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Carnegie Caulfield Criterium
Springvale Necropolis, January 28, 2003
Tighello returns but Wilson takes close sprint
By Mal Sawford
Back to the normal 6.30 start time tonight, with good fields in all grades on a warm and clear Melbourne evening. Over 130 riders took part, with the A and B Grade fields tackling the hilly Avenue of Roses circuit, with C, D and the Novice fields raced the long, flat Memorial Gardens circuit.
Having taken a few weeks rest after the Bay Series and Australian Open Road Title, Robert Tighello (ACR) was ready to stretch his legs, but assured the bunch he would be taking it easy. Unsurprisingly, he was soon on the attack, after the obligatory suicide dash from Ray Turner (Repco/Diamond Back) was reeled in.
Chris Bradford (CBD Cycles), who suffered a nasty fall in one of the early morning training rides during the Bay Series, also returned to competition, and joined Tighello and Rob Wilson (BikeNOW) 20 minutes in. Despite the bunch hitting the back straight climb at 50kmh every lap, the leading trio held a 10 second advantage until the half way mark, before finally succumbing to the chase.
The pace stayed high, and a series of solo attacks were unsuccessful until Tighello decided his heart rate wasn't high enough and flew away, and no one was strong enough to go with his attack. The chase started, with Scott Rush (Pro-Motion Bicycles), Michael Bailey, Dean Johnstone and Rob Wilson prominent, and after 10 minutes Tigs decided it was time to rest up for one last effort.
The winning move came from the race favorite with 10 minutes to go, with Tighello joined by last week's winner Leigh De Luca, and Wilson, winner of Blackburn's Australia Day Madison the day before. De Luca and Wilson set about working the former Australian Champion over, and their efforts resulted in the win going to the unnaturally tanned Wilson in a tight sprint over Tighello. Simon Clarke (BikeNOW) lead the chasing bunch home, ahead of Russell Newnham and Aaron Salisbury (BikeNOW).
15 minutes into the B Grade race, a strong group went clear containing danger men Bruce Will, Danny Kah, Grant Jamieson and Tony McGarrigle. The break away's advantage hovered around the second mark until the midway point, before the chase lead by Ken Ford and Denis Bowen-Day made any headway.
After the regrouping, the bunch stayed together until last weeks winner, Rob Doyle (O'Mara Cycles) went clear. Four riders bridged the gap; Michael Cook, Doug Muller, Nathan Wise and Peter O'Callaghan, and with some powerful riding opened an unassailable gap on the peleton.
At the finish, the margin was over 30 seconds, with the win taken out by super Vet O'Callaghan, from Doyle, Wise and Muller. Katrina Purcell (Drapac) stayed at the front of the chase group to take out the Women's prize.
Both the C and D Grade races were relatively uneventful in comparison to the higher grades. Many riders tried to get away or split the bunch, but on the long straights weren't able to escape the clutches of the attentive peletons.
The bunch kick in C Grade was taken out by Simon Prentice, with yet another second placing to Brett Rossiter (Bicycle Superstore). Michael Bloomfield took third ahead of Kim Marshall, with Under 15 rider Peter Johnstone finishing with the bunch in his C Grade debut.
Despite a late and uncharacteristic attack from Bill Upston, the sprinters fought out the win in D Grade, with the win going to Andrew Donohue ahead of John Guzik, Andrew Stewart and David McCormick, with the Women's Division taken out by Melissa Nichols.
Thanks to Mike Goldie for volunteering to run tonight's racing, with help from Ann Johnstone, allowing me race for the first time at the Necropolis.
Racing continues every Tuesday night on the circuit, with the Police Road gate (Melways Map 80 G6) opens at 6pm 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. All holders of current 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 $33, deductible from your full membership if you decide to continue racing. Our thanks go to the Trustees of the Necropolis for making the fabulous facility available to Melbourne's racing community.
Images by Ann Johnstone
A Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 27 starters 1 Rob Wilson (Footscray CC) 2 Robert Tighello (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Leigh De Luca (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 5 Russell Newnham (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 31 starters 1 Peter O'Callaghan (Brunswick CC) 2 Rob Doyle (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Nathan Wise (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Doug Muller (Echuca-Moama CC) Women 1 Katrina Purcell (Northcote CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 40 starters 1 Simon Prentice (Blackburn CC) 2 Brett Rossiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Michael Bloomfield (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Kim Marshall (Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 21 starters 1 Andrew Donohue (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 John Guzik (Blackburn CC) 3 Andrew Stewart (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 4 David McCormick (Blackburn CC) Women 1 Melissa Nichols (Carnegie Caulfield CC) E Grade (40 mins + 3 laps) 14 starters 1 Peter Drapac (Brunswick CC) 2 Matt Flaherty (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Emma Beveridge (Carnegie Caulfield CC)