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Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club

Heffron Park Summer Series #8, Maroubra, NSW - Tuesday, February 27, 2007

C Grade in the winning half of the race

You won't catch us tonight!
Photo ©: David Bateman
(Click for larger image)

Not surprisingly C Grade stayed away for their third consecutive win when Andrew Duggan (Easts) outsprinted Jason Webb (Randwick Botany) to record his first Tuesday win after placing in all of his last five C grade starts. The win puts Duggan equal second in the Series pointscore with Tim Willing (Easts) and gives him a one point lead in the separate C grade pointscore over clubmate Mark Ardouin who finished fifth to move him into third in the Series.

Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello) is still holding a twelve point buffer, but with the generous time advantages C grade continue to enjoy, the series could easily swing in C grade's favour over the remaining three weeks of racing. It has been known to happen before in 2003 when A grade didn't get a look in over the last six weeks of racing and eventual winner Craig Dempsey accumulated 28 points in five races.

After weeks of discussion over the time gaps, the science of the handicapping system became much clearer on Tuesday when it was revealed there were no time gaps. After decades of handicap racing in Australia when timekeepers and club volunteers stood on the the start line with their clipboard and stopwatch setting riders off at timed intervals, it appears Easts have a far simpler system. No clipboard, no stopwatch....just a "go now if you want!." Little wonder that A grade again failed to catch C grade when they started 2'15" behind - historically when a stopwatch was used, the time gap was around 1'30".

The late summer sun
Photo ©: David Bateman
(Click for larger image)

Like the clichéd rugby quote, "a game of two halves", Tuesday night's race was a race of two races, or the half that could win and the half that had no show of winning. In the C Grade half of the race, the bunch finally seemed to get their cohesion together and roll smoothly. This theory was supported by a comment that DS Concy didn't have to yell as much during the race as usual. Maybe a whistle would help. In the finale, powerhouse Scott Simpson, who continues to enjoy the comfort of C grade, pulled a monster turn which had the entire field single file over the last pimple. Heading into the straight, Andrew Duggan decided to go for broke from the corner and after hitting the front 200 metres out, still managed to hold off a solid challenge from Jason Webb and leave himself just enough time for a quick one handed salute, captured here on YouTube. Clearly not having to yell so much during the race paid off for Frank Conceicao who finished fourth in front of last week's winner Mark Ardouin.

In the other half of the race, the half that had no show of winning, B grade also put together some smooth riding to set a good tempo during the opening laps, but this rhythm was brought undone when a small group broke away just as A grade were closing in with five laps to go. The A grade train also had a very smooth and fast tempo going with consistent turns from all the usual drivers, however this is where some riders seem to lose the plot.

Jose Rodriguez
Photo ©: David Bateman
(Click for larger image)

The closing laps at Heffron Park are not dissimilar to a scratch race on the track. There's a train. You're either in the train (the race) or not. If you're not in the train, which is moving at a steady 45kph+, there's no way anyone is going to let you in on the last lap. Not surprisingly, after some near misses in recent weeks, there was an unfortunate fall on the last lap which effectively split the field. In the mayhem Liam Kelly (Sydney), Tim Willing and Peter McDonald (FRF Couriers/NSWIS) launched the winning move and finished in that order. Although he's not in the hunt for the Series, this was Kelly's second win in three weeks and now puts him third on points in A grade.

B grade honours went to John Peppard (Easts) who consigned John Sunde (St George) to yet another second place, however with these two riders on nine and eight points respectively in the B grade comp, it's still anybody's title.

Anybody got an accurate stopwatch they don't want?


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by David Bateman


1 Andrew Duggan (Easts)                  
2 Jason Webb (Randwick Botany)           
3 Chris Garrad                           
4 Frank Conceicao (Easts)                
5 Mark Ardouin (Easts)                   
A Grade
1 Liam Kelly (Sydney)                    
2 Tim Willing (Easts)                    
3 Peter McDonald (FRF Couriers/NSWIS)    
B Grade
1 John Peppard (Easts)                   
2 John Sunde (St George)                 
3 Sean Vale (Manly)                      
Summer Series Pointscore
1 Anthony Spurgeon                     25 pts
2 Tim Willing                          13
2 Andrew Duggan                        13
3 Mark Ardouin                         12
4 Jeff Hopkins                          7
4 Fergus Bermingham                     7
4 Peter McDonald                        7
4 Rochelle Gilmore                      7
5 Steve Fitzpatrick                     6
5 Jason Webb                            6
6 Ben Isaksen                           5
6 Peter Fitzpatrick                     5
7 Aaron Richardson                      4
8 Jose Rodriguez                        3
8 Chris Garrad                          3
9 Stewart Campbell                      2
9 Warren Scott                          2
9 Joe McDonnell                         2
9 Michael Lynch                         2
9 Frank Conceicao                       2
10 Gemma O'Brien                        1
10 Liam Kelly                           1
10 Kevin Vlahos                         1
A Grade Series
1 Anthony Spurgeon                     12 pts
2 Tim Willing                           9
3 Liam Kelly                            7
4 Peter McDonald                        6
5 Peter Fitzpatrick                     5
6 Jeff Hopkins                          3
6 Steve Fitzpatrick                     3
7 Jose Rodriguez                        1
7 Ben Isaksen                           1
7 Stewart Campbell                      1
B Grade Series 
1 John Peppard                          9 pts
2 John Sunde                            8
3 Ben Elliott                           6
4 Stan Genakis                          5
5 Brent Dawson                          3
5 Steve Griffiths                       3
6 Adam Socha                            2
6 Brad Glennan                          2
6 Matt Carter                           2
6 Dave Stevens                          2
7 Warwick Edwards                       1
7 Scott Callum                          1
7 Nic Rathborne                         1
7 John Kenny                            1
7 Sean Vale                             1
7 Todd Sinclair                         1
C Grade Series 
1 Andrew Duggan                         8 pts
2 Mark Ardouin                          7
3 Scott Simpson                         5
3 John Greally                          5
4 Frank Conceicao                       4
5 Rochelle Gilmore                      3
5 Fergus Bermingham                     3
5 Dave Stevens                          3
6 Kevin Vlahos                          2
6 Sen Mitsuji                           2
6 Aaron Richardson                      2
6 Jason Webb                            2
7 Gemma O'Brien                         1
7 Chris Garrad                          1

Local results 2007