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Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club

Sandown Raceway, Mulgrave, February 4, 2003

Big turn-out despite reschedule

By Mal Sawford

Womens' winner Bettina Kuhn
Photo ©: Mal Sawford

The rescheduling of the traditional Tuesday night twilight race to Wednesday, due to a midweek horse race, was expected to draw a small turnout, but over 150 riders managed to re-arrange their diaries and pin on a number in the best weather Melbourne has had for a week. The wind was strong, providing a strong head wind down the main straight, but assisting the riders up the climb which dominates the back straight.

With both Robert Tighello (Genovese Coffee/ACR) and Hilton Clarke (SBR) in the A Grade field, the pace was bound to be high. The pair dominated domestic racing 12 months ago, with one or the other winning virtually all the races they contested, but both had cut back their racing schedules this summer. Still, when the early break went clear, both riders were present, along with inform riders Anthony Smith (Gran Prix Bicycles) and Martin Bole.

The bunch chased hard, holding the gap under ten seconds until the half way mark, when the leaders began to pull rapidly away. In the closing laps, with the first four places wrapped up, Leigh De Luca (Specialized) led Michael Tolhurst (Team Carnegie Caulfield) and Simon Walker (Victorian State Homeloans) clear in pursuit of the final prize cheques.

A Grade winner Hilton Clarke
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Nick Gates leads Simon Vandestadt
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Marcel Musco
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
D Grade winner Simon Shaw
Photo ©: Mal Sawford

Walker was too quick at the finish, claiming fifth ahead of De Luca and the unlucky Tolhurst, while out front the leaders dropped Bole on the final climb. Smith led the sprint out, but was passed by Tighello, only for Clarke, fresh from the Tour Down Under to come round in the closing stages to take the win.

Nick Gates (BikeNOW) attacked early in B Grade with Simon Vandestadt (Pro-Motion Bicycles), and after a few laps out front the pair were joined by Simon Lancaster (BikeNOW), Rick Jones and Rob Pagey. The bunch chased well, however, and by the half way mark of the race the field had regrouped.

Last week's winner Ken Ford (Gran Prix) tried a solo attack, but was too dangerous to be given any space, and after an attack at 'two to go' by deaf cyclist Rhys Van Beek and Nick Sheard was neutralized, the bunch prepared for an all-in sprint. Darren Cathie led out, but faded in the head wind allowing Footscray Vet Colin Morris a clear run at the line. Big James Shepherdson judged the wind best, and hit the front on the line to take the win from Morris, Lancaster and Tyron Simpson. In the Women's division, Swiss rider Bettina Kuhn outsprinted Team Alex Women's leader Cheryl Walker to claim the first win of her visit.

A late attack in C grade from Stephen Jean and Under 15 star Michael Downing (Le Tour Cycles) looked promising, but the windy conditions proved too tough, allowing the bunch back in contention. A fall in the final corner split the bunch and upset the chances of some of the faster finishers, but the sprinters who had already secured their positions at the front of the bunch were unaffected.

Kym Marshall took the win by two lengths, ahead of Marcel Musco (Brunetti Coffee) who managed second despite pulling a foot in the closing meters. Ross Edwards popped up in third ahead of Chris Garrard, while Gemma Goyne (BikeNOW) avoided the fall and claimed the Women's win ahead of Australian Junior Champion Tess Downing (Le Tour)

Simon Shaw's second win in succession in D Grade will see him promoted to C Grade next time round, after dominating the D grade bunch finish. Frank Reardon will also move up after a solid second place, with the minor paces taken by Chris Menesis and young Ross Hamilton. In a down to the wire sprint in the Women's Division, Louise Judd (Kathy Watt's Personal Training) held on by inches ahead of a determined Kasey Smith, with Beate Vandestadt third.

Simon Lancaster's first points from B Grade came in time to return him to a share of the lead in the $7000 Team Alex Criterium Series. He had joined Matt Jensen on 115 points, with Cheryl Walker right behind on 111. The leading A Grade rider is Warren Knevitt with 93 points.

The next race in the Series is at the St Kilda Festival on February 8. The circuit is on Fitzroy Street and huge crowds are expected, with fantastic prize money courtesy of Choice Capital. Race times are 8.10am for D Grade, 9.00am C Grade, 9.55am Women, 10.50am B Grade and 11.45 for A Grade. Registrations times and full details are available at

Twilight races are held on Tuesday evenings at Sandown racecourse, on the car racing circuit, with all grades starting at 6.30pm. Entry is via Sandown Rd, from 5.30pm. Carnegie Caulfield Criteriums then continue every Sunday from January 15th at Glenvale Crescent (Melways map 80B2).

All holders of 2004 Cycling Australia licenses are welcome (don't forget to bring your license or receipt!) and non-members can have a go by taking out a day license for $20. For first time competitors and the younger juniors, Tokyo Olympian Mick Hollingsworth conducts racing clinics in E Grade.


A Grade, 1 hour + 3 laps, 29 starters
1 Hilton Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield)          
2 Robert Tighello (Carnegie Caulfield)        
3 Anthony Smith (Carnegie Caulfield)          
4 Martin Bole (Carnegie Caulfield)            
5 Simon Walker (Carnegie Caulfield)           
6 Leigh De Luca (Carnegie Caulfield)          
B Grade, 1 hour + 2 laps, 46 starters
1 James Shepherdson (Carnegie Caulfield)      
2 Colin Morris (Footscray)                    
3 Simon Lancaster (Carnegie Caulfield)        
4 Tyrin Simpson (Carnegie Caulfield)          
5 Simon Vandestadt (Carnegie Caulfield)       
1 Bettina Kuhn (Switzerland)                  
2 Cheryl Walker (Carnegie Caulfield)          
C Grade, 50 minutes + 2 laps, 51 starters
1 Kym Marshall (Carnegie Caulfield)           
2 Marcel Musco (Carnegie Caulfield)           
3 Ross Edwards (Carnegie Caulfield)           
4 Chris Garrard (St Kilda)                    
1 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield)            
2 Tess Downing (Carnegie Caulfield)           
D Grade, 45 minutes + 2 laps, 28 starters
1 Simon Shaw (Carnegie Caulfield)             
2 Frank Reardon (Coburg)                      
3 Chris Menesis (Carnegie Caulfield)          
4 Ross Hamilton (Blackburn)                   
1 Louisa Judd (Carnegie Caulfield)            
2 Kasey Smith (Carnegie Caulfield)            
3 Beate Vandestadt (Carnegie Caulfield)        

Local results 2004