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South-east Queensland International Criterium - NE
South Bank, QLD, Australia, November 17, 2002
A long, hot summer of cycling
By Lawrie Cranley
The second race of the Summer of Cycling Series promoted by United Sports Marketing at the inner city South Bank Parkland was again a winner with cyclists and spectators.
It was a perfect venue for a criterium, with the main straight bordered on one side by beautiful parkland, and on the other by cafes and restaurants - where people can sit and enjoy a coffee or meal while watching all the action unfold in front of them.
Race 1 - Corporate Criterium
The morning's racing kicked off with the Corporate Criterium under threatening skies but only a few drops fell all day, much to the relief of riders and organisers. These corporate races are proving very popular with cyclists, who would like to test the water before jumping into cycling in a more serious way.
A field of thirty lined up for the event and the pace was on from the start, with a group of ten going on to lap the field with the boys from Team EBR keeping the pace high. A number of attacks went off the front in the closing laps, but the field stayed together for a sprint finish, with five riders finishing in a line across the road in a spectacular finish with Andrew Deane taking the win.
Race 2 - B Grade
Race two of the day was the B grade criterium, which had a big field of fifty five riders consisting of C grade, B grade and Masters categories.
The race started steadily, with the riders checking each other out. After a few minutes, things heated up and the attacks started to come. Two teams were obvious at the front: the Masters from FFAST with Rick Walker and Kevin White having a dig, and Team Astra, led by Terry Peters, Tim Bartlett and Tony Woods.
The race continued to ebb and flow, with riders breaking away and coming back, until Tim Bartlett attacked with Andrew Lane on his wheel. The two immediately gapped the field and this soon became the decisive break of the day. The field didn't react until it was too late - a few riders tried to get across on their own with Rick Walker making a valiant effort.
Bartlett rode away from the shattered Lane in the finishing straight winning with arms raised while behind the bunch was descending on Walker in a finish fitting for TV. He hung on by half a wheel from the flying Tony Woods. It was a triumph for Team Astra, claiming first and fourth places.
Race 3 - A Grade
A Gade had something to live up to after the previous two races, and they didn't disappoint. With only Craig Saunders from Team Astra racing, the teams of Flight Centre, Lifecycle-Treasury Casino and the ring-ins from Sydney, Team FRF Freight, were always going to play a big part in this race.
The race started very steadily and continued that way for the first twenty minutes, with Craig Mackie trying to braek it up with one of the three Nightingale brothers. The boys from FRF Freight were also riding aggressively, attacking and closing down breaks that they didn't have a rider in.
The pace began to pick up through the middle of the race, with riders losing contact. Brendan Shipp and Nicholas Wood (FRF Freight) were vigilent at the front, waiting for the right move. Time was ticking by, and the race was at a critical stage with three laps to go. It was going to come down to a bunch sprint if someone didn't make a big effort soon.
Craig Cahill and Jon Cantwell both appeared at the front and tried their hands but were brought back then inside the last lap. Brad Nightingale, Matt Newlands and Jeremy Betts from Lifecycle attacked off the front, with Nightingale leading a group of five, including noted trackies Adam Tully and Miles Olman, into the finish straight. Nightingale kicked hard out of the corner and no one could come off his wheel. It was a great win for Nightingale who showed a lot of class to hold off the quality riders behind him.
Two races remain in the series, and it's a case of leaving the best till last
First, the Surfers Paradise International Criterium from December 7-8. For race three, Australian and international cycling stars will compete in the heart of Surfers Paradise, around Cavill Mall and Orchid Avenue on December 8. The Surfers Paradise International Criterium includes a corporate pro-am event, Open Men and B / C Grade events, and a great corporate hospitality area where you can mix with the stars. There will be some great racing from the huge line up expected, and is an event not to be missed.
Second the South Bank International Criterium Weekend from December 14-15. Race four sees the elite international and national cycling stars compete at the established South Bank course. This will also include a great corporate area to entertain clients and friends while mixing with the cycling stars. South Bank International Criterium was established to celebrate the success of Australian cyclists competing in the Tour de France and has a strong supporter and corporate base. Come along and be a part of the huge crowd and buzzing atmosphere.
Images by Tim Francis/www.yourfotos.com
Race 1 - Corporate criterium 1 Andrew Deane 2 Damian Copeland 3 Neil Sauer Corporate Teams 1 Team EBR 2 Team Graceville Bikers 3 Team URS Race 2 - B grade 1 Tim Bartlett (Astra) 2 Andrew Lane (Caboolture) 3 Rick Walker (Ffast) 4 Tony Wood (Astra) 5 Troy Bunney (Caboolture) Race 3 - A grade 1 Brad Nightingale (Lifecycle) 2 Matt Newlands (Lifecycle) 3 Adam Tully (Balmoral) 4 Miles Olman (Rockhampton) 5 Jeremy Betts (Lifecycle)