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Results and Reports from Australia
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Central Coast Cycling Club
Ourimbah, NSW, January 8, 2006
After a two week layoff over the Christmas/New Year break a small band of riders lined up for another dose of mayhem on the criterium course at Ourimbah. And with the normal warm-up completed the riders were sent out for another few laps - in the other direction! Today's racing was in the reverse direction, meaning a steeper climb and an uphill finish.
As you looked through the faces in each pack there were the same mix of expressions, some finding it tough, some unsure of how to play their hand, and some knowing what it would take to win but unsure of whether they could hold it together to pull it off!
In A Grade an intrepid group of four set about trying to establish a solid break, but the main bunch kept in touch. It was a good tactic, with the chase group relying on Phil Thuaux to lead them back up to the breakaway. But at the halfway point the first rider cracked, then another, then another, leaving Grant Fraser riding solo out front with only a small lead. Once he was reeled in it became the Phil and Laurence show as they powered away from the tiring group. In the end only five of the original twelve remained, testament to the pressure of the original breakaway and the pain inducing surges of Mr Thuaux.
A small B Grade field was quickly reduced to just four strongmen as the steeper course quickly sorted out anyone that was even slightly out of form or unwilling to take the pain. And that's the way it stayed, with Brad Magus turing on the power again in the sprint to hold out Jackson Pratt and the perennial Guy Page.
The biggest field of the day were the C Grade bunch, and they mostly stayed together until the final sprint in a fine display of group riding. Ross Clague, a rider with strong claims today, surprised everyone by taking a lap after throwing a chain only to pull out after surging to the lead a couple of lap later. But it was big Vic Mostaert who held it together for a classy win against the powerhouse sprints of Cass Kell and Ray Van Schie. Paul Ferrari also returned to form with a fine fourth, only centimetres behind Ray.
And in D Grade the young guns show how it should be done. Richard Braithwaite (Southern Highlands CC) powered to victory over Chey Howard in a well fought sprint. Rod Pratt took the dubious honour of being the first rider to crash in the 05/06 crit season, snatching defeat from the jaws of a pointscoring position on the second last corner.
Things return to normal next week with a return to anticlockwise racing, but A Grade can look forward to three intermediate sprints with the return of graded primes. See you on the start line.
A Grade 1 Phil Thuaux (Central Coast) 2 Laurence Van Schie (Central Coast) 3 Shane Scott (Kooragang) 4 Michael J Smith (Central Coast) B Grade 1 Brad Magus (Central Coast) 2 Jackson Pratt (Central Coast) 3 Guy Page (Central Coast) 4 Ray Kerkin (Central Coast) C Grade 1 Vic Mostaert (Central Coast) 2 Cassandra Kell (Central Coast) 3 Ray Van Schie (Central Coast) 4 Paul Ferrari (Central Coast) D Grade 1 Richard Braithwaite (Sth Highlands) 2 Chey Howard (Central Coast) 3 Michael Hull (Central Coast) 4 Col Goldie (Hunter Districts)
Local results 2004