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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

110th Bianchi Bicycles Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic - 1.2

Victoria, Australia, October 22, 2005

2004 Results    Results    Past winners

Swedish National Champion reigns supreme in Warrnambool Classic

By Rod Morris in Warrnambool

A fresh looking Ljungblad
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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Sweden's reigning National road champion, Jonas Ljungblad continued his amazing success rate in Australia today when he won one of the country's oldest and most prestigious bike races. Ljungblad (26) won the Bianchi Bicycles Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic in one of the closest finishes in memory. Ljungblad had just metres to spare from South Australian Joshua Collingwood after the original field of 143 riders had contested 299 km over the gruelling time of 7 hours 39.21 minutes.

The Melbourne to Warrnambool originated in 1895 and the 88 previous races over the last 110 years have produced many great cycling stories - the 2005 edition ranks up there with the best of them. In a great finish, 13 riders contested the final sprint with Ljungblad outlasting Collingwood and Queensland based Jason Phillips claiming third. Phillips was afforded a hero's welcome, as he was part of the original nine man breakaway group that set the pattern of the race very early.

Just to finish the Melbourne to Warrnambool is an achievement in itself and the remainder of the top 10 sprinters included Tim Decker, Englishman Dean Downing, Tommy Nankervis, Adelaide's Stephen Cunningham, Victorian pair Simon Clarke and Darren Lapthorne and Sydney's Peter Milostic.

How it unfolded

And they're off
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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Now billed as the longest one day cycling race in the world, the event started at Altona in Melbourne's Western suburbs at 7.30 a.m. and there was an air of anticipation from all concerned.

Race organisers placed a lucrative ($100) intermediate sprint just 15 minutes into the race, ensuring riders would take up the pace early. Polish riders Kacper Sowinski and Artur Krzeszowiec were the prime movers of the early break and between them dominated the sprints. Sowinski and Krzeszowiec shared the sprints at Altona, Point Cook, Werribee, Little River, Lara and Corio and Lovely Banks before the first of the hill climbs determined their fate.

An early break of nine
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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The two Poles appeared to struggle with the climbs and gradually lost contact with their fellow escapees. Joining them out in front were strong Carnegie Caulfield rider Matthew Chessum, Englishman, Shaun Snodden - who would later play a big role in the race - Cunningham, Phillips, Canberra's John Forrest, Adelaide rider Peter Mueller and D Grade cyclist Peter McWeeney of Carnegie, who was the surprise packet of the group. At just 28 km into this marathon event, the leading group had established a lead of 5 minutes and that was increasing slowly.

By the time the field had 50 km, the gap had widened to almost 10 minutes. The field had covered almost 80 km in the first two hours and they were on target to reach Warrnambool by the expected finish time of 3 p.m. Heading into Inverleigh, Krzeszowiec's race was albeit over, fatigue taking its toll, but not before he had cleaned up with plenty of cash incentives from the intermediate sprints. His Polish teammate, Sowinski was hanging in there, but he was under pressure from his fellow breakaways, in particular Snodden, who was eyeing off the Sprint Championship.

Kacper Sowinski (Amore & Vita)
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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When the race had passed the outskirts of Geelong, the several hill climbs were having a big effect on the leaders and a chasing group of 11 riders were putting extreme pressure on. But to the eternal credit of Cunningham, Chessum and Phillips, they buckled down and rode even harder than they had before and they were able to maintain a lead of around 5 minutes for several more kilometres.

Some of the race favourites, including Ljungblad, Finland's Kimmo Kananen, Collingwood, Irishman Eugene Moriarty and nippy Englishman Dean Downing had formed a chase group as the race hit the 200 km mark. Simon Clarke, Richard Moffatt and C Grade Hawthorn rider Ryan Moody put in a solid effort to bridge the gap to strengthen the chasers, but as the race went longer, the casualties increased.

Jan Bogaert
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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Over the 200 km distance post and the margin between the leaders and the chasers had decreased to 3.15 minutes and there was a nervous apprehensive feel around the leaders. David McKenzie, one of Australia's leading cyclists, was using this race as his farewell event after announcing his retirement and he was determined to go out with a bold showing. McKenzie was in the next of the chasing group, who were slowly but surely pegging the leader's back.

The bold showing of Poland's Sowinski came to an end when the bunch hit Terang. Sowinski had punctured about 10 km prior to Terang and lost contact with the breakaways and his race was effectively over. At the third and final feed station break, Sowinski called it quits and packed his bike into his manager's vehicle.

By now our leaders were under serious threat from some very serious challengers, including Ljungblad. At 266 km the leaders and the chasers became one - or at least a group of 13 - and the jockeying for final positions took on a whole new outlook. Cunningham was the first to try another move - albeit shortlived, as he was reeled in at the Peterborough turnoff. Then it was the turn of Dean Downing to try something - that too was curtailed pretty quickly.

