Results and Reports for February 23 - 24, 2002


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St Kilda Cycling Club Criterium

Port Melbournen February 24, 2002

Riders bathed in sunshine shock!

By Andrei Zaitzev

Over 100 cyclists made their way to Port Melbourne on Sunday February 24th only to be met with an all too familiar sight - grey skies. However, it wasn't long before the skies cleared leaving the St Kilda Cycling Club criterium course bathed in sunlight for what was surely one of the best days for racing this summer. The Austral Wheelrace (which was run the previous night) may also have inspired a few riders to test their speed and skills.

Proceedings commenced with the D and C grade men and women and racing in both grades (particularly C grade) was fast and furious from the outset. In D grade, an attack from Tony Puleio in the early laps splintered the main bunch with some riders failing to match the pace of the leaders. A trio at the rear of the bunch (including Daniela Kirchlinde and Brenton Smith) tried valiantly to remain in touch and were rewarded by managing to finish on the lead lap. The lead bunch continued to play a game of cat and mouse until the finish with female competitors Sarah Starr and Helen Lawson prominent. In the end, Siam Sattayaphan proved too strong and he took the win comfortably in front of Glen Pearsall. Helen Lawson was third across the line and also took out the top female prize when she flashed past Puleio in the closing stages. There can be no doubt that both Siam and Helen will relish the challenge in C grade next week.

Numbers in C grade have consistently been high each week and this day was no exception. A strong women's field joined a large male contingent and the race was characterised by incessant surging from the front. Eventual winner Henry Ruiz was joined by Patrick Cruse and others as the central male protagonists in the bunch while Sam Lindsay, Louisa Hamilton-white and Alex Reinehr led the female charge. After several attacks were dragged back by the main bunch, the finish was decided in a massive bunch sprint which was taken out by Ruiz ahead of Peter Window and Robert Cutting. First of the unplaced females was Hamilton-White who just pipped Lindsay and Reinehr for the win.

A large and committed bunch of B grade racers were out to prove something to the A graders and they put on a fabulous show for spectators. Attacks began within a few laps of the start and continued through until the race's conclusion. It's anyone's guess as to who should have received the coveted 'Jacky Durand' award but certainly Glen O'Rourke and Rob Moore would have been worthy recipients based on their repeated efforts at the front. O'Rourke, together with two equally keen escapees, surged off the front at lap 3 and held a break of some 200m on the main bunch for just over 12 laps before being sucked back in by the bunch. The counter attack from Moore had a similar impact before Dean Langenberg joined the front runners 10 minutes from the finish. Speculation that Langenberg would call for the bell as he and two others swapped turns some 50 clear of the bunch was quelled as that break was again pulled in by a determined peleton.

In the end, the race was decided in a bunch sprint with Irish sensation Finton McCormick taking out line honours by a wheel. Adrian Ward finished a very close second while Russell Wallace rounded out the top three. McCormick and Ward had recovered well from their earlier breaks and proved too strong for the other racers. Finton promised once again to put his prize money to good use at his local supermarket - the thought of a bare refrigerator is obviously more than enough motivation for victory. All in all, a wonderfully aggressive ride from B grade who will be one short next week when Finton is elevated to A grade.

A grade was thrown into turmoil from the very first lap as Phil Indovino, Kon Kakris and Andrei Zaitzev charged to the lead on the very first lap and took advantage of a very lacklustre bunch. The trio built a lead the entire length of the finishing straight before gradually being reeled in by the chasing bunch at the 15 minute mark. From then on, the attacks were relentless with Daniel Nelms, Ben Dougall, Mark Bourjau (fresh from making the final of the Austral the night before) and Andy Van Slobbe amongst those responsible. The pace proved too hot for a number of competitors but certainly not Indovino who continued to splinter the bunch with surges and a lack of fear for the headwind in the home straight. Some 5 minutes from the finish, Indovino was dragged back to the chasing bunch and an immediate counter attack from Dougall, matched only by Paul Anders, proved to be the telling factor in the race. The pair drew out to a lead of 100 metres before the peleton woke up and attempted to chase them down with only two laps remaining. Paul Anders drew clear in the final straight to take the victory from Dougall who narrowly held off the fast finishing peleton for second. Adrian Salter took out the bunch sprint for third.

Next week's racing will feature the third in SKCC's women's criterium series and a team event for C grade competitors. Teams for C grade will be selected on the day. Check out the SKCC website at for more details.


A Grade - Open
1 Paul Anders
2 Ben Dougall
3 Adrian Salter
B Grade - Open
1 Finton McCormick
2 Adrian Ward
3 Russell Wallace
C Grade - Men
1 Henry Ruiz
2 Peter Window
3 Robert Cutting
C Grade - Women
1 Louisa Hamilton-White
2 Sam Lindsay
3 Alex Reinehr
D Grade - Men
1 Siam Sattayaphan
2 Glen Pearsall
3 Tony Puleio
D Grade - Women
1 Helen Lawson

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