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Randwick Botany CC Criterium
Heffron Park, Maroubra, January 18, 2003
Hot racing at Heffron Park
By John Buckton
Very hot would be the appropriate way to describe conditions at Heffron Park, Maroubra NSW on Saturday, January 18, 2003. Or to be more accurate, very very hot, as the temperature hovered around the 39 degrees C at 2.30pm race time. Despite the searing heat, some 55 brave souls turned up to do battle with each other and the elements including the wind, which never takes a rest at Heffron.
The A-Grade race was pretty eventful. The Eastern Suburbs Club Tuesday night Summer Series leader, Robbie Cater (Randwick Botany), attacked on lap 2 and got away some 50m from the peloton with George Papas (Dulwich Hill). Nothing unusual here as we have all become accustomed to Cater's style of racing that features attack after attack.
Lap 3 saw Matthew Lucas (Randwick Botany) chasing down the break and by lap 4 the peloton had come back together. Lap 5 saw Shaun Higgerson (Randwick Botany) stir things up with an attack. Higgerson was followed by Cater and Dave Stewart from the Eastern Suburbs club. The attack got some 200m on Matt Lucas, Aaron Castles, George Papas, Chris Jenkins, Mark Robertson and Clive Hammerson.
By lap 7 the race had come down to a three man event with Robbie Cater, Dave Stewart and Shaun Higgerson swapping turns and building a huge lead in front of what was left of the A-grade peloton. By lap 10, Stewart realised that he was not at all comfortable being away with two Randwick Botany riders as Cater launched attack after attack and Higgerson sat on Stewart’s wheel and made him chase down the breaks.
Cater led out the final sprint and Stewart put in a powerful sprint, only to be shadowed by Higgerson, who stayed right on Stewart's wheel right to the last minute. As Stewart started to fade as he approached the line, Higgerson pulled out and rolled past to take the win.
The B-grade race was also action packed. On lap 3 Michael Cohen (Randwick Botany) got away by some 70m from the peloton and held that lead for nearly two laps. On lap 7 Chris White (Randwick Botany) lifted the pace and the B-grade field was strung out.
David Jackson (Randwick Botany) put in a big effort and got out to about 50m from the peloton. John Buckton (Randwick Botany) tried to surprise the bunch and sprinted from the back in an effort to break from the peloton without taking any passengers to get across to Jackson. Murray Walsh (Sutherland) followed close behind.
By lap 12 the remaining B-Grade field, now down to about half the starting number, caught the three frontrunners. In the end it was Walsh who powered home to take the sprint with Michael Cohen second and Jackson third.
The C-Grade race saw Chrispin Arnell (Randwick Botany), attack from the start and string the C-grade bunch out. By lap 2 Anton Rivera (Eastern Suburbs) attacked and again kept the pace high. In fact C-Grade caught sight of B-Grade and got very close to catching them before B-Grade turned up the wick.
C-Grade then settled down and the peloton reformed, the heat apparently getting the better of them. The bell lap saw B-Grade and C-Grade pass the start/finish line together and Commissaire Helen Vella gave C-Grade the bell. B-Grade immediately went into a neutral lap to allow the C graders past so as not to upset their sprint. Final C-Grade placings were Brad Lane (Randwick Botany), 44min 53sec, Arthur Driver (Penrith Panthers) and Ryan Terry (Manly Warringah).
Randwick Botany rider Tony Aitchison set the pace early in the D-Grade race. The heat must have got the better of Aitchison however as he finished out of the placings. Jonathon Hogard was first followed by Greg Smart and Lindsay Monks of the Dulwich Hill club third.
Six junior riders competed in the two events including Time Trial and an all-in 8km handicap race. Juniors registered included Thomas Murdoch, Andrew Young, Matthew Fortuna (St George), Tom Patton (Manly), Tamas Bykerk and Elliott Doughty. Placings and times are listed in the column at the end of this report.
Coverage of local cycling results can be heard on Sydney’s Eastside Radio 89.7FM "GAME ON" program, hosted by Brad Cooke, each Saturday morning from 10am.
Randwick Botany Cycling Club conducts racing at Heffron Park, Maroubra NSW each Saturday throughout the year. Juniors start at 1.00pm and Seniors 2.30pm. For more information please contact the club secretary Helen Vella on 02 9667 3307 or email email@example.com or web site www.randwickbotanycc.com.
(Randwick Botany Cycling Club riders unless otherwise noted.) Seniors A Grade, 36km 1 Shaun Higgerson, 57.09, 38kph 2 David Stewart (Eastern Suburbs) 3 Robert Cater B Grade, 28km 1 Murray Walsh (Sutherland), 52.30 2 Michael Cowan 3 David Jackson C Grade, 24km 1 Brad Lane, 44.53 2 Arthur Driver (Penrith Panthers) 3 Ryan Terry (Manly Warringah) D Grade, 20km 1 Jonathon Hogard 2 Greg Smart 3 Lindsay Monks (Dulwich Hill) Juniors A Grade 2km Time Trial 1 Andrew Young, 3.31 2 Thomas Murdoch, 3.43 B Grade 2km Time Trial 1 Tamas Bykerk, 3.35 2 Tom Patton (Manly Warringah), 4.01 C Grade 2km Time Trial 1 Matthew Fortuna, (St George), 4.35 2 Elliott Doughty, 4.42 8km Handicap 1 Tamas Bykerk 2 Tom Patton 3 Andrew Young 4 Matthew Fortuna 5 Elliott Doughty