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Lidcombe - Auburn Cycling Club

Horsley Park, Sydney, May 28, 2005

By Steve Isaksen

NSW's drought does have a few benefits - late Autumn weather, loads of sunshine and almost perfect dry weather racing conditions. A quality field and a healthy quantity of riders gathered at Horsley Park Village, in the shadows of the new M7 - Sydney Western Orbital Motorway (still under construction). A rarity in the Sydney area, a challenging 14km open road circuit was used today, essentially our 9km course with an additional 2.5km out and back loop tacked on, which invites the stronger riders to go on the attack. Clubs racing today (and throughout the road season) were LACC, Macarthur Cycling Club and Bankstown Sports, along with several visitors.

The A grade field rolled out past the neutral zone to begin their 56km journey (4 laps). As we have come to expect, riders were showing aggression fairly early in the race, some just trying the softening up approach and others genuinely trying to escape. Prominent amongst these were Luis Trueba (Macarthur), Trent Butler (Mac) and Alex Arias (LACC). An early casualty was nationally ranked U19 rider Anthony Bennett (LACC), perhaps still not recovered from the tough U19 selection races at Mooball the previous week. Despite the aggression in the bunch, it was all largely together toward the finish, and Eddie Salas (Penrith Panthers) who had covered all the attacks got the $100 first prize, from Luis Trueba and Tom Brook (Parrmatta).

The B grade riders were not going to be outdone by the A's and it was LACC's Belinda Diprose, fresh from a 7th place finish (and first Women) out of a 30+ bunch at Cootamundra the previous weekend who was the most aggressive today. After early moves by Gil Carver (LACC) and Dean Mercurio (Marconi), it was Belinda who was off the front most of the race, partly with Mercurio. There were some big hitters in the main bunch, including Steve Pearson (LACC) and Walter Machado (PP) and they all appeared to be chasing but not gaining. Belinda's race was "over" by the hill up to the roundabout on the last lap (4km to go) and immediately visitor Manuel Katsiaris (East Subs) counter attacked, a great move. With a flat / downhill run to the finish however the bunch got rolling and nabbed Manueel with 2km to go and it was that hard road man again, Grant Law (Illawarra) who took the sprint out from a hard working John Mulligan (Macarthur) and evergreen Walter Machado . With prizemoney in the big field down to 5th, the sprint was hotly contested. A few riders were heard after the race to comment that they worked extra hard to bring back the breakaway as they didn't want to be beaten by a woman. Well done Belinda!

A strong C grade field began their 3 lap (42km) journey including NSWIS triathlete Erin Densham (BSC) and Michael Gleeson (Macarthur). Michael Watson (LACC) put in a strong effort on second lap on approaching Garfield Rd and got a workable gap, and was joined soon after by Matt Plohl (LACC) who sprinted across and the gap started to grow. Macarthur riders did the chasing, but soon it seemed obvious they were racing for 3rd. On the 3rd lap, Matt dropped off and rejoined the bunch. Watson time trialled to the finish taking a strong, gutsy win. Back in the bunch, Macarthur riders Mike and brother Pat Gleeson plus John Sperring put in their trademark surge to rip the bunch open, but a solid effort from the LA riders held it together until the last kilometre where Grant Fahey jumped away to finish just in front of the bunch lead by LACC Club secretary Steve McManus then Mike Gleeson & Robbie Dowdall picking up the last of the prizemoney.

D grade is always an interesting combination of older riders, "nursery" riders having their first starts in cycle racing and women. A steady race pace saw several riders drop off the back in this 28km race, but the rest of the bunch held together for the finish. Tony Hutton (LACC) scored his first win from last race winner Richard Sansom (LACC) and Daniel Nellestein (Mac) in 3rd. The womens event, held concurrently, was taken out in fine style by Katrina Haddrill (LACC), Sharon Hughes (LACC) and Bryony Mika (LACC). Having her first race since motherhood, Tanya Dorahy (nee Newsom) was close in 4th.

Next races at Horsley Park are Sat June 11th and Sat June 25th. LACC website has full details


A Grade - 56km
1 Eddie Salas (Penrith)                   
2 Luis Trueba (Macarthur)                 
3 Tom Brook (Parra)                       
4 Trent Butler (Macarthur)                
5 Alex Arias                              
B Grade - 56km
1 Grant Law (Illawarra)                   
2 John Mulligan (Macarthur)               
3 Walter Machado (Penrith)                
4 Terry Grima (Macarthur)                 
5 Peter McLean (Macarthur)                
C Grade - 42km
1 Michael Watson (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)     
2 Grant Fahey (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)        
3 Steve McManus (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)      
4 Michael Gleeson (Macarthur)             
5 Rob Dowdall (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)        
D Grade - 28km
1 Tony Hutton (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)        
2 Richard Sansom (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)     
3 Daniel Nellestein (Macarthur)           
4 Craig Cremen (Penrith)                  
5 Leon Turnbull (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)      
Women - 28km
1 Katrina Hadrill (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)    
2 Sharon Hughes (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)      
3 Bryony Mika (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)        
4 Tanya Dorahy (Lidcombe-Auburn CC)        

Local results 2004