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Eastern Suburbs Criterium
Heffron Park, NSW, November 19, 2002
By John Sunde
Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club, expertly managed by their President/Secretary/Coach/Handicapper/Guru, Frank 'the Bank' Conceicao continues to hit the jackpot on Tuesday night racing as over 90 riders represented by almost every club in the Sydney metropolitan area lined up for another challenging night of racing at the Heffron Park circuit.
And if the riders thought last week was windy, then the north easterly had a couple of extra knots in it for this week just to remind everyone why Heffron Park is the windiest place in Sydney on summer evenings.
A 39 rider strong B Grade, bolstered by Australian Junior Criterium Champion Warren Scott, got the 15 lap race underway and started off with a roar as after two laps A grade, who had started 1.30 behind, could still be seen ahead on the twisting two kilometre circuit. That didn't last long though as many in the B grade bunch took advantage of protection by numbers and began riding thinking for survival.
Survival was also proving difficult in A grade who were starting to make big inroads to reel in the B grade bunch. With four laps to go, a 12 strong bunch (from 21 starters) being driven again by Stewart Campbell collected the remainder of B grade to set about catching C grade in the three laps remaining.
Once again C grade showed their determination in the wind to hold off the A/B grade chasers down to the wire, but their gallant effort finally collapsed on the last lap as a 10 strong A grade group hit the front on the bell. That was except for C grade triathlete Kirk Purchase who had earlier stolen himself a handy 500m lead and still held a decent gap on the chasing A grade group.
Big Kirk, then just buried his head into the wind for the last lap and managed to hold off the chasers to grab a solo victory, the money and C grades second win in as many weeks.
Behind it was King Anthony Spurgeon, back from his week off who lead the field in front of Jose Rodriguez and Andrew Curro. Brad Mills picked up 1st A grade not in the first five (on account of the C grade winning outright) and Wazza Scott did what we all knew he was going to do and win B grade.
Images by John Sunde
1. Kirk Purchase (Easts) 2. Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello) 3. Jose Rodrigeuz (Easts) 4. Andrew Curro (Bicisport) 5. Liam Kelly (Easts) 1st A grade Brad Mills (Parramatta) 1st B grade Warren Scott