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Southern Veterans Cycling Club Twilight Race

Sandown Park Raceway, Victoria, January 25, 2008

Team Viking plunders A grade teams race

With the world Professional Cycling spotlight on The Tour Down Under this week, the ICC decided to hold its club races based around a teams format, similar to the top class teams lined up in Adelaide. There was no Stuart O’Grady or Allan Davis on the start list but this did not prevent the same tactical skills coming to the fore .The best field assembled in six months saw 19 riders split into four teams take on the challenging 37 kilometre course.

Attacks and counter attacks began as soon as the race got underway and did not let up for the first nine kilometres to Marshall Mount Hall. The peloton was strung out as protagonists from all teams tried there hands at establishing a leading break away.

The first Group to detach them selves from the peloton was made up of Craig Paull, Drew Robertson, Jeff Gray and Danny Hennessy, with all teams being represented. It looked like the leaders would waltz away to a comfortable victory. However the team tactics meant that the break was doomed as Gray and Hennessy would not contribute, favoring their sprinters to rejoin the lead.

Danish rider Eric Haakonssen made a solo bid to join the lead and made the junction with half race distance covered. With two riders now being from the same team the whole dynamics of the leading group changed as Paull and Haakensson (Team Viking) had to pull turns of pace. A few surges took place in the group and this caused Haakensson to get unhitched and loose contact. Former Tour Down Under competitor Brendon Cato, making a comeback to racing was next to break from the peloton and bridge the gap to the leaders.

Being a threat to other teams, strong turns of pace by Peter Cooper ensured the whole peloton regrouped by Hooker Hill with six kilometres to race. A big attack by new member Craig Williams at the Hill saw it nullified by a counter attack by Hennessy. He too was caught and this saw relentless surges as most riders jostled to get away. With 1.5 km to go Team Viking lead by Eric Haakonssen, Rodger Ocvirk, John Hardwick and Vincent Morrissey put the rest of the riders in the Gutter and shelled riders like peas. This gave Craig Paull an armchair ride as he went for victory and took out the Teams Scratch race for Team Viking.

The B grade event started unusually with teams unsure of how it would unfold. His intention was made very clear when Brian Joyce launched a solo attack off the front early on. This was brought back by Phil Jones, Tom Cranston and Lou Caruana. Once back together Dan McNamara and Lou Caruana chanced their arm and set off in a two pronged attack. Tom Cranston made short work in bridging over and doing so towed team mate Joe Chiaverini and opponent John Danzo across the gap. The foxing was soon put aside and an alliance was formed. The five strong group worked well and consolidated the gap over the remainder of the race. The final km saw this group down to three.Although the strongest of the three John Danzo fell victim to a cunning maneuver, which saw Tom Cranston take a well earned win for “Team International”.

In C grade newcomer Bernie Negus took line honors from Craig Brown and Baz Simmons.

Results

A Grade – 35 Riders
 
1 Justin Davis               
2 Guy Green (Eastern)        
3 Peter O’Callaghan          
4 Brad Daly                  
 
B Grade – 38 Riders
 
1 Carey Hall (Central)       
2 Grant Edmonds (Geelong)    
3 Danny Stutterd             
4 Glen Robinson              
 
C Grade – 33 Riders
 
1 Scott Deane                
2 Graeme Stobie              
3 Andrew Beazley             
4 Stephen Towers             
 
D Grade – 24 Riders
 
1 Adrian Ryan                
2 Christian Kidd             
3 Damien Devereux            
4 Tim Linthorne              
Women
1 Jane Hill                  
 
E Grade – 39 Riders
 
1 Adam Grollo                
2 Norman Roy                 
3 John Pocock                
4 Brian Young                
 
F Grade – 13 Riders
 
1 Gary Pye                   
2 Brian Farmer               
3 Michael Strom              
 
G Grade – 6 Riders
 
1 Dianne Roy                 
2 Jim Taylor                 
3 Dermot Bulger              

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