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Results and Reports for May 25-31, 2002
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Carnegie Caulfield Road Race
Modella, May 25, 2002
Chaos reigned 30 minutes before the start of the prestigious Sonny Barnes Handicap. Normally run over the two laps of the flat 50km Modella circuit, some major unannounced road works forced an urgent rethink with 150 riders ready to race!
An unmanned automatic traffic light on a five minute cycle would have thrown things into disarray (Melbourne cyclists wouldn't dream of running red lights!), so after a quick rethink it was decided to use the adjacent 40km hilly circuit, and reduce the race distance to 80km.
Marshals who were on their way to man one difficult to find intersection in the middle of nowhere were given quick instructions to find another even more difficult to find intersection somewhere else in the middle of nowhere, and the drivers of support vehicles had to cope with the sudden change without prepared maps to guide them.
It was a wonder that more of them didn't get lost! At least the weather was cooperating, with sunny skies and mild temperatures after a very wet week some consolation. The Limit bunch were given a 25 minute advantage with nine other bunches between them and the Scratchmen, and would need to combine well, with 10km of hills including two decent climbs midway through each lap bound to shatter their rhythm.
To their credit, the stronger limit riders lead by Meaghan Godfrey were wise enough to ease up on the ascents, and allow a regrouping to attack the flat part of the course again together.
The plan paid off as they were still clear crossing the finish line with one lap remaining, although the 20 minute bunch were hot on their hills. The other middle marks hadn't fared so well, disintegrating through the hills, and riders crossed the line in dribs and drabs and looking shattered after battling the cool winds solo or in small groups.
The back markers as expected handled the tough course much better, and while losing a few riders through the hills still had the numbers to tear up the road in pursuit of the front runners. Kristjan Snorrason (SBR), in his comeback race after knee trouble forced his return to Australia from his Portuguese Pro Team, was one to find the pace too hot, but had of plenty of his orange and black clad team mates left to challenge for the win.
The back markers quickly caught and dropped the remnants of all the bunches who had started before them, and rounding the final corner into the finishing straight less than 20 riders remained in contention. Guy Green (Le Tour Cycles), one of only a few from the second Scratch bunch to hang on to the Scratch bunch, attacked 2km from the line and was quickly chased by gun climber Nick Kiraly (SBR).
The pair caught the rest by surprise, and were able to stay clear to the finish, where Kiraly took a great win to claim the First and Fastest dual honors. Rod Mason lead the rest home for third in his second ride with his new club after making the move down from Inverell a few weeks ago, ahead of Shaun Boschert (Le Tour Cycles) and Matt Goold (ACR).
The award for First Woman went to popular Japanese rider Miyoko Karami, who had started with the 12 minute bunch as Women's Backmarker, while Under 17 rider Simon Clarke took Junior honors from the 10 minute bunch.
The Novice and Junior 40km race was 'taken out' by Louise Bourke from 11 year old Dale Reith - they were the only two riders to make the left turn for home at the top of the climb! The front runners, lead by Sean Bourke, Tess and Erin Downing, Lisa Friend, Vanessa Hentschell and Greg Lane unfortunately missed the crucial turn while their riding escort (the author!) attended to a minor fall at the tail of the bunch and continued on on their own personal Tour de Baw Baw Shire, reaching Drouin before regrouping and realizing they had gone off course! The detour and the ride home added at least 20km to their day, but they still managed to beat the search parties home, and were rewarded with spare tubes courtesy of race co-sponsor 5 tubes.com.au.
No club racing next week due to the Tour of Cardinia, the following weekend sees the Queen's Birthday Club Tour, with stages hosted by Carnegie Caulfield (Bayles, Saturday), Blackburn (East Wandin & Scoresby, Sunday) and Chelsea and Peninsula (Braeside, Monday). Riders can compete for overall honors by contesting all four stages, or simply enter individual races on the day.
Sonny Barnes Handicap 80km - 138 starters 1 Nick Kiraly (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Guy Green (Blackburn CC) 3 Rod Mason (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Shaun Boschert (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 5 Matt Goold (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 Aaron Dalton (Caravello Joinery CC) 7 Chris Carr (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 8 Murray Spink (Dirt Riders CC) 9 Mike Yarski (Footscray CC) 10 Herbert Donovan (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 1st Women: Miyoko Karami (Japan) 1st Junior: Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC)