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Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club
'Hell of the West 100' - Geelong, Victoria, June 4, 2005
By Mal Sawford
Carnegie Caulfield's first road race for the winter saw the introduction of an exiting new circuit, with the event held at the Australian Automotive Research Centre Proving Grounds south of Geelong. The venue is normally used for car and truck development testing, but with a variety of sealed and gravel roads proved a perfect alternative to sharing the roads with traffic.
The circuit used combined a 4.5km undulating hotmix loop, with a detour down a fast and windy descent, before a 2km climb through the trees. After the summit, the final 1km stretch saw riders tackle a hard packed dirt road before swinging back onto the bitumen 500m from the finish line.
Just fewer than one hundred riders made the ninety minute trek from Melbourne, with the circuit getting rave reviews from all - except the A Grade winner who has become used to winning without quite so much effort! The A Grade race was over 100km, made up of a neutral lap over the hill, followed by ten circuits of the sealed loop and finishing with another seven laps of the hilly loop. The first significant attack came from Guy Green (Le Tour Cycles) and Ryan Kelly (Bicycle Superstore) two laps in, and the pair opened an advantage of fifty seconds over the next five laps.
The main bunch seemed determined to reel them in before the attackers had the chance to get out of sight in the hills, but may have been a little fortunate to benefit from the slip stream of some errant B Grade riders in finally closing the gap. The combination of the 5% climb and the dirt roads seemed tailor made for MTB star Murray Spink (Giant Bicycles), but it was Nathan Wise and Justin Davis (O'Mara Cycles) who were first to jump away when the road turned up.
Spink showed his strength, leading the chase, and over the next few laps the bunch thinned out until only Tommy Nankervis (Fitzroy Cycles), Ross Mueller (Salter Cycles), Vaughan Bowman (Le Tour) and Green could follow. The two attackers were caught before the penultimate climb, where another surge from early leader Wise saw Davis in difficulty. Bowman lost contact on the final lap, leaving five riders to sprint for the win. Fresh off 13 Crit wins, and a couple of near misses at Crib Point and Gembrook, Nankervis held off a strong challenge from Mueller to take an impressive win by inches, with Wise holding off Spink for third place.
The B Grade race also proved to be a race of attrition, with only a handful of riders able to match the climbing form of Paul Logan, Scott Jensen (Nepean Cycles) and Wayne Evans (aboc Cycle Coaching). The early heroics appropriately came from CCCC Vice President Grant Jamieson (Burnley Finance). Jamieson 'discovered' the venue through his work with car manufacturers, and put his local knowledge to good use with a solo break in front of the venue manager! Once the hill came into play, the climbers took over. Logan had enough left at the finish to sprint clear of Evans, with Cam Winton third and Jensen fourth.
Bob Kelly took out the C Grade race, after escaping with strong man Steve Davis in the final laps. Geelong rider Brad McDermott led the chasers home, ahead of Bruce Trew. The leading women also contested C Grade, with Apryl Eppinger (VIS) and Gemma Goyne (BikeNOW) strong enough to stay with the first chase group.
Eppinger is noted for her fast finish, forcing Goyne to go on the offensive on the climbs. Goyne was successful in opening a gap on the final climb, but wasn't able to hold off the chase on the dirt road. Eppinger took the win after organising a handy lead out from a male training partner - something that will no doubt be noted in Goyne's playbook!
Footscray rider David Lay proved too strong for the D Grade bunch, powering away on the first climb, and riding to an impressive victory. The experience of the vets in the bunch wasn't enough to reel him in, with Malcolm Powell having to settle for second, taking the bunch sprint ahead of Ivan Collings and Greg Lane.
The juniors were spoilt with their own independent circuit to race on, and tackled a time trial and scratch race. Matt Leonard was the only rider to break six minutes in the one lap dash, with Angus Cramp and George Vissariou only a few seconds slower. The five lap scratch race saw Scott Tangey in contention to the half way mark despite the handicap of riding a single speed, with the three leaders staying together to sprint for the win. The sprint started a long, long way from home, but Angus was able to turn the tables on Matt to take the win.
Carnegie Caulfield's next event is at another 'off road' venue, at the Holden Proving Grounds at Lang Lang on June 19. The 10km circuit is on perfectly maintained bitumen and is 10% hill free, and promises to be another great opportunity to race without the hazards of traffic or the nuisance of centre line rules. After a return to the open road for Mornington CC's debut event at Somers on June 25, CCCC will complete the trifecta of new circuits this season, and will host the first non-motorised bike races at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on July 3.
All holders of 2005 Cycling Australia licenses are welcome (don't forget to bring your license or receipt!) and non-members can have a go by taking out a day license for $20. For further details, including the full regional race calendar, go to www.carnegiecycling.com.au.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mal Sawford
A Grade - 100km, 12 Starters 1 Tommy Nankervis (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Ross Mueller (Brunswick) 3 Nathan Wise (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Murray Spink (Dirt Riders) 5 Guy Green (Blackburn) 6 Vaughan Bowman (Blackburn) B Grade - 85km, 31 Starters 1 Paul Logan (Coburg) 2 Wayne Evans (Blackburn) 3 Cameron Winton (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Scott Jensen (Carnegie Caulfield) C Grade - 70km, 37 Starters 1 Bob Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Steve Davis (Carnegie Caulfield) 3 Brad McDermott (Geelong) 4 Bruce Trew (Mornington) Women 1 Apryl Eppinger (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield) 3 Janine Donaldson (Footscray) D Grade - 60km, 11 Starters 1 David Lay (Footscray) 2 Malcolm Powell (Blackburn) 3 Ivan Collings (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Greg Lane (Carnegie Caulfield) Women Claire Vlahopolous (Carnegie Caulfield) Junior - 3.2km Time Trial 1 Matt Leonard (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Angus Cramp (Carnegie Caulfield) 3 George Vissariou (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Scott Tangey (Carnegie Caulfield) 16km Road Race 1 Angus Cramp (Carnegie Caulfield) 2 Matt Leonard (Carnegie Caulfield) 3 George Vissariou (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Scott Tangey (Carnegie Caulfield)
Local results 2004