Results and Reports for January 1, 2002


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New Year's Day Criterium

Nerang Cycling Centre, January 1, 2002

Jason Phillips wins New Year's Day Criterium

By Tim Francis

28 riders braved sweltering heat and humidity to compete in the Bruce Lynton BMW New Year's Day Criterium on the Gold Coast. Taking part this year were European based professionals Scott Sunderland, Robbie McEwen, Jason Phillips and Nick Gates, along with the rest of the field made up of local & Brisbane club riders.

The race was run on the smaller 700 metre flat criterium circuit. The Goldstars Club which organised the event sought not to send the riders over the infamous "Nerang hill" being aware of the hot temperatures and the 11.30am start, and from a spectator point of view it would also see the riders going around every 40 seconds or so.

The bunch stayed together for the first 10 minutes with the local riders eyeing out the pros. With a few attacks from local riders, Jayson Austin and Bart Duraj, the pros soon brought it all back together again. The first rider to launch a successful attack was Scott Sunderland accompanied by Brisbane based Ben Litchfield. Robbie McEwen saw the danger in this and, with young Gold Coast rider Jamie Seip, bridged the gap, followed soon after by Jason Phillips.

Unfortunately, Jamie couldn't go with the pros, leaving the four out in front, eventually lapping the field after 30 minutes. This bunch stayed together for the next 15 minutes until Mark Rowland decided that he was going to take back the lap that he had lost. He dangled off the front of the chasing bunch for 5 minutes until he was joined with a gallant move from Jason Phillips and David Betts.

The winner in this move was Jason Phillips who was eventually able to lap Sunderland, McEwen and Litchfield, effectively giving him a lap lead. Betts and Rowland were now on the same lap as McEwen, Sunderland and Litchfield.

With 3 laps to go the bunch was called for a sprint for 7th place leaving the final 6 with 2 laps to travel over the "hill", although Jason Phillips only needed to cruise to the line to pick up the $500 first prize. In the final sprint down to the line, Scott Sunderland tried to put some distance between himself and McEwen and Litchfield, but the McEwen sprint was too powerful dragging through Litchfield on his wheel over the top of Sunderland to take 2nd and 3rd spots.


Photos of the action also by Tim Francis/


1 Jason Phillips
2 Robbie McEwen
3 Ben Litchfield
4 Scott Sunderland  

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