel Cutting (Aus)
7 Nathan Clarke (Aus)
8 Bradley Payne (Aus)
9 Aaron Rusden (Aus)
10 Jai Crawford (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
11 ??
12 Cameron Wise (Aus)
13 Tim Walker (Aus)
14 Mark Jamieson (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
15 Darren Young (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
1 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus)
2 Jess McLean (Aus)
3 Grace Sulzberger (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
4 Louise Yaxley (Aus) TIS/Cyclingnews
5 Natasha Mapley
6 Carrie Price
7 Tiffany Manion
8 Rosie McCall
9 Kate Warren
Under 13
1 Jake Laskey
2 Kodey West
3 Stephen Heppel
Under 15
1 Andrew Smith
2 David Lyons
3 Brandon Stuart
Under 17
1 Tom Robinson
2 Clay Murfet
3 Ben Grenda