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Carnegie Caulfield Criterium
Springvale Necropolis, December 10, 2002
Rain depletes fields; Ashley Hayat takes A Grade
By Malcolm Sawford
A brief rain shower 10 minutes before start time saw 24 riders return their numbers and opt out of tonight's racing, but over 100 riders decided to test their wet weather skills on the Necropolis circuits. The optimists were rewarded as further rain held off; the roads quickly dried and although spectators struggled to stay warm on a cool evening, after a few cautious laps racing was virtually unaffected.
A Grade was the most affected by the withdrawals, and the small field that started stayed together for most of the race. Guy Green and Matt Jackson (ACR) launched strong solo efforts but were never able to open the advantage past 100 meters, and the result always looked like being decided with an all in sprint.
The smart money was on local track star Warren Knevitt (O'Mara) to show his speed, but the favourite was surprised by the unheralded Ashley Hayat (The Freedom Machine), who judged the finish well to take the win by a couple of lengths. Judges could not split Knevitt and Jackson for second, with Green crossing the line in fourth.
James Giannakakis (Le Tour) pushed a little too hard too early in B Grade, attacking early and opening a huge gap on the B Grade field who were still testing the traction on the still damp roads. A big slide was the not unexpected result, but he was able to remount and rejoin the race. After the early indiscretion, Giannakakis remained prominent, staying at the pointy end of the field and chasing anyone who opened a gap.
An attack with 5 minutes remaining by Danny Kah looked threatening, and at 3 laps to go he had been joined by Russell Newnham and Bruce Will, with VIS junior Michael Ford and Mick Buckley almost across the gap. With Ken Ford powering at the head of the field, the bunch was back together at the bell, and the sprinters surged to the front to finish over the top of last kilometer effort from Aaron Salisbury.
Comeback rider Dylan Boone, last seen on the celebrity trishaw circuit, took the win ahead of Michael Ford, Matt Duck and Newnham, with all riders knocking on the door of promotion to the A Grade field.
C Grade had the biggest field, and the numbers to quickly neutralize any attempts to break up the field. Robbie Doyle tried an early solo effort, spinning a surprisingly small gear, but was unable to escape the chase, and the other riders seemed happy to let the sprinters sort out the results.
In a very tight finish, only inches separated the first 3 across the line, with Matt Young victorious from Chris Garrard and Kim Marshall. Cheryl Hickman took fourth outright in leading home the women's division ahead of HMAS Cerberus' Renee Heinreich.
Dean Gray was a comfortable winner in the D Grade sprint, taking a few lengths out of the field, with Ray Smith holding off Geoff Rushen and Dion Warburton for the minor placings.
Racing continues Tuesday nights on the circuit except for Christmas and New Year's Eves, with the Police Road gate (Melways Map 80 G6) opens at 6pm for race starts for all grades at 6.30. All holders of current Cycling Australia licenses are welcome (don't forget to bring your license or receipt!) and non-members can have a go by taking out a three-race license for $39, deductible from your full membership if you decide to continue racing. Our thanks go to the Trustees of the Necropolis for making the fabulous facility available to Melbourne's racing community.
A Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 10 starters 1 Ashley Hayat (SKCC) 2 Warren Knevitt (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Matt Jackson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Guy Green (Blackburn CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 31 Starters 1 Dylan Boone (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Michael Ford (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Matt Duck (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Russell Newnham (Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 33 starters , 5 women 1 Matt Young (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Chris Garrard (SKCC) 3 Kim Marshall (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Cheryl Hickman (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Cheryl Hickman (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Renee Heinreich (Norwood CC, SA) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 16 starters, 1 woman 1 Dean Gray (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Ray Smith (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 3 Geoff Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Dion Warburton (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Unplaced Women 1 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield CC) E Grade (40 mins + 3 laps) 11 starters 1 Michael Kilkenny (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 2 Andrew Stewart (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 3 Noel Griffiths (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Jason Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC)