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Picnic Point, Victoria, April 30, 2005

Sandner, Bailey & Bailie and Parker each take the prize

By Trent Brown

Stevie Sandner won A-grade in a sprint, B-grade saw Pete Bailey and Luke Hanley fight out it out for the win. In C-grade a strong time trialling performance saw David Bailie take first, while in D-grade Travis Parker took out the sprint from club stalwart Dave Axford after a little deal making.

The action

On an overcast, cool and windy day, 23 riders rolled out for a scratch race around the Picnic Point circuit which included the wicked climb of the wall and long gut-bursting ascent of Picnic Point. The biggest bunch of the day was in A Grade, which had grown from six riders the week before to eight. These numbers were somewhat artificial after the incursion of a number of B Grade riders including Steve Twining, Trent Brown, and Chris Beales, Brett Rollinson and Geoff Thomson who wanted to test themselves against the likes of Jason Kruger, Thomas Sandner and Stevie Sandner.

A relatively slow start saw Chris Beales take the initiative, and he led out up the first ascent of the wall. He continued to ride solo for the majority of the first lap before the bunch caught him coming into the final turn of lap one. Lap two was where all the racing was to occur, with Jason Kruger, Thomas Sandner and Stevie Sandner hammering the others on the wall to create a breakaway which went straight down the lines of seasoned A Graders versus newcomer B Graders. This required Brett Rollinson, Trent Brown and Steve Twinning to work as a team to get back on to the leaders and this occurred just after the turn into Labertouche Road. On lap three, six riders were clear and there was no real action until Jason Kruger and Thomas Sander attempted to break free from the remaining riders. Each move was countered, which left it down to a sprint for the victory. This was taken out by Stevie Sandner, followed by Steve Twinning, who the commissaries judged had not impeded the fast finishing Trent Brown and therefore these three took out the podium places.

B Grade had the smallest group of the day with only four riders. It was great to see the improving Simon Cuckson promote himself to B Grade to join fellow riders in that grade, Pete Bailey, Luke Hanley and Paul Yeatman. The first lap saw Pete Bailey attempting to blow away other riders on the first ascent of Picnic Point. His tactic did pay a dividend, sapping energy from most of his competitors. He did so again on the wall, with Paul Yeatman succumbing to the pace. This left three to battle it out; however, Simon Cuckson found the pace too high, allowing Luke Hanley and Pete Bailey to fight out the remaining part of the race. Pete and Luke worked well to stay away as the winning margin was just on 1.5mins. The victory was taken out by Pete Bailey who just held off Luke Hanley by a tire's width. Paul Yeatman found some reserve energy as he kicked away from Simon Cuckson to take third and the final podium place.

In the C Grade race the bunch stayed together on the first lap before David Bailie, who probably raced his last C Grade race ever, got aggressive and put some space into the others using his climbing and time trialling ability to put nearly 1 minute into his competitors after the second lap. The pace Bailie was setting caused all riders to ride by themselves for a period of time. Bailie continued to ride hard on lap three and his work was justified as the margin on the finishing line was over two minutes ahead of Michael Pridmore, who beat home Roger Bell, Bill Murphy and Matt Kennelly.

D Grade saw six riders tackle the Picnic Point circuit. All riders were together after lap one, completing the 13.6km circuit in a tick over 30 minutes. The remaining lap saw a tussle amongst most of the riders, with Dave Axford and Travis Parker breaking free from the rest of the peloton just over the top of the wall. These riders rode together discussing tactics before the finish in a hope that they would stay clear of the remaining riders. Their conversation obviously paid off with Travis Parker sprinting clear of Dave in the last 200 metres to take the victory. Paul Kennedy continued to pedal hard into the wind on the last lap and his work paid off with a gallant third. Following on were Chris Herrenn, Brendan Pridmore and Lawrence Maskill, with all riders in D-grade breaking the crucial 1 hour barrier.

Once again many thanks go to Staf Duncan (race starter) and Graeme Fricke (commissaire) and all the marshals enabling our cycling event to take place. Next week's race is an individual time trial event around the Lillico circuit.

Local results 2004