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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Jayco Bay Cycling Classic - NE

Geelong, Australia, January 2-6, 2009

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Stage 4 - January 5: Portarlington - Elite men, 60min

Sulzberger wins and misses overall lead by one point

By Malcolm Sawford in Portarlington

Bernie Sulzberger (Virgin Blue) wins the race
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Australian criterium champion Bernie Sulzberger (Virgin Blue) stormed into second place on the overall standings with his win in the Portarlington crit. Sulzberger moved to within a single point of Graeme Brown's (Urban Hotels) series lead.

"It gives me a lot of confidence racing wearing the Australian champion's jersey," an elated Sulzberger exclaimed. "When the break got away with about fifteen minutes to go, I thought we had a good chance because Braunsteins is going very strong, and I was going very strong as well."

Men's leader Graeme Brown had clearly decided that aggression was the best form of defence, and broke away early in the men's race with Sulzberger, Simon Gerrans (O2 Reflections Group), Joel Pearson (Savings & Loans) and Dean Windsor (Mazda), but the move was short lived. Matt Wilson (O2 Reflections Group) counter attacked and spend the next 18 minutes alone off the front of the bunch, which was well controlled by Brown's Urban Homes team mates.

Wilson recovered in the bunch for only a few minutes before attacking again, and was joined by Sulzberger, Rohan Dennis (Skilled) and Daniel Braunsteins (Degani/CBD). The quartet extended their lead each lap, and eventually finished over 20 seconds clear. Sulzberger took the sprint comfortably from Dennis, Braunsteins and an exhausted Wilson.

Graeme Brown (Urban Hotel) has McEwen (Bike Hub) in sight, but almost let Sulzberger run away with yellow
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Jono Cantwell (Virgin Blue) and day three winner Will Walker (Degani/CBD) escaped the chasing bunch in the final laps, before Robbie McEwen (Bike Hub/Ridley) outsprinted Brown to claim seventh place. Brown later admitted he had underestimated Sulzberger.

"The tactic today was to watch Gerrans, the course here is perfect for him – he can rip the legs off me. I was also watching McEwen and Windsor. The boys were unreal today, the Urban Hotel has obviously given us plenty of rest. When the final break went up the road I though it would be OK, but I almost lost it. Sulzberger is only one point behind, so I was lucky."

Although the 800-metre hotdog circuit favours sprinters, Sulzberger hasn't written off his chances of overhauling Brown. "His team is definitely going to be on me tomorrow, but I'll try to get away for sure."

The support race saw the leader's jersey change hands, with overnight leader Jacob Sutherland off the pace and out of the placings. Shaun McCarthy finished fifth to inherit the yellow jersey, while the day's win went to Dale Parker ahead of Geoff Straub and Peter Ladd.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net

Images by Rick Robson/www.clearimages.com.au

Images by Brenton Logan/www.durostrada.com


Elite men - 60min

1 Bernie Sulzberger (Virgin Blue)                   
2 Rohan Dennis (Skilled)                            
3 Daniel Braunsteins (Degani/CBD)                   
4 Matt Wilson (O2 Reflections Group)                
5 Jono Cantwell (Virgin Blue)                       
6 Will Walker (Degani/CBD)                          
7 Robbie McEwen (Bike Hub/Ridley)                   
8 Graeme Brown (Urban Hotel)                        
9 Simon Gerrans (O2 Reflections Group)              
10 Dean Windsor (Mazda)                             


Sprint 1
1 Matt Wilson (O2 Reflections Group)                
2 Dean Windsor (Mazda)                              
3 Kristian House (Urban Hotel)                      

Sprint 2
1 Matt Wilson (O2 Reflections Group)                
2 Dean Windsor (Mazda)                              
3 Darren Lapthorne (Urban Hotel)                    

