Results and Reports for February 16 - 17, 2002


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Carnegie Caulfield Criterium

Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave, February 17, 2002

Clarke under attack in last Aussie race

By Malcolm Sawford

Big fields again this week, with the sun shining for the 5th day in a row. Hilton Clarke was in attendance for the final time this season, as he flies out later in the week to join his US Pro team, Schroeder Iron. Today was the last chance for local riders to try to get one over him – but he was looking forward to the challenge.

The A Grade race proved to be one of the most closely contested this season – over the past few weeks early attacks from Clarke had drawn the strongest riders with him, and the results were beyond doubt very early on. There were still plenty of attacks today, but the chasing efforts from the bunch kept them in contention for the duration.

Matt Chessum (Fitzroy Cycles) kicked things off 5 minutes in, with Robert Tighello (ACR), Matt Jackson (ACR) and Brendan Rowbotham (Fitzroy Cycles) joining him on the attack. They were soon joined by Domenic Gatto and new father Thaddeus Roos, but the watchful bunch was hot on their heels.

Clarke made his first move of the day a little over half way into the race. Joined by Jonty Goldin, in his first race this season, the pair moved away at the 36 minute mark, and bridged to the leading group. Young mountain bike star Trent Lowe made a successful solo chase and the lead group numbered 8 riders.

Goldin found the pace too hot, and was replaced up front by Swiss Under 23 champ Ralph Zimmerman with 15 minutes to race. Within a couple of laps, the pace set by Clarke and Tighello saw only Zimmerman and Roos able to hang on. Two laps later, and Roos had been dropped, and the smooth pedaling Zimmerman was next under the pump as Clarke and Tighello worked him over; before leaving him behind at the 58 minute mark.

The leading pair didn't contest the finish, with Clarke allowing Tighello to take out the win. The bunch sprint seconds later saw Matt Jackson get the nod in a tight finish from Roos, Chessum and Dean Johnstone.

The huge B Grade field stayed largely together for the entire race. Tokyo Olympian Mick Hollingworth had a few digs off the front, as did Damien Power, but there were always plenty of strong riders willing to tow the bunch back up.

As the finish approached, the lead out trains of many were thrown into confusion as the A Grade bunch loomed up behind at the call of 3 to go. With both groups moving at similar speeds, B Grade riders could not find space on the outside to move up, which saw more than the usual amount of kamikaze moves up the inside in the last couple of laps.

Big Andrew Steele (le Tour Cycles) earned promotion to A Grade with a good win ahead of consistent place getter Chris Boone (ACR), Robert Tidey (O'Mara Cycles) and Steve Martin (Le Tour Cycles).

Bunch finishes were also the order of the day in C and D Grades. Rob Pagey and Mark Kutzen had a go off the front at the 40 minute mark of the C Grade race, but were chased down in plenty of time for the finish. Under 19 track sprinter Cam Wise impressed with his speed at the finish, holding off Chris D'Amelio, Stan Thomas and Ben Willey.

Visiting New South Welshman Darren Kelly took the honors in D Grade, ahead of Apryl Eppinger, Mick Alder and pint sized Peter Johnstone.

Another good turn out from the Elite Women sharpening up for the Tour de Snowy and the World Cup races. Priska Doppmann took line honors in B Grade, just ahead of Liz Taddich and Emma Rickards (SBR). Again, many of the male riders in the field could learn a thing or two about positioning in the bunch, as all the girls were prominent up the pointy end right through the race, including the hectic final laps.

Cheryl Hickman (Bicycle Superstore) returned to the winners list as first lady in C Grade, while Audrey Quick was first unplaced lady in D Grade.


A Grade -  1 hour + 3 laps - 32 starters
1 Robert Tighello (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
2 Hilton Clarke (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
3 Matt Jackson (Footscray CC)
4 Thaddeus Roos (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
5 Matt Chessum (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
6 Dean Johnstone (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
B Grade - 1 hour + 3 laps - 63 Starters
1 Andrew Steele (Blackburn CC)
2 Chris Boone (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
3 Robert Tidey (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
4 Steve Martin (Blackburn CC)
B Grade Women
1 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland)
2 Liz Taddich (Shepparton CC)
C Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps - 43 starters
1 Cam Wise (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
2 Chris D'Amelio (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
3 Stan Thomas (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
4 Ben Willey (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
C Grade Women
1 Cheryl Hickman (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
D Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps - 19 starters
1 Darren Kelly (NSW)
2 Apryl Eppinger (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)
3 Mick Alder
4 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula CC)
D Grade Women
1 Audrey Quick (Balance Carnegie Caulfield CC)

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