Jason Phillips (Brugelmann)
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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The final sprint into Warrnambool was lined with thousands of spectators and they were treated to a classic finish. The 13 leaders were separated by no more than 30 seconds with Ljungblad leading them all home.

"I am very glad to have won this race," Ljungblad said in his version of broken English. "I raced here last year and finished 10th after I missed the initial break and I was disappointed with that, so I have made up for that."

Ljungblad won both the Herald Sun Tour and Tour of Queensland last year, setting up a successful campaign in the Swedish National Road Championship six months later. "I love racing in Australia because the events are well organised, they are safe, they have good prizemoney and the racing itself is very good," he said.

Ljungblad said he was worried early in the race, particularly when the margin blew out to 15 minutes at Inverleigh. "I had a couple of teammates out in the break group, but I wasn't convinced we could get them back. But when we got inside the last 100 km and the break was down to 5 minutes or so, it wasn't too bad and I wasn't so worried.

The podium
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
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"The Melbourne to Warrnambool has a solid reputation in the Northern Hemisphere and I know a lot more riders from my country and other parts of Europe would love to come and race in it."

Big burly Englishman Shaun Snodden rode strongly to claim the Sprint Championship, just one point ahead of Pole Sowinski and two points to the other Pole Krzeszowiec, while Jason Phillips won the King of the Mountain Championship by four points from Peter Mueller and Stephen Cunningham.

Every finishing rider in the Melbourne to Warrnambool received a commemorative medal to mark their achievement, while grade winners in the event included Andrew Naylor (B Grade), Ryan Moody (C) and Sam Brown (D). Race organisers also recognise local Warrnambool riders and the first to finish was Jade Frankel - competing in his fourth Melbourne to Warrnambool. Frankel also happens to be the president of the city's cycling club.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mal Sawford/Cyclingnews.com

Women

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mal Sawford/Cyclingnews.com

Results - 299 km

Overall
 
1 Jonas Ljungblad (Sweden)    7.39.21
2 Joshua Collingwood (SA) 
3 Jason Phillips (Qld) 
4 Tim Decker (Vic) 
5 Dean Downing (England) 
6 Tommy Nankervis (Vic) 
7 Stephen Cunningham (SA) 
8 Simon Clarke (Vic) 
9 Darren Lapthorne (Vic) 
10 Peter Milostic (NSW)
 
A Grade
 
1 Jonas Ljungblad (Sweden)    7.39.21
2 Joshua Collingwood (SA) 
3 Jason Phillips (Qld) 
4 Tim Decker (Vic) 
5 Dean Downing (England) 
6 Tommy Nankervis (Vic)
 
B Grade
 
1 Andrew Nalyor (Vic) 
2 Casey Munro (Vic) 
3 Aaron Salisbury (Vic) 
4 Jade Frankel (Vic) 
5 Richard Vollebreght (NSW) 
6 John Forrest (ACT)
 
C Grade
 
1 Ryan Moody (Vic) 
2 Daniel Burtt (Vic) 
3 Josh Akarsu (Vic) 
4 Justin Davis (Vic) 
5 Andrew Aquilina (Vic) 
6 Rohan Andrew (Vic)
 
D Grade
 
1 Sam Brown (Vic) 
2 Matt Colston (Vic) 
3 Peter McWeeney (Vic) 
4 Gordon Shaw (Vic) 
5 Adam Kliska (Vic) 
6 David Tennant (Vic)
 
Warrnambool Riders
 
1 Jade Frankel (Warrnambool) 
2 Andrew Graham (Port Fairy) 
3 Gerard Faulkner (Warrnambool)
 
Sprint Championship
 
1 Shaun Snodden (England)              29
2 Kacper Sowinski (Poland)             28
3 Artur Krzeszowiec (Poland)           27
 
King of the Mountain Championship
 
1 Jason Phillips (Qld)                 14 
2 Peter Mueller (SA)                   10
3 Stephen Cunningham (SA)              10

