|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Results and Reports from Australia
Promoters wishing to submit results should send them to Cyclingnews
Warragul Cycling Club Criterium Series #1
Warragul, Victoria, January 3, 2004
New Year Fireworks in First Cycle Criterium Series Race
Warragul Cycling Club kicked off the New Year with the first of its three-round January Criterium Series at the Bourke Street Warragul racing circuit. With the holiday break allowing some extra training sessions, some generous hydration activities and festive carbo-loading, a large bunch of thirty-five cyclists ventured out in hot but breezy conditions.
The A grade field could barely wait for race director, Staf Duncan, to start proceedings and immediately attacked the infamous King Street hill hard. By lap two of the short circuit-style racing, John McKenzie left the remaining field in a wake of burning thigh muscles as he established a nine-second solo breakaway. The field regrouped a short time later and allowed little chance of counter-attacks as the pace remained as hot as the air temperature. Shane Stiles almost came to grief when his pedal scraped along the ground while manoeuvring around the tight corner at King Street, but with the uphill pace hovering above 45km/h there was little time to contemplate the close call. John Salton relished the opportunity to attack the hill at every lap with an endless supply of climbing legs as Keith Tomholt retired from a mechanical failure.
A recuperated John McKenzie re-launched another solo attack on lap 9 and capitalised on the unorganised chasing bunch. The chase group seemed content to allow Scott Keeble to undertake the chasing work on their behalf until Scotty strongly requested assistance. Shane Stiles, Danny Dilger and Matt Malacarne all contributed outside their heart rate comfort zone to finally catch McKenzie and the pack remained together for the final three laps. Dilger led the pack out for the sprint, and with some energy conserved during the final laps John Salton managed to scrape across the line an inch ahead of Scott Keeble.
Surprisingly, all eyes in the B grade field were not on 2003 B grade club points trophy winner Ross Henry, but on three riders seldom seen amongst the B grade ranks: sprint specialist Phil Gallagher, returning to racing in the new look club uniform; Brett Rollinson, also returning after a 12 month racing hiatus; and Steve Hall, fresh from some stylish performances on the Bona Vista hill climb and self-promoted up from C grade. They were joined by newcomer Paul Yeatman from Melbourne. The remainder of the field kept a consistent lap pace, with attacks shared by almost every rider on King Street. None were successful as the field regrouped each time behind the windbreak provided by Phil into the back straight.
By lap seven the pace had taken its toll on both Paul Yeatman and Brett Rolinson, who were later joined off the main bunch by James Henry and Steve Hall. The bunch remained tight until the bell lap when Pete Finlayson launched a stinging attack early into the hill. Realising he couldn’t stay clear for long, he allowed himself a small recovery until the bunch caught him where he countered his own attack. This second attack proved to be the winning move, as the chase bunch was unable to bridge the gap before the finish line. Leading the bunch home behind Pete was a quiet Chris Beales, ahead of Ross Henry, Phil Gallagher and Tim Lee.
C grade was joined by new riders Simon Baxter and Graham Answerth, and welcomed a return to racing by Trev Rollinson and former Herald-Sun tour rider Terry Kelly. Both Michael Pridmore and Rob Monk drove the pace on occasion, but no clean break was established as the pace stayed constant in the heat. Rather than attack early on the final lap, the field grabbed a quick drink and relaxed the legs for the sprint. Vic Spunner decided to wind-up for his sprint finish 1.5km from the line, which caused a chain reaction amongst the pack. Rob Monk capitalised on the early dashes and waited until his sprint was more effective. He held off Monique Hanley to claim victory. They were followed by Graham Answerth for third place.
Eight riders in the D grade field rode under a controlled pace for their first two laps, although this ‘control’ was largely at the hands of young riders Brendan Pridmore and Daniel deBlauw who kept the momentum high. Their pace was too hot for Glenda Pridmore or for any attacks by the remaining bunch. The final lap saw Dave Axford drive solo up the King Street hill but he was caught in the back straight shortly before Brendan Pridmore surged. A second attack by Dave was joined by Kym Fisher and Daniel deBlauw. Their pace was also short-lived, and as they prepared themselves for their sprint, they were surprised by a late charge courtesy of Rod Atkinson. Luke Hanley managed to jump across to Rod, and showing his now familiar ‘bobbing head’ sprint style rolled over the bunch to claim the win. Following Luke was Rod Atkinson, Daniel deBlauw and Dave Axford.
Next Saturday is Race Two of the three-race summer criterium series. The action begins at 2pm at Bourke Street, Warragul.
The township of Warragul is located 100km east of Melbourne in rolling dairy country perfectly suited to bike riding. The Warragul Cycling Club runs a variety of road races every Saturday from 2pm. Visitors with racing licences are welcome to join us for quality racing in a relaxed and friendly environment. For more information and upcoming racing schedules please visit our website at: http://www-personal.monash.edu.au/~joconnor/ .
A grade (50 mins + 1 lap) John Salton Scott Keeble Shane Stiles John McKenzie Matt Malacarne B grade (45 mins + 1 lap) Peter Finlayson Chris Beales Ross Henry Phil Gallagher Tim Lee C grade (40 mins + 1 lap) Rob Monk Monique Hanley Graham Answerth Simon Baxter Michael Pridmore D grade (35 mins + 1 lap) Luke Hanley Rod Atkinson Daniel deBlauw Dave Axford Brendon Pridmore
Local results 2003