Sprint 3
1 Rohan Dennis (Skilled)                            
2 Bernie Sulzberger (Virgin Blue)                   
3 Daniel Braunsteins (Degani/CBD)                   
General classification after stage 4
1 Graeme Brown (Urban Hotel)                      26 pts
2 Bernie Sulzberger (Virgin Blue)                 25
3 Robbie McEwen (Bike Hub/Ridley)                 23
4 Dean Windsor (Mazda)                            21
5 Simon Gerrans (O2 Reflections Group)            22
6 Joel Pearson (Savings & Loans)                  18
7 Will Walker (Degani/CBD)                        17
8 Daniel Braunsteins (Degani/CBD)                 16
9 Jono Cantwell (Virgin Blue)                     11
10 Rohan Dennis (Skilled)                         10
11 Baden Cooke (O2 Reflections Group)             10
12 Leigh Howard (Jayco VIS)                        8
13 Matt Wilson (O2 Reflections Group)              7
14 Mark Renshaw (Mazda)                            7
15 Michael Stallard (Savings & Loans)              5
16 Tommy Nankervis (Total Rush)                    2
17 Cody Stevenson (Budget Forklifts)               2
18 Nic Sanderson (Rock Racing)                     1
19 Brett Aitken (Savings & Loans)                  1

Points classification

1 Dean Windsor (Mazda)                            22 pts
2 Bernie Sulzberger (Virgin Blue)                  7
3 Matt Wilson (O2 Reflections Group)               6
4 Joel Pearson (Savings & Loans)                   6
5 Kristian House (Urban Hotel)                     5
6 Will Walker (Degani/CBD)                         4
7 Rohan Dennis (Skilled)                           3
8 Rory Sutherland (Total Rush)                     3
9 Kris Koke (Trevorrow/Chifley/Sally's Paddock)    3
10 Graeme Brown (Urban Hotel)                      3
11 Darren Lapthorne (Urban Hotel)                  3
12 Nathan Wise (Degani/CBD)                        2
13 Daniel Braunsteins (Degani/CBD)                 1
14 Nic Sanderson (Rock Racing)                     1
15 Jonny Clarke (2XU)                              1
16 Mark O'Brien (Bike Hub/Ridley)                  1
17 Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing)                    1
Teams classification

1 O2 Reflections Group                            39 pts
2 Virgin Blue                                     36
3 Degani/CBD                                      33
4 Mazda                                           28
5 Urban Hotel                                     26
6 Savings & Loans                                 24
7 Bike Hub/Ridley                                 23
8 Skilled                                         10
9 Jayco VIS                                        8
10 Total Rush                                      2
11 Budget Forklifts                                2
12 Rock Racing                                     1
Support Men - 45 minutes

1 Dale Parker                                       
2 Geoff Straub                                      
3 Peter Ladd                                        
4 Jarrod Moroni                                     
5 Shaun McCarthy                                    
6 Stuart Grimsey                                    
7 Samuel Spokes                                     
8 Matthew Benson                                    
9 Damien Turner                                     
10 Ethan Kimmince                                   

Sprint 1
1 Shaun McCarthy                                    
2 Marc Williams                                     
3 John Cornish                                      

Sprint 2
1 Stuart Grimsey                                    
2 Samuel Spokes                                     
3 Shaun McCarthy                                    
General classification after stage 4
1 Shaun McCarthy                                  30 pts
2 Jacob Sutherland                                24
3 Cameron Carlyle                                 22
4 Matthew Benson                                  22
5 Dale Parker                                     17
6 Scott Liston                                    16
7 Stuart Grimsey                                  16
8 Jarrod Moroni                                   16
9 Geoff Straub                                    11
10 Samuel Spokes                                   9
11 Peter Ladd                                      8
12 Patrick Drapac                                  8
13 Shaun Lewis                                     7
14 Marc Williams                                   6
15 Luke Mackenzie                                  5
16 Luke Ockerby                                    3
17 Adam Trewin                                     3
18 Damien Turner                                   2
19 Nathan Oman                                     2
20 Angus Tobin                                     2
21 Lachlan Morton                                  2
22 Ethan Kimmince                                  1

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