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Eastern Suburbs CC Trek Bikes Summer Series Rd 6
Heffron Park, Maroubra, NSW, February 14, 2006
A grade jilted again
Anthony O'Brien notches another win for C Grade
By John Sunde
There was little room for romance at Heffron Park on Valentines Day when C grade held off a late charge from A Grade to record another outright win in Round 6 of the Trek Bikes Summer Series. Former Warringah 'Rugby Rat' and now Waratah Vets big motor, Anthony O'Brien recorded his first win at Heffron Park when he used his considerable power and strength to win the bunch sprint and now moves into second place in the Series. The win caps off an impressive first six months racing for O'Brien who already has a win and fourth place in Waratah Vets A Grade club racing to his credit (note to Handicapper - always check other club's race results).
There were certainly no roses and chocolates being handed out the race sign on as last week's top three C grade placegetters found themselves in B grade and B grade Sprint Kings Matt Lucas and Dave Evans found themselves on the A grade start line. Another solid turnout of 80 riders, with C grade still the biggest bunch with 35 starters, followed by B grade (30) and an A grade field of 14. Usual A grade big hitters Jose Rodriguez, Pete McDonald, Josh and Matt Fleming, Commonwealth Games English TT rider Stuart Dangerfield and local Cofidis pro Chris Sutton were all absent.
No surprise that many of the A graders are preferring Randwick Botany's generous $150 1st prize bounty for Saturday afternoon racing to Tuesday nights $25 envelope. Good racing should be duly recognised and rewarded and hopefully it won't be long before the Eastern Suburbs club members use the forum of their next club meeting and vote to increase Tuesday nights prize pool.
Still much debate over the handicap despite moving a handful of riders up a grade. The 1min 30sec handicap is based on C grade averaging around 37kph, B grade riding around 40kph and A grade riding 43kph. These bunch speeds allow the race to come together for an exciting finale. The reason A grade have only won ONE race out of the last six, is that C grade are averaging 40kph+. The solution, which obviously continues to elude the Handicapper and Timekeeper lies in adjusting the time gap to suit the bunch speeds.
Racing was still first class and full credit to the Easts C grade juggernaut of Peter O'Connor, Andrew Duggan, Manny Katsiaris, Kevin Vlahos and Master Vet, Hans Visch who all helped to produce an exceptionally quick C grade ride. Even DS Concy managed to get a few words out after the race to proclaim "that was the hardest race ever in C grade." Newly promoted B graders Aaron Richardson (no cups of tea this week), Mike Bolt and Andy Portess all handled the step up with Andy Portess having a strong ride to finish 2nd in B grade.
Sprint King's Matt Lucas and Dave Evans had a tougher time in A grade but both still had strong rides with Lucas just edging out Evans in the 5 laps to go sprint prime to take a slender 1 point lead in the Sprint King Comp. It was obvious at this point of the race there would be no marriage between A grade and C grade, with B grade once again feeling like the proverbial 'spare prick at a wedding.' In the closing laps Tim Willing was one of the main protagonists before timing a perfect escape to take the 3 laps to go sprint prime.
On the last lap, the Easts lead out machine lead by Peter O'Connor did their best to get one of their own up for the win, but Anthony O'Brien was just too strong when he had the perfect inside run to monster a big gear down the straight and hold off a challenge from Mr FRF Couriers, Frank Fortuna. Peter O'Connor still managed to hang on for a very respectable third in front of Mr Look Bicycles, Peter Carscadden and Mr Milkwood Furniture, Alf Brown.
The last lap finale for A and B grade was a hectic affair considering there were only 2 envelopes up for grabs and certainly no bonus flowers or chocolates let alone a winners kiss from an exotic looking podium girl. Liam Kelly kept it honest coming into the straight, but it was track speedster Peter Fitzpatrick who got the better of Tim Willing and Anthony Spurgeon on the line. Scott Callum bagged himself another well earned B grade win and the winners envelope which he will no doubt add to the end of season drinks night.
The Trek Bikes Summer Series 2006 continues every Tuesday night through to 28 March 2006. Racing starts promptly at 6pm. You'll need a current Cycling Australia licence and an Australian Standards approved helmet.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Stuart Baker
1 Anthony O'Brien (Waratahs) 2 Frank Fortuna (Randwick Botany) 3 Peter O'Connor (Easts) 4 Peter Carscadden (Sutherland) 5 Alf Brown (St George) A Grade 1 Peter Fitzpatrick (St George) 2 Tim Willing (Midland) 3 Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello) B Grade 1 Scott Callum (Easts) 2 Andy Portess (Randwick Botany) 3 John Sunde (St George) Trek Bikes Poinstcore 1 Aaron Richardson 20 pts 5 Anthony O'Brien 13 2 Andy Portess 11 3 Paul Watzlaff 7 3 Stuart Dangerfield 7 5 Frank Fortuna 6 6 Jose Rodriguez 5 7 Mike Bolt 4 7 Marko Turner 4 7 Karl Bellamy 4 7 Chris Sutton 4 11 Peter O'Connor 3 11 Simon Parker 3 13 Peter Carscadden 2 13 Andrew Duggan 2 13 Tim Willing 2 16 Alf Brown 1 16 Anthony Spurgeon 1 16 Brad McGarry 1 16 Shane Howley 1 16 Emma James 1 A/B Grade Sprint King 1 Matthew Lucas 39 pts 2 Dave Evans 38 3 Jose Rodriguez 16 3 Tim Willing 16 5 John Kenny 11 6 Stan Genakis 8 7 Scott Callum 7 8 John Peppard 6 8 Chris Reynolds 6 8 Brad Mills 6 8 Peter McDonald 6 8 Peter Fitzpatrick 6 13 Richard Vial 5 13 Sean Vale 5 13 Liam Kelly 5 13 Josh Flemming 5 13 Stuart Dangerfield 5 13 Michael O'Brien 5 13 Dave Green 5 20 Jonothan Cridland 3 20 Alan Bozunovic 3 20 Chris Reynolds 3 20 Chris Sutton 3 20 Anthony Spurgeon 2 25 Steve Wooldridge 1 25 John Boles 1 C Grade Poinstcore 1 Aaron Richardson 17 pts 2 Andy Portess 9 4 Anthony O'Brien 8 3 Paul Watzlaff 5 4 Marko Turner 3 4 Chris Taylor 3 4 Mike Bolt 3 9 Frank Fortuna 3 8 Karl Bellamy 1 8 Simon Parker 1 11 Peter O'Connor 1 Sprint Primes 7 laps to go 1 David Green 2 Michael O'Brien 3 John Boles 5 laps to go 1 Matthew Lucas 2 Dave Evans 3 Tim Willing 3 laps to go 1 Tim Willing 2 Stan Genakis 3 Anthony Spurgeon Final 1 Peter Fitzpatrick 2 Tim Willing 3 Anthony Spurgeon