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Be Active Cycle Instead Criterium Series - NE

Perth, Australia, January 2-5, 2004

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Race 4 - January 5: W J Moncrieff Pty Ltd Leederville Loop, Leederville

Sutton takes out Perth International Criterium Series

By Tracey Tilsed

Rodney McGee
Photo ©: Bruce Hunt

Nineteen-year-old Chris Sutton captured the overall Yellow and Green Jerseys in the Be Active Perth International Series. The final race of the series, the W J Moncrieff Pty Ltd Leederville Loop, secured the victory for the Sydneysider, who won the second race in the Victoria Park criterium the previous night.

The finale of the 2004 series attracted a large, vocal crowd to the streets of Leederville and the conditions for racing were cooler than previous nights. A number of attempts were made to sneak a break on the field but as per previous races, all breakaways were covered.

WA's Nic Brown opened a 50m break at around the twelve-minute mark of the race and held the front position for 3 laps. Queenslander David Betts made a similar attempt to clear out from the leading group, however with the pack, led by Hilton McMurdo, chasing hard, he was soon bought back into the bunch.

Nic Brown made a move and broke away, only to be joined minutes later by David Betts and Rod McGee. With 10 minutes remaining, the trio had opened up a substantial lead of about 250 metres. The lead group continued to increase their lead over the remaining field, clearing out to a 24 second gap over the chase group. The break proved to be a decisive move, with Rod McGee crossing the line first, ahead of Nic Brown, with David Betts in third place. Chris Sutton finished fourth.

30 year old McGee was happy to win a leg of the series and with his ride. "With the points so close I couldn't leave anything to chance. I had to hold my position in front as it was such a tight circuit," McGee said. "It was a hard race from the start, had to defend two jerseys," he added. McGee said the race was as close to a European type circuit he had seen in Australia.

Chris Sutton in Yellow until the end
Photo ©: Bruce Hunt

Sutton, who has been riding for 9 years, was thrilled to have left the Perth Criterium Series with both jerseys. Sutton was awarded the overall yellow jersey winner on a count-back and his impressive form earned him the prestigious green sprint king jersey.

"I went out fast. I wanted to retain the yellow jersey," Sutton said. "The series was tough, and all races were very difficult. I have never done anything like this before but I hope to come back again next year."

The St George Cycling Club rider was not under any pressure to following in the footsteps of his father, champion cyclist Gary Sutton. "I played lots of sports when I was young. Soccer, cricket, little athletics. I was never forced to do anything. When I made the State Team in 1998, I started to think that I may have a career in cycling, and dropped everything else to concentrate on becoming a cyclist."

Sutton rates the Junior World Championships in 2002 as one of his finest moments, winning two silver medals - in the madison and teams pursuit, and is now setting his sights on the Under 23 Road Worlds in Italy later this year, and the Senior Worlds in 2004. Next on the agenda for Sutton is the Bay Series in Victoria, followed by the Road Nationals in Melbourne.

The winning team for the overall series was the Be Active Cycle Instead team, made up of Peter Dawson (WA), Aaron Kemps (Qld), Joel Pearson (Vic) and Andrew Sime (WA).


Images by Bruce Hunt/


1 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset               15 pts
2 Nic Brown (WA) Apex                 14
3 David Betts (Qld) Vogels            13
4 Aaron Kemps (Qld) Be Active         12
5 Chris Sutton (NSW) Asset            11
6 Joel Pearson (VIC) Be Active        10
7 Ryan Suckling (WA) WAR               9
8 Leon Vogels (WA) Apex                8
9 Edmund Hollands (WA) 96FM            7
10 Caleb Manion (TAS) PIVoD            6
11 Phil Riemann (WA) WAR               5
12 Hilton McMurdo (WA) Statesman       4
13 Jason Rigg (WA) WAR                 3
14 Andrew Sime (WA) Be Active          2
15 Peter Dawson (WA) Be Active         1
16 Hector Morales (Uru) 96FM           0
17 Kieran Cameron (WA) 96FM            0
18 Stephen Harcourt (NZ) Statesman     0


