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Giro di Brisbane Criterium - NE
Brisbane, Qld, Australia, November 13, 2005
Nice little earner for an afternoon's work
Mann wins Giro di Brisbane Criterium; Poad on podium again
By John-Michael Flynn in Brisbane, Australia
Straight off an international flight after competing in the Tour of Southland in New Zealand, and with only two hours' sleep upon arrival home, former Australian club road champion Tony Mann showed he's still a forced to be reckoned with after claiming a hard-earned victory in today's rich Giro di Brisbane criterium in Queensland.
The bulk of the lucrative eleven thousand dollar cash prize purse is sure to be shared between Mann and his close friend, ex-pat New Zealander Jaaron Poad, who combined perfectly today in a two-man breakaway. The pair effectively smashed a well credentialed field stacked with some of Australia's best cyclists, among then David Betts, Jason Phillips, Ben Day, Ashley Hutchinson and Cameron Hughes.
As expected Mann received top shelf support from his good mate Poad, who was also just returned from the Tour of Southland where he completed one of his career best performances, with second place on G.C.
"This is the sort of stuff Jaaron and I live for," an exhausted Mann said after claiming victory. "If you don't have a go against these guys, you've got no chance. We just got off a plane from Invercargill, had two hours sleep and came here. I'm totally smashed."
How it unfolded
Sponsored by Brisbane's Abruzzo Club as part of a celebration of Italian Culture (Queensland has a thriving ex-patriot Italian population), the race was staged on a demanding and technical 1.5 kilometre street circuit, which wound its way through the city's southside.
With cycling on the rise in Australia's Sunshine State of Queensland, the combination of a lucrative prize purse and a sizeable crowd which lined much of the course, ensured the seventy eight strong field gave it everything from the gun.
Rules, however, stipulated any riders who dropped two minutes off the pace of the leaders were immediately out of the race. It signalled an early exit for the four elite women who started the event, including national club road champion Emma Mackie and A.I.S. squad member Hannah Banks, who were out of the event after just ten minutes.
The first major move of the race came from Cameron Hughes (Subway), while Tony Mann waited patiently for his opportunity. Twenty minutes in, the popular bike mechanic from Spin City Cycles on the Sunshine Coast made his move, as Jaaron Poad bridged across five minutes later to solidify the breakaway effort.
The signs were ominous for the riders in the main bunch, with arguably the two most in-form cyclists in Queensland off the front, and despite their lack of sleep following the flight from New Zealand, very much in control. The gap sat between 20 and 30 seconds for the remainder of the race, leaving Poad and Mann to sprint it out for first place. Mann eventually came out on top, with Poad second.
Brisbane's Craig Mackie wrapped up the minor placings, finishing a few seconds in front of the main bunch.
Poad considering pro return
Speaking with Cyclingnews shortly before the start of today's race, a rejuvenated Jaaron Poad hinted at a return to professional cycling at a point in the not-too-distant future, following his recent burst of form in Australia and New Zealand.
"I'm looking at maybe going to the States, but we'll see what happens," Poad revealed.
In the space of eight days the ex-pat 'flying kiwi' has racked up a victory at the Noosa Criterium, second place on G.C in the Tour of Southland and another second place today in Brisbane. For now though, Poad and Mann have their sights fixed on next month's Grand Prix Criteriums in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by John Flynn/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Ben Manson
1 Tony Mann (Spin City Cycles) 2 Jaaron Poad (Yellow Jersey Bike Shop) 3 Craig Mackie (Brisbane)