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Results and Reports from Australia
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Carnegie Caulfield CC Criterium
Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave, January 19, 2003
By Mal Sawford
Bunch sprints were the order of the day on Sunday, with all races culminating in mass finishes. Not ideal for the finish line judges (you can only hope for four man breaks every time) but for once there were no disputes with the official’s verdicts.
Despite all the big hitters testing themselves at the Australian Open Road Championships, a solid A Grade field kept the pace high for the majority of the hour. Whenever the pace slackened riders like Jeremy Dunning and Martin Bole were quick to try their luck, but in the early stages these attacks saw a swift response from the bunch. All riders seemed keen to show their stuff , days without Tighello, Clarke and co are the best opportunity for most to climb to the top of the podium!
Midway through the race, Matthew Speed (Richmond City Cycles) and Jamie Goddard (Le Tour) opened the most significant advantage of the day, and after inconspicuous blocking from Goddard’s team mate Richard England, it took a concerted effort to chase the pair down. David Sturt (SBR-Colnago), who had been soft pedaling to that point countered hard and split the field in two but strong turns from Bole, Ian Johnstone and Justin Hogan (O’Mara) saw things regroup in the final five minutes of racing.
Visiting Hungarian Junior Daniel Zsombok took advantage of the drop in pace as the bunch prepared for a sprint and soloed clear in the final laps and was only caught in the back straight on the final lap by the Sturt led lead out train. Sturt’s pea, Aaron Salisbury couldn’t capitalize and had to settle for third as the win went to Warren Knevitt (O’Mara Cycles) flying down the right hand gutter. Michael Bailey ruined any chance of ever riding B Grade again coming from last wheel at the bell to take second, with Dunning holding on for fourth after working tirelessly the whole race.
Steve Morrow’s best efforts weren't enough to split the B Grade field, with everyone else seemingly content to try their luck in a field sprint. Not surprisingly, two of the fastest riders fought out the win, with Darren ‘Sprinter’ Cathie taking the points from veteran star Geoff Whiter. Nathan Wise backed up from his outstanding ride at Rye in the Bay Series B Grade event to claim third, while fourth money was shared between Zach Alexakos and Scott Caraher. Kirsty Bortolin (The Freedom Machine) held good position in the closing stages to claim the women’s division ahead of Rachel Rademaker.
The opening laps of C Grade were ridden at warp speed, with Danny Weatherley keen to smash the bunch to bits. A petition is now circulating demanding a 10 minute neutral period to allow some of the veteran riders to get their motors warmed up! It was probably a case of too much too soon for Weatherley, a consistent place getter over the past few weeks, and despite assistance form Mark Kotzen and Craig Rotter the fast finishers had things under control in the second half of the race.
Daniel Young took the win ahead of Brett Rossiter (Bicycle Superstore) who is coming closer and closer to a win, with Cam Rotter holding off cycling’s clown price, Jack Dovaston for third. Showing the benefits of recent training, Meaghan Godfrey took out the women’s division from Cheryl Hickman (Bicycle Superstore) and Rebecca Cleveland (Richmond City Cycles).
Women riders almost matched the male contingent in D Grade, and the results reflected their strength in numbers. Winner of innumerable Australian Junior road and track titles U17 rider Tess Downing rode at the front all day and still had enough to take out the sprint ahead of Amy Phillips. The junior men ensured a clean sweep of the prize pool by the kids with Sean Bourke and Michael Downing filling third and fourth places, just ahead of Lisa Friend.
Racing continues every Sunday morning at Glenvale Crescent (Melways Map 80 B2) with a 9am start time. 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.
A Grade - 1 hour+ 3 laps 1 Warren Knevitt (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Michael Bailey (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 J Dunning (Coburg CC) 5 Russell Newnham (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 22 starters B Grade - 1 hour + 3 laps 1 Darren Cathie (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Geoff Whiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Nathan Wise (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Zach Alexakos (Carnegie Caulfield CC) / Scott Caraher (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Kirsty Bortolin (Blackburn CC) 24 Starters C Grade - 50 mins + 3 laps) 1 Daniel Young (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Brett Rossiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Cameron Rotter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Jack Dovaston (Noble Park-Dandenong CC) Women: 1 Meaghan Godfrey (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 33 starters D Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps 1 Tess Downing (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Amy Phillips (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Sean Bourke (Blackburn CC) 4 Michael Downing (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 24 starters E Grade - 40 mins + 3 laps 1 Frank Gysberts (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Dale Reith (Blackburn CC) 3 Jason Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 starters