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Results and Reports for May 18-24, 2002
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Launceston To Ross Road Race
Olympic gold medallist back out of retirement and in winning form
Tasmania, May 19, 2002
By Rod Morris
Tasmania's only gold medal Olympic cyclist Michael Grenda is back out of retirement and back in winning mode.
Grenda - now in the veteran class - stole the show in last Sunday's annual Launceston to Ross Classic, a tough race of more than 100 km.
Grenda was part of the successful Australian quartet that won the 1984 Teams Pursuit gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Although noted as a track rider in his halcyon days, Grenda was never a slouch on the road either, and at the weekend, showed some of the young bucks a few tricks.
Conditions were made tougher for the frontmarkers riding into a headwind for most of the day, but as it was, the backmarkers group of eleven riders failed to make an inroad into any of the bunches they were chasing.
Scratchie Karl Menzies, who is also the reigning Tasmanian road champion, broke a chain early in the race, but was able to claw his way back onto the scratch group and then finish a highly ceditable second in his category.
A large bunch was involved in the sprint finish, 300 m shy of the Man 'O Ross Hotel, but it was Grenda who took the honours ahead of the unheralded Adam Hartley (winner of Cat. 4) and former Mersey Wheelrace winner, Pete Smith of Hobart.
Smith's wife, Sally and Hobart based cycling retailer and promoter Ray Appleby were involved in a spectacular fall, just near the finish line.
A number of prominent riders who have made names for themselves on the track, featured in the category placings, including Gareth Atkins, Laurie Venn, Todd Parnell, Grant Young, Belinda Goss, Ron Crawford and Adrian Morrisby.
Overall 1 Michael Grenda (Cat.3) 2 Adam Hartley (Cat.4) 3 Pete Smith (Cat.3) Category 1 1 Gareth Atkins 1 2 Karl Menzies 3 Bernard Sulzberger Category 2 1 Peter Oliver 2 Laurie Venn 3 Todd Parnell Category 3 1 Michael Grenda 2 Pete Smith 3 Grant Young Category 4 1 Adam Hartley 2 Belinda Goss 3 Jason Bellchambers Category 5 1 Ron Crawford 2 Brett Lehman 3 Adrian Morrisby Category 6 1 Lloyd Redman 2 Scott Oakey 3 Mark Wilkie First unplaced female: Louise Yaxley First unplaced male: Peter Oliver.