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Carnegie Caulfield CC
Modella September 6, 2003
Chessum first and fastest in Pick-a-Part Handicap
By Mal Sawford
Another fine day in Melbourne's unpredictable winter season for the last of Carnegie Caulfield's feature handicaps. The race has been generously supported by Peter O'Callaghan through his Pick-a-Part business, Melbourne's leading self-salvage car parts supplier.
Riders were spread over six bunches, with the Scratch bunch giving up 22 minutes to the out markers over two laps of a flat 50 kilometer circuit. The Limit riders, ably captained by experienced veteran rider John Groves, set a good tempo around 34 km/h, and were still together approaching the completion of the first lap.
The time gaps were significantly reduced, however, and on the long, straight run into Modella, each bunch had the next bunch in sight. With only three starters, plus the courageous (or foolish) Cam Woolcock who had arrived at the venue five minutes before the departure of the Scratchies but was determined to ride, the Scratch bunch faced a huge effort to challenge for the win.
Even with Matt Chessum (Fitzroy Cycles) powering the chase at 50 km/h, it took the back markers over 40 kilometers to pull back the 75 second advantage of the next group. Once the group had swelled to eight riders, however, they began to rapidly close in on the middle markers.
At the Longwarry turn, with 40 kilometers to race, the race had evolved into a pursuit between two groups: Limit had been caught by the combined 10 and 15 minute bunches, while Scratch had picked up the 1, 6 and 10 minute bunches. The two small rises at Bunyip slowed the leaders noticeably, with their advantage down to a minute, and their resistance ended with the head wind at Tynong, with the field together with 25 kilometers to travel.
Chessum and Canberra's Michael Tolhurst, riding strongly despite the absence of any hills, took advantage of the cross wind on the leg to Bayles, forcing the pace and splitting the bunch almost immediately. Fellow Scratch rider Martin Bole was caught napping at the back of the bunch and wasn't able to jump across the gap, with only local veteran Geoff Thomson, John Mackenzie and Chris Bourke (Pro-Motion Bicycles) able to follow the attack.
The new leaders ground out an advantage of thirty seconds by the Bayles turn, and were able to maintain their lead in the tail wind run to the finish, despite Bourke losing contact in the closing stages. Chessum kept the hammer down all the way to the line, with only Thomson able to hold his wheel as he accelerated to the dual First and Fastest honors. Tolhurst rolled in for third ahead of Mackenzie, while Ken Ford led the bunch home with a good sprint ahead of Rick Jones and the unlucky Bourke.
Gemma Goyne took out the Women's prize, surviving in the front group until the winning attack at Tynong, ahead of first time competitor Berit Hayburn and Blackburn's Wendy Holt. Cam Woolcock earned the Perseverance Award, for riding the full distance on his own, and arrived back at the finish just as the search parties were being organized!
Once again, courtesy of PowerBar Australia, all competitors took home a Protein Plus bar (with a second one for all finishers), while the top three place getters earning a dozen bars each to give them an unfair advantage as they recover from their efforts!
Racing next week is the final Carnegie Caulfield road race for the 2003 season, graded scratch races starting at the Modella hall at 1.30pm. All competitors will receive PowerBar samples at sign on. The Criterium season kicks off on October 5 at Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave, full details are available at www.carnegiecycling.com.au.
Images by Mal Sawford
1 Matt Chessum (Carnegie Caulfield), Scratch 2.42.06 2 Geoff Thomson (Warragul), 6 minutes 3 Michael Tolhurst (Canberra), Scratch 0.03 4 John Mackenzie (Latrobe Valley), 6 minutes 0.11 5 Ken Ford (Carnegie Caulfield), 6 minutes 0.30 6 Rick Jones (Carnegie Caulfield), 6 minutes 7 Chris Bourke (St Kilda), 1 minute 8 Brian Sing (Dirt Riders), 1 minute 9 Martin Bole (Carnegie Caulfield), Scratch 10 Tim Nuttall (Blackburn), 15 minutes Fastest Times Women: Matt Chessum (Carnegie Caulfield), Scratch 2.20.21 Men: Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield), 22 minutes 2.54.24