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Lenny Hammond Memorial Handicap, Modella, June 12, 2004

Too big a job for scratchies as out-markers stay away

Lenny Hammond Memorial winner
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Women's winner Gemma Goyne
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
An undermanned Scratch bunch
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Brigid Farrell and John Groves
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Fastest time winner Ash Gowie
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Bob Kelly
Photo ©: Mal Sawford

The traditional Australian Handicap Road Race has struggled to attract a decent turn out over the past few years. Once the staple of both Club level and Open events, the testing format requires a high pain threshold as riders effectively ride team time trials - a skill the average criterium specialist lacks. Fine weather on the opening day of the Queen's Birthday long weekend brought a great turnout of over 100 to battle over 98 kilometres for $1000 prize money in a race held in memory of Champion racer Lenny Hammond.

With the lure of Three Day Tours attracting most of the top riders, those who weren't able to score a three day leave pass from their significant others made up the majority of the start list. The field was split into seven bunches, with the Out Markers given a twenty-two minute advantage over a relatively weak Scratch bunch.

Under the experienced eye of John Groves, the Limit bunch set off steadily, and survived most of the first lap at the head of the race. The 12 minute bunch flew off the start line, catching the strong 17 minute bunch at the half way mark of the opening lap. The Scratch bunch were always going to have a hard day at the office, with only eight riders chasing groups around twice their size, but when Geordan Murray and Rob Licciardo lost track of the time and missed the start by two minutes, the task was next to impossible.

At the end of the first lap, with 49 kilometres to race, the large leading group contained the survivors from the first three bunches off, with Bob Kelly playing Sergeant Major and keeping most riders rolling through on a regular basis. The Women were well represented, with Sam Lindsay, Gemma Goyne (BikeNOW) and Carmen Gould riding strongly, while Louisa Judd was the only Limit rider to hang on.

Track sprinters Ian Smith and Andrew Shannon (Kathy Watt's Personal Training) made a rare long distance appearance, and with regular strong men Peter Homann (VIS), Rob Pagey and John Tassell brought the 8 minute bunch to within three minutes at the bell, while Bruce Will, John Hollingworth, Geoff Whiter and Sam Brown (Terry Hammond Cycles) and the rest of the 4 minute bunch - who started with the biggest group of 19 riders - were only a minute down and closing fast.

The 'Chopping Block' 2 minute bunch were another three minutes down, having lost a minute to the group ahead, but still pulling away from the tiring Scratch bunch. Former CCCC member Ashley Gowie (CATS), has recently returned from an extended stay on the Gold Coast and was looking good early, before realizing the Fastest Time honors were up for grabs and saving something for the finish. Andrew Smith (ACR - Genovese Coffee), Matt Collins, Frank Cipriano and Garron Buckland (Le Tour Cycles) kept the pace on, making the final outcome very difficult to predict.

At the finish, the outmarkers hung on by the narrowest of margins, with big Carl Brewer (aboc cycle coaching) mashing a big gear home to cap off a fine lead out from club mate Scott Setford. Alistair Jack (Spoke'N) made ground late to claim second ahead of Bob Kelly, with Pete Johnstone (O'Mara Cycles), the youngest rider in the field sprinting into fourth place. Gemma Goyne proved freshest of the three Women to finish in the lead group, claiming a top ten finish as well as the First Woman cash.

Michael Sneyd led the 4 and 8 minute bunches in with a convincing sprint a mere 23 seconds away from the $250 first prize and an agonizing 11 seconds from the $150 up for the Fastest Time; while the experience of Gowie paid off as he led the 2 minute bunch home to claim the Fastest Time cash half a length ahead of Scott Arnold.

Junior racing saw a slight mix up for the older group as the lead group of riders shot past a dozing corner marshal, and added an extra five kilometres to their race distance! Will Livesay and Daniel Noy attacked on the rise after the extended neutral zone, but were recaptured by the smoothly rotating bunch. Noy had the legs at the finish, taking the sprint ahead of Curtis Yirildrim, Peter Walker and a fast finishing Joel Rogers.

No such confusion for the real youngsters, with Jacob Schmid dominating the three up sprint, to collect the win ahead of Angus Cramp and Jesse Cullen-Foote

Next Saturday Carnegie Caulfield and the South East Region clubs are racing at Picnic Point, in a combine hosted by the Warragul Club - a great opportunity for riders to race a new circuit, and compete for an inter-club trophy. For further details, check out


Images by Mal Sawford


Open Handicap, 98.4km. 91 starters
1 Carl Brewer (Blackburn) (12 mins)                        2.23.28
2 Alistair Jack (Carnegie Caulfield) (12 mins)
3 Bob Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield) (12 mins)
4 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula) (17 mins)
5 Gary Van Den Elsen (Footscray) (12 mins)
6 Andrew Prestage (Carnegie Caulfield) (17 mins)
7 Tony Mason (Carnegie Caulfield) (12 mins)
8 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield) (17 mins)
9 Joe Siklic (St Kilda) (12 mins)
10 Trent Brown (Carnegie Caulfield) (17 mins)
Fastest Time: Ashley Gowie (Queensland) (2 mins)            2.16.00
First Woman: Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield) (17 mins)     2.28.28
Under 17 & 19, 49km Scratch. 12 starters
1 Daniel Noy (Carnegie Caulfield)
2 Curtis Yirildrim (Blackburn)
3 Peter Walker (Carnegie Caulfield)
4 Joel Rogers (Carnegie Caulfield)
Under 11 & 13, 26km Scratch
1 Jacob Schmid (Carnegie Caulfield)
2 Angus Cramp (Carnegie Caulfield)
3 Jesse Cullen-Foote (Carnegie Caulfield)

Local results 2004