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Cycling Projects Series Round 4
Heffron Park, NSW, January 29, 2008
McGarry takes advantage of handicap
By John Sunde
Brad McGarry used his considerable Heffron Park experience to outsprint the C grade field when they benefited from a very generous handicap in the fourth round of the Cycling Projects Summer Series. A grade Series leaders Pete Fiztpatrick and Tim Willing still hold onto a 6 and 3 point buffer respectively over the rest of the field while after four weeks of racing B grade riders have yet to score a single point in the series.
It's unlikely B grade will feature in the pointscore anytime soon while the time gaps favour A grade to catch B grade first, then C grade. If B grade caught C grade first, then B grade might have a chance of setting up a win, but this concept continues to elude the logic of the present handicapping system. Maybe it's time to freshen up the system after 22 years - John O'Neill was doing his bit to rejuvenate the appeal of rugby during the week.
After a wonderfully successful day at the Joseph Sunde Memorial the previous day, there was no shortage of riders prepared to back up for another Heffron Park challenge, including some who even managed to fit in a spell at the track on Monday night. A grade numbers were down and they generally lacked the horsepower which has been on display the past few weeks. B grade had a reasonably solid lineup but even the favourable weather conditions couldn't help them put a dent in C grade's margin.
The B grade bunch is comfortable around the 42-43kph average speed mark, but quickly fragments when the tempo lifts to 44kph+ which is what was needed to even catch a glimpse of C grade, who weren't doing anything special but still managed to average just under 41kph. A grade still managed to pump out solid 45kph+ plus laps, but even that and a few turns from the odd B grade rider in the closing laps still wasn't enough to even get into the same straight as the front markers.
C grade must have breathed a collective sigh of relief when they couldn't spot A and B grade breathing down the necks in the final laps. It must help when one of C grades finest, DS Concy is responsible for winding up the stop watches each week. With a strong Easts presence leading C grade into the straight it would've been easy to imagine a flash of Time frames crossing the line in succession, but Brad McGarry knew where to be and timed hie run well to come off Frank Conceicao's wheel to beat home a fast finishing Adam Goc and last week's C grade victor, Shane Howley. Tim Rice has been in the C Grade hunt for the past few weeks and earned himself 2 series points for fourth while fifth spot went to Doug Hammond in a hard fought tussle with DS Concy, who claimed after the race, "that's the last time he'll beat me". Sounds like 1978 all over again.
The closing laps in the A and B grade race took a different pattern when it was obvious the money and the points were all going C grades way. With no points to race for and only one envelope for each grade it was every man for himself in a stop start finale. The winning move came on the bell when Robbie Cater and Luis Trueba seized their chance to attack and stay away with Cater topping off a solid nights racing with the A grade win. Series leader Peter Fitzpatrick was third but that result meant nothing but some satisfaction to Fitzy of what might have been.
The calmer conditions meant that a larger group of B grade riders were still in with a chance on the last lap and it was Aaron Richardson who won the B grade envelope with a strong ride in the closing laps. His memories of glorious C grade wins and the 2006 Series win must now be just a distant memory. Warwick Edwards was second and he too had a strong ride often trying to get the B grade tempo above the 42kph mark. Mr B Grade Consistency, Kevin Black was third. In the B grade competition that you have when you're not having a B grade competition, Craig Dempsey still leads from the fast improving Aaron Richardson.
1 Brad McGarry (Randwick Botany) 2 Adam Goc (Easts) 3 Shane Howley (Easts) 4 Tim Rice (Sydney) 5 Doug Hammond (Lidcombe) A Grade 1 Robbie Cater (FRF/NSWIS) 2 Luis Trueba (McArthur) 3 Pete Fitzpatrick (St George) B Grade 1 Aaron Richardson (Easts) 2 Warwick Edwards (Easts) 3 Kevin Black (Sydney) Summer Series Poinstcore 1 Peter Fitzpatrick 13 pts 2 Tim Willing 10 3 Brad McGarry 7 3 Shaun Higgerson 7 5 Anthony Spurgeon 6 5 Luke Cridland 6 7 Adam Goc 5 7 Peter McDonald 5 9 Shane Howley 3 10 Tim Rice 2 10 Chris Jory 2 10 Brad Mills 2 10 John Ebeling 2 14 Doug Hammond 1 14 Stewart Campbell 1