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Creastmead Summer Series #1

Queensland, February 6, 2005

Top of the Poad-ium!

Anticipating the start
Photo ©: Adrian
Click for larger image

On a very hot 33 degree Sunday morning, the best of Queensland's A grade cyclists lined up for the start of the Creastmead Summer Series. Consisting of three races, the riders are put over three different kermese-style circuits, ranging from 1.5km to over 3km in length. Today, after being away with four other riders, Jaaron Poad (Velo) proved that with victory waiting on the other side of the white line, no one comes close. A well timed sprint and soft pedalling over the last 15 metres saw "Poady" take an early lead in the series in a casual display of high power sprinting.

Over 40 cyclists fronted for the one hour plus three lap race. Present were local teams of Healthworks, Flight Centre and Team Mondial (Lifecycle). Velo cycles had a good showing as well as Queensland University and other riders. The race was fairly casual for the opening laps until Matt 'Mad Dog' Smith (Flight Centre) opened the attacking account. Quickly gaining time on the leisurely peleton, Smith was soon joined by Peter Garrone and two other Uni riders with Stephen Palomba (Johns Cyclery) quickly bridging, and the quintet began working in earnest. Never allowed to go more than a minute, Healthworks brought back the group which was quickly countered by Nick Formosa (Velo). A few fruitless attacks continued until Mad Dog Smith (Flight Centre) attacked again. Smith was surely the most aggresive today and he was joined this time by Brendan Hill (Mondial), Mark Frendo (Uni), and Gilbert Gutowski (Borgioux). This group was developing quite the gap until the powerhouse of Jaaron Poad (Velo) decided to be bring out the smacking paddle. Poad waved it about willy nilly, launching from the top of the course with Andrew Wilkinson (Healthworks) in pursuit. Poad made it to the group with Wilkinson left hanging through a huge show of horse power displayed by the flying Kiwi. This would be the selection of the day with the group, lap by lap, adding between 15-30 seconds per lap on the ever increasing hot and windy circuit.

In the few remaining laps the efficent group of five had established over two minutes to the group and eyes began searching about for the oppurtune moment to pounce. Gutowski, having spent the last year riding for French team Borgioux, would not be allowed to go anywhere while Smith (Flight Centre), having been in great form since the Open Nationals, was being hawked by all. Hill, Poad, Gutowski, Smith and Mountain biking star Frendo continued steady, even tempo for what would end up being a straight, slightly down hill tail wind assisted sprint.

Mad Dog attacks Again!
Photo ©: Adrian
Click for larger image

Starting from 750m out, Frendo, Smith and Hill wound it up. All was even until 150m to go where Smith, falling victim to cramping after his amazingly aggressive race, found himself out of it. Gutowski, Frendo, Poad and Hill were all even until a move to the right and a brilliant show of power and speed had Poad rocket up the right hand side. Gapping them and gathering enough distance to at one point stop pedalling, Poad glanced over his left shoulder while soft pedalling to watch Hill take second, Gutowski thrid and Frendo forth. Smith would round out the top five.

Asked after the race had he planned to make it look so easy, Poad responded with, "that was not easy" panting away in what had become 33 degrees with that wonderful Queensland humidity. Hill was very pleased with his effort, giving credit to his fellow escapees. "we were working really well, no one was really gasing it once we knew we were away. Poady just had the kick!" Frendo, having just rested up for the past five days, sighting "over training" was suprised at his place today. "I just found myself in the right break today. A few had gone up the road earlier on, but the bunch just let this one go. I am stuffed now but..!" Gutowski was pleased with his effort, but stated, "I raced yesterday and we were away in that too. I thought I could have got it but just did not have it. Two races to go and I am still in it, we'll see". Matty Smith was a bit despondant after cramping in the finale, but knowing that nearly everything that went up the road today was because of him found him some solace. "Up the road all day and to cramp then. Far out, just not then!!!! Ahh well, still going OK though."

Fantastic work from the Kiwi that has held great form from the leader's jersey in the Tour of Queensland, Queensland's Cycling Grand Prix, (coming second to Allan Davis) and then the Bay crits, Poad is surely the favorite for the series with the strong team of Velo Cycles to take care of him for the coming two races. Healthworks, having missed the move, will be very intent on making amends, and Flight Centre, Mondial and Uni all set to make this task harder then ever, especially having guys placed right up in the series points.

Local results 2004