Past winners

Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic winners

2005 Jonas Ljungblad (Swe) Amore e Vita 7.39.21
2004 William Walker (Aus)               7.59.22
2003 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Team Ringerike 6.47.38
2002 Jamie Drew (Aus) iTeamnova.com     6.09.57
2001 David McKenzie (Aus)               7.01.55
2000 H. Clarke Jr. (Aus) Carnegie       7.34.36
1999 J. Drew (Aus) Warrnambool          6.42.51
1998 B. Heirwegh (Bel)                  7.20.56
1997 D. Schnider (Swi)                  6.17.54
1996 C. White (Aus)                     6.44.16
1995 B. McAuliffe (60m)                 6.34.35
1994 G. Parsonage, WA (scratch)         7.20.04
1993 D. Woods (scratch)                 7.36.08
1992 P. Besanko (scratch)               7.01.28
1991 A. Stirling (scratch)              7.15.45
1990 R. Jordan (42 min)                 5.49.33
1989 P. Besanko (scratch)               6.49.19
1988 B. Burns (scratch)                 7.18.59
1987 P. Rugari (scratch)                6.32.50
1986 M. Lynch (scratch)                 6.36.56
1985 B. Leach (30 min)                  6.18.09
1984 P. Besanko (scratch)               6.36.43
1983 A. Lindsay (40 min)                6.30.08
1982 D. Allan (scratch)                 6.32.31
1981 P. Cox (10 min)                    6.20.46
1980 J. Hine (amateur)                  6.02.34
1979 D. Allan (scratch)                 7.06.48
1978 D. Shaw (4 min)                    6.50.24
1977 I. Grindlay (32 min)               6.20.59
1976 D. Allan (scratch)                 6.38.31
1975 M. Giramondo (45 min)              8.01.36
1974 J. Bylsma (5 min)                  7.27.54
1973 B. Clarke (10 min)                 6.32.06
1972 L. Sedley (13 min)                 7.15.14
1971 B. Clark (20 min)                  8.56.20
1970 M. Giramondo (46 min)              6.37.52
1969 B. Farmer (30 min)                 6.53.55
1968 R. Crowe, NSW (18 min)             6.21.06
1967 G. Gilmore, TAS (scratch)          7.14.07
1966 L. Wearne (8 min)                  7.20.15
1965 W. Dove (28 min)                   7.22.52
1964 P. Fry (40 min)                    6.26.05
1963 J. Binding (40 min)                6.40.04
1962 W. O'Brien (20 min)                7.23.12
1961 T. Robson (34 min)                 6.59.39
1960 J. Sommer (15 min)                 8.38.11
1959 G. Daws (50 min)                   8.08.53
1958 W. O'Brien (46 min)                6.24.15
1957 S. Bonney (36 min)                 6.18.45
1956 R. Davis, WA (51 min)              6.34.45
1955 E. Smith (scratch)                 6.04.55
1954 W. Guyatt (27 min)                 8.34.58
1953 M. French (17 min)                 6.19.42
1952 V. Beasley (50 min)                7.53.55
1951 A. Julius (27 min)                 6.36.54
1950 M. Rowley (scratch)                7.53.28
1949 S. Bonney (33 min)                 6.33.05
1948 A. Saunders (33' min)              7.32.02
1947 A. Edwards, SA (45 min)            7.19.15
1939 D. Toseland, SA (scratch)          8.18.06
1938 T. Rogers, QLD (31 min)            7.05.56
1937 T. Brooks, TAS (24 min)            7.39.19
1936 J. McEvoy, SA (43 min)             7.17.28
1935 T. Reynolds, SA (57 min)           7.01.04
1933 L. Willoughby (48 min)             7.05.55
1932 R. J. Reynolds (39 min)            6.39.33
1931 G. E. Lessing (63 min)             7.13.18
1930 J. P. Egan (52 min)                9.03.00
1929 H. Marshall, WA (6 min)            8.13.09
1926 L. Einsiedel (48 min)              8.16.09
1925 E. E. Williamson (60 min)          7.39.34
1924 W. F. King (64 min)                8.09.18
1923 P. Wells (56 min)                  8.37.05
1922 P. Hill, NZ (32 min)               9.20.45
1911 J. Tebbs (42 min)                  8.53.12
1910 C. A. Piercy (47 min)             10.01.21
1909 W. Knaggs (41 min)                 7.32.19
1908 J. T. Donohue, NSW (49 min)        8.00.38
1907 M. B. Dobie (42 min)               7.45.37
1906 D. D. Riley (28 min)               8.58.50
1905 W. E. Hawley (25 min)              7.52.26
1904 J. Wright (38 min)                 7.53.57
1903 J. Arnst, NZ (scratch)             7.43.00
1902 M. Chappell (55 min)               9.00.08
1901 W. Nioa (40 min)                   9.20.40
1898 W. Collins (90 min)                9.50.50
1897 W. C. Jackson (10 min)             9.51.09
1896 J. Carpenter (scratch)             8.40.05
1895 W. Nicol (90 min)                 13.34.00
1895 A. Calder (2 hours start)         11.44.30

