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Lidcombe - Auburn Cycle Club

Horsley Park, Sydney, June 25, 2005

By Steve Isaksen

Lidcombe-Auburn CC is one of NSW's, if not Australia's, oldest cycling clubs. Born in 1920 and continuously racing on the road and track every year since. Times move on and these days we find almost all of our races are graded scratch races - however, LACC have retained several of our perpetual trophies which go on the line each year in one big handicap. One of the downsides of modern day cycle racing of course is that wet weather, or even the threat of it, is enough to send many would be racers running off anywhere except to a bike race. Hence numbers were a lot lower than usual with only 50 starters signing on.

The scene - 56km - four laps of our Horsley Park road course with limit being 26 minutes, covering nine bunches. It had been showery in the Inner West most of the morning but travelling 30km out the M4 saw fine weather, partly cloudy and calm - about 17 degrees. The limit markers set off with 26 minutes start - almost immediately the wind picked up to a fairly steady easterly. In all, nine bunches rolled out at various intervals, with "block" at four minutes from a strong scratch bunch including Tom Brook (Parramatta), David Rae (Marconi) and the Macarthur duo of Trent Butler and Luis Trueba. Like most handicaps, the winners usually come from those bunches who organise themselves early and settle into a good fast tempo. Those bunches today looked like block, with last start winner Victor Pacciocco, Paul Green , Nick Bisello (all LACC), Mark Walters (Macarthur) and Peter Verhoven (Parramatta) - they had a few early casualties but were going fast and smoothly. Also looking good was the 8 minute bunch of Gil Carver, (LACC) Clint Hackney (Penrith) and a few of the Colnago-Caravello juniors, Brodie Talbot and Aaron Brewer. In fact they picked up the 10 minute bunch in just under 17km) and powered their way forward. In the meantime, our hard working 12 minute group with Robbie Dowdall (LACC) and the Macarthur Four, the Gleeson brothers, Neil Leifels and John Sperring had swallowed up the smaller 14 minute bunch and had just caught the 16 minute riders at about the 20km point. The magic of the handicap race was unfolding.

At the end of lap 2 it was still one solo limit rider (in fact it was one of our juniors getting some training in) followed by Phil Wyllie, sole survivor from the 22 minute bunch, and still in with a show. A time check at the 35km mark had the combined force of the 12 , 14 and 16 minute bunch with only a 30-second gap back to the 8 and 10 min bunch still being driven hard by Carver, Hackney, Hardy and the Colnago-Caravello juniors. It looked inevitable that these two bunches would merge, forming a "super group" of about 20 riders - race on!! Next group through at 1 minute 15 seconds was the "block", chasing hard - these boys were going for it - all working hard and still largely intact. The scratchies, meanwhile were still riding hard, however the early speed blitz had them down to just three - Brook, Rae and Butler - they were on track to get fastest time; but three riders chasing two larger groups of up to 15 riders was always going to be a big ask.

At the bell it was the juniors in training with a 2 minute 15 second lead from the Dowdall led group and only 20 seconds behind them was block - this race was now going to come together with a bunch of 25+ riders for the last 10km. The fast downhill section after the saw a few attempts by riders to get away, the most notable being Albert Tallone - he had only a maximum seven second lead. By the Garfield Road corner (5km to go) there were still small groups of three and four trying to get off the front, but none successful. This was a good bike race! Along Garfield, Talbot attacked briefly but was caught, then whoosh! Victor Pacciocco stuck it on the 12 sprocket and went for it - the gap was tenuous at best, Verhoven tries to bridge across, but Victor has a "friend" in the bunch who nullifies it. Up to the roundabout and down the hill and the left hander with only 2km to go Pacciocco had extended to a "comfortable" 15 second lead, still catchable though. After a great attack and surge to the line Pacciocco takes the win - a wall of riders arrive 10 seconds later with Clint Hackney just taking second from Verhoven and Carver. Albert Tallone rounded out the top 5. Tom Brook soloed in not long after to nail fastest time from David Rae. Sharon Hughes rode strongly to win the women's. Next race day at Horsley Park is this Saturday, July 2.


1 Victor Pacciocco (Lidcombe-Auburn)      
2 Clint Hackney (Penrith Panthers)        
3 Peter Herhoven (Parramatta)             
4 Gil Carver (Lidcombe-Auburn)            
5 Albert Tallone (Lidcombe-Auburn)        
6 Bruce Wyllie (Lidcombe-Auburn)          
7 Mark Walters (Macarthur CC)             
8 Paul Green (Lidcombe-Auburn)            
9 Sean Hardy (Lidcombe-Auburn)            
10 Sebastian Trueba (Penrith Panthers)    
11 Nick Bisello (Lidcombe-Auburn)         
13 Terry Grima (Marconi)                  
14 Michael Gleeson (Macarthur)            
15 Andrew Goldfinch (Lidcombe-Auburn)     
Fastest time
 Tom Brook (Parramatta)                   
 Victor Pacciocco (Men)                   
 Gil Carver (Masters)                     
 Sharon Hughes (Women)                    

Local results 2004