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Cycling Projects Summer Series Round 2
Heffron Park, January 15, 2008
Willing to win
By John Sunde
Tim Willing has been one of the fastest finishers since his return to Sydney racing two years ago, but an outright win at Heffron Park has eluded him despite 26 top three placings. That all changed in Round 2 of the 2008 Cycling Projects Summer Series when he timed his run to perfection to beat home a top class A grade field and celebrate the win in front of his four day old daughter Grace and proud new mum Veronique. To underline the quality of his win, Willing beat home Drapac Porsche rider Peter McDonald who notched up his third top ten finish at the Australian Road Nationals on Sunday and last weeks round one winner, Peter Fitzpatrick.
The A grade field was boosted with the appearance of the FRF Couriers/NSWIS Australian Continental team of John Ebeling, Joe Lewis, Tim Guy, Brendan Brooks, Chris Jory, Robbie Cater, Peter Herzig, Dale Scarfe, Ben Johnson, Shaun Higgerson, Anthony Bennett and Jason Hegert who all backed up for the official team launch the following night. The local A grade club riders matched it all the way with the elite riders which resulted in a super fast time of 42.36s for the 15 laps in typical Heffron hot and windy conditions.
Not surprisingly B grade were caught with seven laps to go. Even up till then B grade didn't seem to have their heart in it and now that the B grade competition has been scraped after 21 successful years of the original sprint comp and more recently the overall poinstcore, B grade seem to be resigned to an uneventful 13 weeks of trying to stave off the inevitable. The hectic final laps in the headwind with A grade ended many of B grade rider's race early, but three to tough out till the end were Aaron Richardson who had a very strong ride to still be in the action and at that bell, along with John Sunde and Kevin Black who won the money but not the points.
The C grade pointscore has also suffered the same fate as the B grade comp, however this didn't deter a bunch of riders from the 90's making comeback rides to their old stomping ground. Doug Hammond, a DS in his own right from the glory days of the Skipper Jackson team, one of NSW's very first 'teams', made his comeback to racing after several years away from the bike. Douggie couldn't remember C grade ever averaging 39kph at Heffron, but realised that was still when Harry Scott and Roy O'Toole were King of Pimple. Rod Cunningham was another who made a welcome return to racing and his night was made a little a easier on his brand new Trek Madone. And the man who has had more comebacks than Lazarus, Rob Hampshire was back in the action and next Tuesday can't come soon enough for him.
Once the A grade train caught C grade with three laps to go a few riders tried to split it up with Chris Jory (FRF/NSWIS) being the most successful when he opened a reasonable gap with Troy Glennan and Andrew East, however the frantic pace, constantly being driven by Matt Fleming (Clarence St) and Shaun Higgerson (FRF/NSWIS) meant it would all come together for the finale. This suited Willing perfectly as he was keen not to repeat the mistakes of his 26 previous finishes and anticipating Steve Fitzpatrick's lead out for brother Pete, kicked off big Fitz's wheel to hit the line first and go home a very happy new Dad. The win puts Willing equal on points with Pete Fitzpatrick for the series first prize of a Scapin Etika carbon frame.
John Ebeling who was responsible for some punishing turns finished fourth to give the FRF/NSWIS boys some coffee money while Stewart Campbell managed to nudge out Luis Trueba for fifth. Mitchell Kable proved his recent solid performance in the ATTA Calga TT was no fluke when he outsprinted Alan Smith and Tim Rice for C grade.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave Bateman
A Grade 1 Tim Willing (Easts) 2 Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche) 3 Peter Fitzpatrick (St George) 4 John Ebeling (FRF/NSWIS) 5 Stewart Campbell (Easts) B Grade 1 Kevin Black (Sydney) 2 John Sunde (St Georhe) 3 Aaron Richardson (Easts) C Grade 1 Mitchell Kable (Manly) 2 Alan Smith (Randwick Botany) 3 Tim Rice (Sydney) Points after Round 2, 15 January 2008 Summer Series Poinstcore - 7,4,3,2,1 pts 1 Peter Fitzpatrick 10 pts 1 Tim Willing 10 3 Luke Cridland 4 3 Peter McDonald 4 5 Brad Mills 2 5 John Ebley 2 7 Anthony Spurgeon 1 7 Stewart Campbell 1 B Grade - 3,2,1 pts "Unofficial" 1 Craig Dempsey 3 pts 1 Kevin Black 3 3 Warwick Edwards 2 3 John Sunde 2 5 Mark Ardouin 1 5 Aaron Richardson 1 C Grade - 3,2,1 pts "Unofficial" 1 Martin Dunkerley 3 pts 1 Mitchell Kable 3 3 Andrew Matthews 2 3 Alan Smith 2 5 Roy Gruenpeter 1 5 Tim Rice 1