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Riverland Cycling Club

Criterium, Monash, Tuesday December 4, 2007

Young riders claim victory

Angus Boase and Lee Stevens were soon
Photo ©: Glen O'Brien
(Click for larger image)
Brett earned the respect of his fellow C grade riders
Photo ©: Glen O'Brien
(Click for larger image)
Craig Spilsbury, John Jeffries, Peter Evans
Photo ©: Glen O'Brien
(Click for larger image)
In a good mix of youth and experience
Photo ©: Glen O'Brien
(Click for larger image)

In the battle of youth verses experience, youth comfortably held the upper hand on Tuesday afternoon with four of the five criterium victors still being in their teenage years.

After two weeks away club champion Matthew Benson returned to the track and finish first with daylight to second and third places. Setting off with Lee Stevens and Angus Boase, Benson attacked several times before riding away from his main competition Stevens who was experiencing muscle soreness. Benson stamped his authority on the night by lapping his competitors and essentially turning the race into a training ride for Stevens and Boase. In the wash up at the end of the day it was Benson first followed a lap down by Boase and Stevens.

With last weeks winner Alec Saunders away, Peter Weston, John Jeffries, Greg Hatcher and Craig Spilsbury looked set to compete in a tight B grade race. The race started at a conservative pace before the speed increased to an average of 34.5 kph. Jefferies pushed from the front and eventually split the group into two halves with the strong Evans unexpectedly being dropped along with Spilsbury.

The leaders continued to push the pace and take turns into the wind. On the last lap Hatcher was the first to round the final corner but the night's leader Jeffries didn't fall at the last hurdle and came past Hatcher with 25 meters to go to claim the victory. With the top two places already set, the sprint between the remaining pair saw Spilsbury claim third over a cramping Evans.

Five riders competed in the C grade race with last weeks winner Clare Treilibs up against the newly promoted Brett Harris, and club regulars Ruth Strout, Glen O'Brien and Peter Weston. The group got off to a solid start and chased the B grade in an attempt to set a competitive speed. Working well together in the first half of the race they managed to once again overtake the B grade but only for half a lap as the stronger riders showed their disapproval by quickly regaining the lead and riding away. The second half of the race saw new recruit Harris earn respect amongst the other rider by consistently taking the wind and not being afraid to lead up the hill. In the final lap Harris surprised the following riders and himself when he rode up the hill only to discover he'd dropped his challengers. Harris continued to up the pace and posted his first C grade victory unchallenged. Treilibs, Strout and O'Brien surged up the hill dropping workhorse Evans to finishing in that order after a tightly contested sprint.

Although finishing second, Andrew Haigh marked himself as the D grade rider to watch in coming weeks as he once again showed significant improvements in the 35 minute event. Coupling youth with experience, the D grade saw club stalwarts John Eshman and Angelo Ylia riding with new teenager riders Daniel Gray, Rardo Gregoric and former triathlete Haigh. The five riders set a consistent pace which allowed the new riders to practice their racing skills under the watchful eyes of Eshman and Ylia. In the final lap it was Haigh who made a bid for victory leading the group up the hill and holding his lead into the final straight. Youngster Gray then proceeded to reel him in with 100 metres to go to giving him his first victory with Haigh second. Eshman and Ylia came in third and fourth with Gregoric doing well in his first ride to round out the placings.

In E grade the trio of Kade Boase, Ralph Anderson and Gordon Lawton did their best impressions of time trialists after being split up half way into their race. With Anderson egging him on, Lawton had a rush of blood to the head and pounded past the D grade riders with Anderson and Boase close behind. Unfortunately it proved to be groups undoing as the D grade soon retook the lead leaving Lawton paying for his extra exertions by being dropped by Boase and Anderson. Despite showing continued improvements in strength and fitness, the pace of young Boase soon got the best of Anderson who was also dropped. Boase they rode away to claim another first placing followed by the separated Anderson and Lawton.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mal Sawford


A Grade
1 Matthew Benson                            
2 Angus Boase                               
3 Lee Stevens                               
B Grade
1 John Jeffries                             
2 Greg Hatcher                              
3 Craig Spilsbury                           
4 Peter Evans                               
C Grade
1 Brett Harris                              
2 Clare Treilibs                            
3 Ruth Strout                               
4 Glen O'Brien                              
5 Peter Weston                              
D Grade 
1 Daniel Gray                               
2 Andrew Haigh                              
3 John Eshman                               
4 Angelo Ylia                               
5 Rardo Gregoric                            
E Grade
1 Kade Boase                                
2 Ralph Anderson                            
3 Gordon Lawton                                                          

Results 2007