Blue Riband Winners

1995 M. Wust (Ger) (scratch)            5.39.27
1994 G. Parsonage, WA (scratch)         7.20.04
1993 D. Woods (scratch)                 7.36.08
1992 P. Besanko (scratch)               7.01.28
1991 A. Stirling (scratch)              7.15.45
1990 D. Woods (scratch)                 5.12.26 Record
1989 P. Besanko (scratch)               6.49.19
1988 B. Burns (scratch)                 7.18.29
1987 P. Rugari (scratch)                6.32.50
1986 M. Lynch (scratch)                 6.36.56
1985 T. Hammond (scratch)               6.01.02
1984 P. Besanko (scratch)               6.36.43
1983 T. Hammond (scratch)               6.00.25
1982 D. Allan (scratch)                 6.32.31
1981 D. Allan (scratch)                 6.16.54
1980 W. Hildred (scratch)               5.37.10
1979 D. Allan (scratch)                 7.06.48
1978 T. Stacey (scratch)                6.46.24
1977 T. Stacey (scratch)                5.53.03
1976 D. Allan (scratch)                 6.38.31
1975 H. Clarke (scratch)                7.24.24
1974 J. Bylsma (5 min)                  7.27.54
1973 G. Wilson (5 min)                  6.27.27
1972 F. Atkins, TAS (scratch)           7.11.18
1971 H. Clarke (scratch)                8.36.20
1970 K. Oliver, NSW (scratch)           6.03.25
1969 K. Hoole, NSW (scratch)            6.25.16
1968 B. Waddell (scratch)               6.12.33
1967 G. Gilmore, TAS (scratch)          7.14.07
1966 L. Wearne (8 min)                  7.20.15
1965 B. Waddell (scratch)               7.11.06
1964 B. Waddell (scratch)               6.07.34
1963 W. Dalton (scratch)                6.09.33
1962 J. X. McDonough (5 min)            7.11.31
1961 J. O'Sullivan (scratch)            6.43.02
1960 K. Stiefler (scratch)              8.32.47
1959 P. Anthony (6 min)                 7.30.15
1958 G. Goodwin (scratch)               5.49.35
1957 R. Mockridge (scratch)             6.06.12
1956 R. Mockridge (scratch)             5.47.05
1955 E. Smith (scratch)                 6.04.55
1954 D. Williams (4 min)                8.11.58
1953 A. W. Saunders (scratch)           6.08.58
1952 G. Stabell (scratch)               7.27.08
1951 G. Stabell (scratch)               6.27.03
1950 M. Rowley (scratch)                7.53.28
1949 A. W. Saunders (scratch)           6.12.10
1948 H. Guyatt, VIC (10 min)            7.09.10
1947 K. Rowley, VIC (10 min)            6.57.43
1939 D. Toseland, SA (scratch)          8.18.06
1938 D. Toseland, SA (scratch)          6.44.53
1937 A. Angus, VIC (scratch)            7.19.09
1936 A. Angus, VIC (scratch)            6.44.50
1935 C. J. Beasley, VIC (scratch)       6.24.36
1933 W. F. Stuart, VIC (scratch)        6.27.56
1932 R. W. Lamb, VIC (scratch)          6.21.18
1931 M. Lynch, VIC (8 min)              6.31.28
1930 R. W. Lamb, VIC (scratch)          8.20.10
1929 H. Opperman, VIC (scratch)         8.07.10
1926 H. Opperman, VIC (scratch)         7.36.10
1925 H. K. Smith, WA (scratch)          7.25.01
1924 H. Opperman, VIC (scratch)         7.15.37
1923 P. O'Shea, NZ (scratch)            7.51.41
1922 P. O'Shea, NZ (scratch)            8.59.08
1911 P. O'Shea, NZ (scratch)            8.08.44
1910 J. Pianta, WA (11 min)             9.30.46
1909 J. R. Munro, VIC (3 min)           7.12.51
1908 M. Chappell, VIC (scratch)         7.46.27
1907 T. Larcombe, NSW (scratch)         7.40.10
1906 H. Mehrtens, NZ (10 min)           8.53.52
1905 W. E. Hawley, VIC (25 min)         7.52.26
1904 T. Larcombe, NSW (20 min)          7.48.07
1903 J. Arnst, NZ (scratch)             7.43.00
1902 H. G. O'Callaghan, VIC (10 min)    8.46.23
1901 A. Ralston, NZ (scratch)           9.00.30
1898 W. Adams, VIC (35 min)             9.08.45
1897 W. C. Jackson (10 min)             9.51.09
1896 J. Carpenter, VIC (scratch)        8.40.05
1895 J. Carpenter, VIC (scratch)       12.53.00
1895 J. Carpenter, VIC (scratch)       10.52.00

Sprint Champions

2005 Shaun Snodden (GBr)
2004 Trent Wilson (Aus)
2003 S. Guyton (NZl)
2002 S. Guyton (NZl)
2001 E. Wakker (Kyg)
2000 K. Snorrason (Aus)
1999 Jamie Drew (Aus)
1998 Eric Wohlberg (Can)
1997 Dennis Rasmussen (Den)
1996 Ralf Grabsch (Ger)

King of the Mountain Championship

2005 Jason Phillips (Aus)



Past winners by Rod Morris