Oceania Games - CC
Sydney, Australia, December 8-16, 1999
Road Day 1 - December 14, 1999
By Jeffrey Jones
The women's time trial was the first of the road events held as part of the Oceania Games. The course, situated at Bringelly in Sydney's west, consisted of 10 km of undulations over smooth, but dead roads. The same course will be used for all of the road events in the Oceania Games, but is somewhat far removed from the Olympic course, some 50 km to the northeast.
The road events are meant to be "test events" for the Olympics in terms of sorting out the numerous official procedures, results processing, course marshalling, media control etc. Unfortunately, the system wasn't stretched to the limit today, with fairly small sized fields in each event.
The women's event consisted of just six riders - three Australians, headed by cyclingnews' "mystery reporter", Kristy Scrymgeour; two New Zealanders - Annalisa Farrell and Kirsty Robb; and one Samoan - Bianca Netzler. The Australian coaches, James Victor and Gary Sutton would have liked to have more in the Australian team but were not allowed to "stack the field".
Early leader was New Zealand's Annalisa Farrell, who completed the first lap in 14:22, some 18 seconds in front of Scrymgeour who was having difficulty finding her rhythm. In third place was the other Kiwi, Kirsty Robb who was a further 18 seconds back.
Farrell maintained her lead for the rest of the race but was not able to push it anymore, and she won with the same gap over Scrymgeour in a time of 28:56.52. Robb held onto third position, but lost a lot more time on the second lap, to finish 1.14 down. It was Farrell's second Gold medal in the Oceania's, and she was both surprised and extremely happy despite the size of the competition.
"I'm ecstatic, really surprised," she told cyclingnews afterwards. "When I head my name called that I'd won, it really hit me."
"I've been training a bit back home, weather permitting, but nothing specific - quite a few kms though, as the time trialling season has just started. So I was really happy with this, especially after riding three events on the track (pursuit, points, and scratch)."
"The course was fairly tough, and it was hard to get going. It felt like a headwind the whole way," said Farrell, who is competing for the first time out of New Zealand and is not (as yet) intending to go for Olympic selection. However, with her results here so far, she may well earn herself a position.
Silver medallist and Australian time trial champion, Kristy Scrymgeour was clearly disappointed with herself, as she had been focussing on the win, especially with the withdrawal of Kathy Watt from the event. "I thought I was going a bit better than this, and am a little surprised with the result. I've never raced against the New Zealander [Farrell] before, so I wasn't sure how she'd go."
The road race is scheduled for tomorrow, and "Scrymo" clearly would like to go one better, although she admits that it will be tough with the addition of good sprinters such as Rochelle Gilmore and Felicity Myers to the field.
Results: 1 Annalisa Farrell (NZ) 28.56.52 (41.47 km/h) 2 Kristy Scrymgeour (Aus) 0.18.00 3 Kirsty Robb (NZ) 1.14.63 4 Naomi Williams (Aus) 1.50.06 5 Emma James (Aus) 2.13.21 6 Bianca Netzler (Sam) 2.22.16U19 Men's Time Trial - 20 km
The U19 men's time trial was only slightly more popular than the Women's event, with a total of seven starters. Three Aussies, three Kiwis and one New Caledonian made up the field, which had to cover two laps of the Bringelly course.
The fastest time at every check was posted by Australia's Darren Rolfe, who motored around the course in 26:49.25, averaging a shade under 45 km/h. As it turned out, this was faster than the men's event, clearly showing the talent of this young rider who is also the Australian time trial champion.
The silver and bronze medals went to Australian riders Ashley Humbert and Godfrey Lee, who pushed the Kiwis and the New Caledonian rider out of the medal positions.
Results: 1 Darren Rolfe (Aus) 26.49.25 (44.74 km/h) 2 Ashley Humbert (Aus) 0.44.07 3 Lee Godfrey (Aus) 0.56.35 4 Jeremy Yates (NZ) 1.12.90 5 Michael Leaf (NZ) 3.16.35 6 Jonathan Vahry (NZ) 3.43.04 7 Steve Pascal (NCal) 3.51.29Men's Time Trial - 30 km
The start list for the mens event went into double figures - 12 to be exact, although there were only 10 finishers. Pre-race favourite, Jonathon Hall was aiming for the win, although he had certainly not been training hard for the event. The wind had dropped a little for the three lap event, but the conditions were certainly warmer than in the morning.
Hall went out very hard, recording 13:27 for the first lap, some 35 seconds in front of Australian national series winner, Peter "Milo" Milostic. Close behind was New Caledonian rider, Jean-Marc Riviere, who was clearly focussed for the race. After two laps, Riviere had moved into second, and had closed the gap to Hall marginally, while Milostic was another 40 seconds behind. On the final lap, Riviere came home strongly to finish in 40:53.27, but it was not enough to displace Hall, who finished 19 seconds in front, in 40:34.22. Milostic maintained his third position, with a comfortable 50 seconds over Greg Scott from New Zealand.
The only "incident" occurred to the Fijian rider, Nelson Manuel who fell just seconds after leaving the start ramp, and was unable to complete the event. He was not seriously hurt however, and will start the road race tomorrow.
Afterwards, Hall looked relieved to have won, despite being fairly confident before the event. "I've had a couple of weeks off after the Bank race (Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic] and have just done a bit of strength training since. I was just trying to get through this with the bare minimum of training, and it worked ok," said Hall, who flies off to Spain this afternoon for the Festina team presentation, and will miss the road race on Thursday. The trip is also "the bare minimum", as he returns to Australia next Tuesday to spend Christmas with his family.
Ex-duathlete, and ex-ex-roadie, Hall is intending on keeping things quiet into the new year, with his first race the 1.5 category Melbourne-Sorrento on Jan. 12th next year. Following this he will ride the full season with Festina with the aims of getting another contract for 2001 and also to represent Australia in the Olympics.
Third placed Milostic was also quite happy with his performance, considering the time of the season. He too, has not been doing much and is basically riding these events off his road season base. He has a silver already in the Oceania Championships - in the mountain bike events in 1995, and would love to complete the collection with a gold in the road race, two days hence. He is aiming to ride the Bay Series Criteriums in early January, but then have a 10 week break before possibly going overseas to ride with the Australian team in Italy.
On Riviere, both Hall and Milostic were not surprised to see him collect the silver, as the Oceania's are one of the big events for the New Caledonians, and he has had several good results in the past.
The road events continue with the women's and U-19 men's road races tomorrow, and the senior men's the day after.
Results: 1 Jonathan Hall (Aus) 40.34.22 (44.37 km/h) 2 Jean-Marc Riviere (NCal) 0.19.05 3 Peter Milostic (Aus) 1.10.50 4 Greg Scott (NZ) 2.00.57 5 Robin Reid (NZ) 2.04.27 6 Franck Bonnard (NCal) 2.42.67 7 Sylvio Esposito (NCal) 3.13.16 8 Trent Wilson (Aus) 3.17.18 9 Karl Moore (NZ) 3.23.82 10 Colin Reay (Aus) 4.27.39 11 Nelson Manuel (Fiji) DNF 12 Glen Stojanow (Aus) DNF