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Ulverstone Traders Christmas Criterium
December 14, 2002
Star Gilmore takes a comfy win
By Rod Morris
Matthew Gilmore's standing in world cycling is renowned, but just to confirm he nonchalantly won the annual Ulverstone Traders Christmas Criterium on the weekend.
30 year old Gilmore is currently the no. 1 ranked rider on the European Six-Day circuit, but is presently back "home" in Tasmania and was the drawcard rider of the Ulverstone Criterium, which is staged by former Australian scratchman Craig Price.
Gilmore is preparing to ride in the Telstra Country Wide Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals Series, but before that, he will partner Sydney Olympian gold medallist Brett Aitken in next weekend's Australian Madison Championship at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena.
The Ulverstone Criterium was a perfect hit out for Gilmore, who dominated the race from start to finish.
Held on an extremely fast 700 m circuit, riders were faced withminutes of hard racing. Gilmore, along with fellow A Graders, Caleb Manion, Gareth Atkins, Daniel Cutting and comeback star Stephen Pearce - who was surprisingly listed in B Grade - made an early breakaway group and for more than 20 minutes of the race, stayed away from the field.
Manion won two of the first three intermediate sprints before Gilmore exerted his authority on the race. With just five minutes remaining, Gilmore attacked the breakaways, who were found wanting against such class.
Gilmore caught the tail of the peloton and race commissaires immediately declared the lap. In a fitting result, Gilmore then powered away from the bunch to claim the prestigious race.
In a nice gesture, Gilmore signed his winner's sash and immediately donated to race organiser Craig Price, who will display the trophy in his Ulverstone bike shop. Gareth Atkins took second place in a close result from Manion, while Cutting missed the A Grade placings.
Stephen Pearce was a clear winner of the B Grade, with 16-year-old "whizz kids" Wes Sulzberger and Matt Goss taking the minor placings. Former top track rider Darryn Pugh repeated his 2001 performance to win the North-West Veterans A Grade Criterium, while another ex-"trackie" Peter Jamieson won B Grade.
Falls and crashes are an everyday part of racing, but for eteran rider Phil Hays, crashing on the warm-down lap after the race had finished proved quite a novel performance. Winners of the junior criteriums included Kaidan Homan (J1), Will Robinson (J2) and David Lyons (J3).
Open A Grade 1 Matthew Gilmore 2 Gareth Atkins 3 Caleb Manion Open B Grade 1 Stephen Pearce 2 Wes Sulzberger 3 Matt Goss 3. Intermediate Sprints 1st Bernard Sulzberger 2nd Caleb Manion 3rd Caleb Manion 4th Matthew Gilmore 5th Matthew Gilmore NW Veterans A Grade 1 Darryn Pugh 2 Peter Oliver 3 Paul Guest NW Veterans B Grade 1 Peter Jamieson 2 Russell Corness 3 Graham Jones Intermediate Sprints 1st Paul Guest 2nd Peter Oliver Most Aggressive Rider: Shane Cresswell. Junior 1 1 Kaidan Homan 2 Jarrod Harman 3 Tim Walker First female: Natasha Mapley Intermediate Sprint: Jarrod Harman. Junior 2 1 Will Robinson 2 Alex Holden 3 Clay Murfett First Female: Grace Sulzberger. Intermediate Sprint: Will Robinson Junior 3 1 David Lyons 2 Edward Robinson 3 Matt Laskey 3 Intermediate Sprint: Matt Laskey