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Results and Reports from Australia
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Round two of the Regional Criterium series and Round 3 of the State Women's Criterium Series were hosted by the Chelsea & Peninsula Club at Carnegie Caulfield's popular Glenvale Crescent circuit. Good fields turned out in all grades with fast and competitive racing the result.
Australian Under 23 Team rider Lee Godfrey was on the attack early in A Grade, countering Sugar Ray Turner's (Repco/Diamond Back) usual first lap effort, and spent most of the race off the front in small groups.
Other riders to join Godfrey included Matthew Speed (Richmond Cyclery), Richard England (Le Tour) Aaron Salisbury (BikeNOW) and Doug Garley, but the attentive bunch always kept the moves in sight. The most threatening move came with around 20 minutes to go when BikeNOW team mates Rob Crowe and Simon Clarke jumped clear, but a determined chase saw things regroup, before Godfrey went clear again with a well rested Turner and the pair combined to hold off the bunch.
Crowe and Garley made a late effort to bridge, which saw the Barcelona Olympian rewarded with third place, but the bunch swept up Garley on the final corner in the mad dash for the final prize money envelope! Fourth went to visiting Shepparton rider Jason Benny ahead of Simon Clarke and Warren Knevitt. Up front, the win went to the hardworking Godfrey, who is building up fitness before heading to Italy in March with the National Team.
In an attacking Elite Women's race, the pre-race plan by Swiss star Priska Doppmann and Helen Kelly to jump away early was thwarted by the attentiveness of the bunch. With 2 intermediate sprints to liven things up the pace stayed high throughout with all riders keen to stay in contention.
After the first sprint was taken out by former elite runner Kerrie Baumgartner, Helen Kelly finally forced a gap, and settled into time trial mode to try to hold off the bunch. She was caught before the second sprint which went to Delys Franke (Merida), before jumping away again. In the closing stages, the chase finally began to peg back the lone leader, and the bunch briefly regrouped at 3 laps to go. Franke counter attacked and jumped out to a good lead, but faded, only to see Doppmann fly past and stay clear for the final 2 laps to lead by 50 meters out of the final corner. The sprinters came close, but the World number 6 had enough left in the tank to win by 10 meters from Emma Rickards (SBR) and Kelly.
A crash on the second last corner ended the chances of many of the B Grade sprinters, but was the inevitable result of one of the front runners trying to pedal around a 90 degree corner at over 50kmh! The carnage could have been worse with a number of persistent offenders trying to dive underneath on corners - some people never seem to learn the basics of the sport!
Visiting Tasmanian rider Steven Pearce took out the win, ahead of the shy and retiring Max 'Hollywood' Rainsford, with the minor placings going to David Taylor and Grant Edmonds. Priska Doppmann and Helen Kelly backed up from their rides in the Women's series only moments before, with Doppmann once again getting the better of her rival in the sprint, after Kelly had tried her hand in a late breakaway with Frank Cipriano and Paul Groves.
The Sport Women's race was a little down in numbers on the series opener, but the Women who started ensured a competitive and enjoyable hit out. Young Leongatha rider Michelle Rowe had too much speed for the field, taking out both intermediate sprints and the race win, holding off a late effort from an out of position Gemma Goyne in the closing stages. Fleur Dean and Ferne Walk late rounded out the podium.
Brett Rossiter (Bicycle Superstore) looked like finally getting his maiden C Grade win, racing away from the bunch with Paul Kelly in tow. The pair combined well and never looked like getting caught. Both riders have quick finishes, and Kelly led out of the final corner, giving the advantage to Rossiter, but Kelly had too much strength in the drag race to the line earning the win and promotion to B Grade. The bunch sprint went to John O'Callaghan with Matt Young taking the final podium spot.
With a number of the junior riders competing in the State Track titles, the D Grade race saw the elder statesmen of cycling enjoy free rein. As usual, the field stayed together for most of the race, and the result was decided in a bunch sprint, with Carl Brewer taking the win ahead of Daniel Yeow, John Jones and Geoff Rushen.
Next Sunday's race is split over 2 venues. C, D and E Grades will race as normal at Glenvale Crescent (Melways Map 80 B2) with a 9am start time, however the A and B Grade races will be held as part of the St Kilda Festival at an exciting circuit on Fitzroy Street at the corner of Beach Road. A crowd of 15,000 people is expected for the festival, with racing running between 9am and 1pm for Elite Invitational Teams, A, B and Masters categories. Race entry is $20, and entries will be taken on the day with excellent prize money on offer. Further details are available from Marcel Lema of Breakaway Cycling Promotions on 0421 003 033.
Criteriums are also held on Tuesdays night at the Necropolis circuits, with the Police Road gate (Melways Map 80 G6) open at 6pm for race starts for all grades at 6.30. All holders of 2003 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.
Images by Malcolm Sawford
A Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 32 starters 1 Lee Godfrey (Geelong West CC) 2 Ray Turner (Footscray CC) 3 Robert Crowe (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Jason Benny (Shepparton CC) 5 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 Warren Knevitt (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Elite Women (30 mins + 3 laps) 16 starters 1 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland) 2 Emma Rickards (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Helen Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Kirsty Bortolin (Blackburn CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 50 Starters 1 Stephen Pearce (TAS) 2 Max Rainsford (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 David Taylor (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Grant Edmonds (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Priska Doppman (Switzerland) Sport Women (25 mins + 3 laps) 6 starters 1 Michelle Rowe (Leongatha CC) 2 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Fleur Dean (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Ferne Walklate (Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 35 starters 1 Paul Kelly (St Kilda CC) 2 Brett Rossiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 John O'Callaghan (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Matthew Young (Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 28 starters 1 Carl Brewer (Blackburn CC) 2 Daniel Yeow (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 John Jones (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Geoff Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) E Grade (40 mins + 3 laps) 10 starters 1 Andrew Knowles (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Ben Day (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Jason Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Dale Reith (Blackburn CC)
Australian results from the past week