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Results and Reports from Australia
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Carnegie Caulfield Criterium
Sandown Raceway, February 25, 2003
The second week at Sandown saw smaller than usual fields in the A and B Grade races, despite fantastic weather. The 1.4km hotdog circuit used for the first week had proved too challenging for most of the part time riders, and only the fitter guys came back for a second dose!
Responding to the feedback, organizers re-arranged the course layout, with the Elite riders now racing on a 3km course; still with two hairpin turns, but plenty of distance between them to recover from the jump out of the turn! Fortunately, the C, D and E Grade riders were happy with their hotdog circuit and returned with good numbers. The new circuit for A and B Grade proved much more successful, with all riders giving their post race approval.
The small A and B Grade bunches were given the option of racing together, and were nearly unanimous in deciding that a bigger bunch was the way to go. Last week’s winner, Sean Finning (VIS) was quick to go on the attack, but for the first few minutes, the bunch was quick to keep him under control. Australian Under 23 team rider Jonny Clarke (SBR) was also keen to escape the bunch, but was also considered too dangerous, with Aaron Salisbury (TAC) and Warren Knevitt (O’Mara) amongst the chasers.
Eventually, the attacks from Finning and Clarke saw gaps open in the bunch, and 30 minutes in the pair went clear with Under 19 up and comer Nathan Wise and Ashley Hayat (The Freedom Machine) joining the move. Wise was unable to maintain the pace for long, but the leading trio built a lead of over 30 seconds midway through the race.
The chasing bunch split, with only 3 B Grade riders making the front group, and the leaders advantage stabilized around 25 seconds, until an attack from Finning after 55 minutes split the three leaders. At the call of 3 to go, Finning held a 10 second lead over training partner Clarke, with Hayat a further 5 seconds adrift. Finning eased up down the back straight, allowing Clarke to make contact as the bunch finally started to threaten.
At 2 to go, Hayat was 14 seconds down and starting to tire, with the bunch only meters behind, but the 2 leaders found their second wind, and extended their lead to 30 seconds at the bell. Clarke was too quick at the finish, taking the win, while the bunch was lead home by Swiss visitor Laurent Arn ahead of local favourite Knevitt. Bruce Will lead the B Grade riders home, from David Taylor and Danny Kah, with Peter Ballas leading the second chase group home one lap down.
C Grade saw a 6 man break go clear midway through the race, and combining well extend their lead, closing in on the back of the bunch just before the end of their 50 minute race. Ryan Robinson won his second race in succession, earning promotion to B Grade, with a convincing sprint win over Cameron Rotter, Brendan Leihy and Wayne Howard. Ben Phillips and Jeremy Austin were the unlucky unplaced riders from the winning break. Cheryl Hickman took out the Women’s category, as the only finisher in tough conditions.
D Grade was once again decided by a bunch sprint, after Bill Upston’s attack at 2 to go was chased down. Matt Sherwin came into view on the downhill finishing straight with a few lengths lead, but started pedaling squares 100 meters from the line. His premature victory salute cost him the win, with Simon Bristow snatching victory by inches with a well judged effort. Youngster Simon Lancaster sprinted into third place ahead of Ray Smith, with Melissa Nicholls claiming the closely fought Women’s division.
Criterium racing continues Tuesday nights until the end of March, with entry via the Sandown Road gate (Melways Map 80 B10) open at 5.30pm for race starts for all grades at 6.30. Criteriums are also held on Sunday mornings at Glenvale Crescent (Melways Map 80 B2) with a 9am start time for C, D and E grades and 10am for A and B Grades.
All holders of current Cycling Australia licenses are welcome (don't forget to bring your license or receipt!) at all Carnegie Caulfield races, and non-members can have a go by taking out a three-race license for $33, deductible from your full membership if you decide to continue racing. Our continued thanks go to the Trustees of the Necropolis for making the fabulous facility available to Melbourne’s racing community.
Images by Mal Sawford
A Grade (1 hour+ 3 laps) 14 starters 1 Jonathan Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Sean Finning (Castlemaine CC) 3 Laurent Arn (Switzerland) 4 Warren Knevitt (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 5 Nathan Wise (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 Dean Smith (Melton CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 15 starters 1 Bruce Will (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 David Taylor (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Danny Kah (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Peter Ballas(Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 27 starters 1 Ryan Robinson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Cameron Rotter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Brendan Leihy (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 4 Wayne Howard (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Cheryl Hickman (Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 24 starters 1 Simon Bristow (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Matthew Sherwin (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Simon Lancaster (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Matthew Sherwin (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) Women 1 Melissa Nicholls (Carnegie Caulfield CC) E Grade (40 mins + 3 laps) 9 starters 1 Stephen Sweeney (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Jason Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Dale Reith (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Daniel Mendoza (Carnegie Caulfield CC)