1 Chris Sutton (NSW) Asset             3 pts
2 Jaaron Poad (NZL) Balmoral           2
3 Jason Rigg (WA) WAR                  1

1 Chris Sutton (NSW) Asset             3 pts
2 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset                2
3 Caleb Manion (TAS) PIVoD             1

1 Nic Brown (WA) Apex                  3 pts
2 David Betts (Qld) Vogels             2
3 Kieran Cameron (WA) 96FM             1

1 Nic Brown (WA) Apex                  3 pts
2 David Betts (Qld) Vogels             2
3 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset                1

1 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset                3 pts
2 Nic Brown (WA) Apex                  2
3 David Betts (Qld) Vogels             1

Green Jersey

1 Nic Brown (WA) Apex                  8 pts
2 Chris Sutton (NSW) Asset             6
3 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset                6
4 David Betts (Qld) Vogels             5
5 Jaaron Poad (NZl) Balmoral           2
6 Kieran Cameron (WA) 96FM             1
7 Jason Rigg (WA) WAR                  1
8 Caleb Manion (Tas) PIVoD             1

Team Standings

1 Asset Special Projects              26 pts
2 Be Active Cycle Instead             25
3 Apex Car Rentals                    22
4 Team War                            17
5 Vogels Plumbing Svc                 13
6 96FM                                 7
7 PIVoD Technologies                   6
8 Statesman Homes                      4

Final general classification
1 Chris Sutton (NSW) Asset            45 pts
2 Joel Pearson (Vic) Be Active        43
3 Ryan Suckling (WA) WAR              42
4 Nic Brown (WA) Apex                 41
5 Caleb Manion (Tas) PIVoD            40
6 David Betts (Qld) Vogels            39
7 Hilton McMurdo (WA) Statesman       37
8 Andrew Sime (WA) Be Active          31
9 Edmund Hollands (WA) 96FM           22
10 Jason Rigg (WA) WAR                22
11 Aaron Kemps (Qld) Be Active        18
12 Ashley Hutchinson (Qld) PIVoD      16
13 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset              16
14 Leon Vogels (WA) Apex              15
15 Luke Roberts (SA) Balmoral         14
16 Phil Riemann (WA) WAR               9
17 Nathan Clarke (Tas) Bike Force      9
18 Hector Morales (Uru) 96FM           7
19 Kieran Cameron (WA) 96FM            6
20 Adam Hansen (Vic) Apex              4
21 Tyson Lawrence (WA) Bike Force      2
22 Peter Dawson (WA) Be Active         1
23 Stephen Harcourt (NZl) Statesman    1
24 Brendan Rowbotham (Vic) PCS          
25 Jorge Libonatti (Uru) 96FM           
26 Keith Evans (WA) Balmoral            
27 Mike van der Putten (Ned) Vogels     
28 Steven Evans (WA) PIVoD              
29 Nathan Jones (WA) Asset              
30 Rhys Sherborne (WA) WAR              
31 Jaaron Poad (NZl) Balmoral           
Green Jersey classification
1 Chris Sutton (NSW) Asset            18 pts
2 Rod McGee (NSW) Asset               11
3 Jaaron Poad (NZl) Balmoral          11
4 Nick Brown (WA) Apex                 8
5 Kieran Cameron (WA) 96FM             7
6 David Betts (Qld) Vogels             7
7 Hilton McMurdo (WA) Statesman        4
8 Caleb Manion (Tas) PIVoD             4
9 Ryan Suckling (WA) WAR               3
10 Luke Roberts (SA) Balmoral          3
11 Joel Pearson (Vic) Be Active        3
12 Jason Rigg (WA) WAR                 2
13 Stephen Harcourt (NZl) Statesman    1
14 Edmund Hollands (WA) 96FM           1
15 Andrew Sime (WA) Be Active          1
Team classification
1 Be Active Cycle Instead             93 pts
2 Team War                            73
3 Asset Special Projects              61
4 Apex Car Rentals                    60
5 PIVoD Technologies                  56
6 Vogels Plumbing Svcs                39
7 Statesman Homes                     38
8 96FM                                35
9 Balmoral Cycles                     14
10 Bike Force Australia               11
11 Perth Criterium Series