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Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club
Heffron Park, Maroubra, NSW, December 5, 2006
Rodriguez and Campbell blitz the field in the wind
By John Sunde
Jose Rodriguez (Clarence St Cyclery) and Stewart Campbell (Easts) stamped their authority and experience on a large field of ninety two riders on another incredibly windy night at Heffron Park. The two riders ghosted off the front of the chasing A and B grade field in the closing laps to catch the remnants of C grade on the last lap. Unfortunately a puncture to Jose Rodriguez before the straight eliminated him from contesting the finish and it was left to his breakaway companion Stewart 'Computer' Campbell to claim the overall win, his second in four days at Heffron Park after he demolished the field in the Bondi Brats triathlon on Saturday.
Although it was an A grade win, C grade again dominated the race and also the prize money by filling the remaining four places on the podium. Despite the vigorous discussion and debate about the handicapping which has raged during the past few weeks, or is it the past few years?, it is still disappointing that a host of capable, talented riders opt to protect themselves in easier grades. Of course, it was never like that in the 'old days' when a half bidon of water and a mushy banana would last you 200kms on gravel roads in howling cross winds. And that was using 3 gears and with 2 spares strapped to your back. Nowadays with the standard C grade equipment a full carbon frame in ProTour team colours, complete with carbon aero wheels its little wonder riders don't want to hurt themselves.
Speaking of the old days, it's good to see Heffron Park legion from the eighties Gary Stewart back watching the racing unfold on a Tuesday night. Also making a comeback to racing was another hard man from the eighties and nineties, former St George State Road Champion Steve Griffiths who tried to keep a low profile in B grade but was prominent at the front of the bunch at the business end of the race.
With a buffeting 50km north easterly blowing across the track it was a core of a dozen C grade riders who once again forced the pace and looked like pocketing the prize pool. A grade rode one of their hardest, fastest races for the season with punishing turns from Troy Glennan and Jose Rodriguez keeping them in touch. A massive B grade field of 48 riders were caught with six laps to go and from then on, only a few riders struggled to remain in the front group because of the wind.
With Computer wrapping up the race, the rest of the podium honours went to John Millar, Neil Morris, Matt Carter and Anthony Fortuna who have all featured in the placings in recent weeks and continue to slip under the radar of the Handicapper. John Kenny (Easts) had to pull out a strong finish to claim the B grade victory after he and Marko Turner (Randwick Botany), who had an exceptionally strong ride were the only two B graders left.
Sunday 17 December is the Cronulla International Criterium with a full programme of racing starting at 8am for Masters and the feature pro/elite race on at 11.30am. Over 175 entries so far with Lidcombe, Sutherland and St George clubs all boasting over 20 riders each. Pleased to see there are at least four riders from the Eastern Suburbs who are prepared to race.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Stuart Baker
Images by David Bateman
1 Stewart Campbell (Easts - A) 2 John Millar (Waratah - C) 3 Neil Morris (Randwick Botany - C) 4 Matt Carter (Easts - C) 5 Anthony Fortuna (Randwick Botany - C B Grade 1 John Kenny (Easts) 2 Marko Turner (Randwick Botany)
Local results 2006