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Results and Reports from Australia
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Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club
Heffron Park Summer Series #9, Maroubra, NSW - Tuesday, March 6, 2007
An old fashioned Aussie blue!
In this week's Cycling NSW newsletter under the headline "Boxing making all the crowd hits!" Federation President, Kerry Ruffels writes about his observations at a recent boxing promotion on the Central Coast. It's a good read and talks all about the fan base boxing draws and how the sport manages to draw a crowd. If the mayhem which engulfed Round 9 of the Eastern Suburbs Summer Series at Heffron Park on Tuesday night is anything to go by then Easts may have found the magic formula to bring the crowds back to cycling.
Forget the current stoush between the UCI and Grand Tour organisers, forget the Oporto Chicken Affair, forget all the classic cycling ding dongs like Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantini, Claude Criquelion and Steve Bauer, Greg Lemond and Laurent Fignon, forget the recent Graeme Brown and Tom Steels misunderstanding, the post race melee on Tuesday night had all of this and more.
Why? Simply because the frustration of loaded grades and dodgy handicapping finally got the better of everyone.
The series is based on the concept of three grades riding the same race but with a time gap which benefits C grade. Based on the average speeds which each grade races the 2km circuit - A grade at 2m 47s, B grade at 2m 55s and C at grade 3m, A grade need to start 3 minutes behind C grade to be able to make up the 12 sec per lap. Instead they currently start anywhere between 3m 30sec and 4m behind. This makes it an impossible task for the elite riders to be up for the finish and have a crack at the major series prize. Instead for the past five weeks the elite A grade riders have been rewarded for riding the fastest time each week by sharing $30 for first A grade rider home. Hardly surprising that tempers were flaring.
Despite all this, all three grades raced very aggressively, especially A grade who came so close to catching the five top C grade placegetters. No surprise either that Mark Ardouin easily won the sprint and now sits only six points behind Series leader Anthony Spurgeon. Several good rides were most probably overshadowed by the post race events. This was not a good advertisement for club cycling especially when there large numbers of small children and their parents who witnessed language and behaviour which would be hard to find even in a boxing ring.
Hopefully the remaining two weeks of racing will be conducted on a much more transparent basis so that winner of the 2007 Series will be the rider who was consistently the strongest and best rider over the series. Final results and updated pointscore will be published next week.
Don't forget there's more quality racing in Sydney this weekend with the inaugural Gladiators Criterium at the Dunc Gray Velodrome on Sunday at 4.30pm. Four riders per team will race 15 minutes each to determine the winning team of Gladiators.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by David Bateman
Images by Rocky Fortuna
Overall 1 Mark Ardouin (Easts) 2 Andrew Duggan (Easts) 3 Frank Conceicao (Easts) A Grade 1 Tim Willing (Easts) 2 Jose Rodriguez (Clarence St) B Grade 1 Nic Rathborne (Easts) 2 Mark Newton (Clarence St) 3 John Peppard (Easts)
Local results 2007