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Cranbourne, Victoria, April 9 2006

By Pat Ruys

First of all we must thank the City of Casey, in partnership with the Victorian State Government that have constructed a state of the art criterium cycling track at Casey Fields in Cranbourne East - the first of its kind in Victoria.

After Waverley Park closed some four years ago we didn't have a home as such for our criterium racing - we raced on the road around factory circuits on weekends and now we have a new Criterium fatality at Casey fields in Cranbourne East. With sweeping bends and long straights, the 2.2km track should be fast paced most of the time; the circuit is permanently closed to traffic, so it will provide a greater interest for cyclists and encourage improved road handling skills from all users.

It happened today the very first race on the new track. Sure there's a bit of mud around, as some riders found out around those fast bends (Ron Chapman and Brian Dew), it looked like they were doing cycle cross: But once the grass grows around the track we won't have that problem - there are even two small grand stands for the spectators.

Some 163 riders christened the new track; A, C and E grades were first up: A Grade had 22 starters with Darren Spiteri winning the bunch sprint from Rob Crowe, Ian McGeogh and Brad Daly: C Grade had 33 starters and E Grade 19 starters. In E grade four riders got away from the main bunch with Kevin Beech easy winning the sprint from Peter Newbold and Colin Smith; too bad about the fourth rider because he missed out on a placing.

Next up it was B, D, F and G's turn to try the track out; B Grade had 36 starters and John Prichard was stirring them up early, but didn't come anywhere in the end. Mike Clucas won from Allan Shepherd, Martin Fluendy and Steve Flower. There were 27 starters in D Grade and 19 in F Grade. After some early activity it was Barry Collins who proved too strong to win from Robert Newbold and Bruno Sabbatini. Last of all G Grade hade eight starters, with Max Read winning from Joanne Miller and new rider Rod O'Dowd.

All in all it was a great day's racing and we must thank the BASE Committee members who pushed so hard for a new track after the state government, through the Department for Victorian Communities, provided $500,000 in funding towards the facility with the City of Casey providing an additional $250,000. The BASE group - Carnegie Caulfield, Blackburn, Chelsea, Southern and Eastern cycling clubs - will benefit from this circuit without a doubt.


A Grade
1 Darren Spiteri       
2 Rob Crowe            
3 Ian McGeogh          
4 Brad Daly            
B Grade
1 Mike Clucas          
2 Allan Shepherd       
3 Martin Fluendy       
4 Steve Flower         
C Grade
1 Mark Haworth         
2 John Throssell       
3 Phillip Catchlove    
4 Stuart Kinnear       
D Grade
1 Chris Norbury        
2 Bill Lynders         
3 Bob Quirk            
4 Graham Nankervis     
E Grade
1 Kevin Beech          
2 Peter Newbold        
3 Colin Smith          
F Grade
1 Barry Collins        
2 Robert Newbold       
3 Bruno Sabbatini      
G Grade
1 Max Read             
2 Joanne Miller        
3 Rob O'Dowd            

Local results 2006