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South East Region Combine Criteriums
METEC Driver Training Centre, Kilsyth, Victoria, Saturday July 26, 2003
By Mal Sawford
Another damp day, but the rain held off and by the scheduled mid afternoon race time the sun had made a brief appearance and the technical METEC circuit was starting to dry out.
After a couple of sedate warm up laps, the A Grade field went on the attack, with Team MG-ZT mover and shaker Rob Young prominent. Ben Jackson (SBR) found the criterium format much more to his liking than the previous weekends extremely hilly De Bortoli Wines Tour of the Yarra Valley, and was also on the attack, and the race quickly split into three distinct groups.
The MG-ZT boys were well represented, with Dom Gatto and Joel Pearson joining boss, leaving Mikkeli Godfree to police the chasing bunch. Richard England and Steve Martin (Le Tour Cycles) were there to represent the locals, as were Chris Tymms (Pro-Motion Bicycles) and visiting Kiwi Andrew Small.
Young attacked the leaders with fifteen minutes remaining and looked headed for a good win, with a lead of around 10 seconds at the bell. Richard England had other ideas, and with a monster turn of pace had the break back in contact entering the final corner. Pearson was too quick in the dash to the line, holding off Jackson, Tymms and Small with a well judged effort.
The B grade sprint was taken out by Geordan Murray, in one of his rare appearances on the race track. New comer Harry Fricke took second, ahead of Russell Newnham, with a great ride from Jenny Macpherson (Fitzroy Cycles) earning her outright fourth.
Matt Collins looked headed for a strong solo win in the C grade event, riding clear midway through the race. Unfortunately, he misjudged his line passing one of the junior competitors shortly before the end of the race and came to grief, ending his chances, but was not seriously hurt. The chasing group found themselves contesting the win, and Under 17 rider Alex Smyth took the honours, ahead of Andrew Wyatt, Bob Kelly and Blackburn junior Sean Bourke.
Anthony Pasztor burst away from the D Grade pack in the final half lap, and held on for the win. Under 17 star Tess Downing (Le Tour Cycles) led the bunch home for second, ahead of Steve Peterson and younger brother Michael.
Next on the program for the South East region Clubs is the Lang Lang 150 hosted by Blackburn CC on August 2, followed by Chelsea’s popular Crib Point circuit on August 9 and Carnegie Coalfield’s Jack McGowan Handicap at Modella on August 16. Full details are available at www.carnegiecycling.com.au.
A Grade, 1 hour + 3 laps, 23 starters 1 Joel Pearson (Warragul) 2 Ben Jackson (St Kilda) 3 Chris Tymms (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Andrew Small (New Zealand) B Grade, 1 hour + 3 laps, 19 starters 1 Geordan Murray (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Harry Fricke (Hawthorn) 3 Russell Newnham (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Jenny Macpherson (Carnegie Caulfield) C Grade, 50 minutes + 3 laps, 16 starters 1 Alex Smyth (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Andrew Wyatt (Blackburn) 3 Bob Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Sean Bourke (Blackburn) D Grade, 45 minutes + 3 laps, 21 starters 1 Anthony Pasztor (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Tess Downing (Carnegie Caulfield) 3 Steve Peterson (Mornington) 4 Michael Downing (Carnegie Caulfield) Junior, 12 km Handicap 1 Dale Reith (Blackburn) 2 Luke Petrie (Blackburn) 3 Patrick Lane (Carnegie Caulfield)