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Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club

Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave, February 22, 2004

Final hit-out for Swiss women; Clarke vs Clarke in A-Grade

By Mal Sawford

Swiss rider Marco Christen
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
Hilton Clarke leads
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
B Grade all together
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
The C Grade bunch
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
D Grade
Photo ©: Mal Sawford
The novice clinic
Photo ©: Mal Sawford

Perfect conditions for a change as Melbourne’s unpredictable summer continues. Good fields contested all grades, with one of the highlights being the last hit out for the visiting Swiss Internationals ahead of the evening’s opening Time Trial stage of the Geelong Tour, and next weekend’s Geelong World Cup.

The tempo in A Grade was fast from the outset. The early break of Richard Knight (Le Tour Cycles), Swiss rider Marco Christen (Hormann) and mountain bike star James Maebus (Cannondale) could only claw a five second advantage as the bunch powered along in the calm conditions. James Taylor (Genovese Coffee/ACR) returned to racing after a long crash related absence, and tested his legs with Simon Clarke (BikeNOW), as did Simon Walker (Victorian State Home Loans) and Andrew Ward, but the bunch was always close behind.

Half way through the hour, a dangerous group of four held a small lead: form rider Hilton Clarke (SBR), Peter Trigar (ACR), Mitchell Docker (Drapac/Porsche) and Simon Clarke. When Ray Turner (Bianchi) jumped across, other riders in the bunch looked for someone else to pick up the tempo – and no-one seemed willing. It took two laps for the chase to resume, and by then the break was almost out of sight.

The unrelated Clarkes set a blistering tempo, which first Docker, and later Turner and Trigar were unable to match. As they drifted back to the field, the pace of the chase lifted and the leading pair were in some danger. Hilton Clarke judged the dwindling lead brilliantly, forcing the younger rider to jump early to avoid being swamped, before taking the win. The sprinters were led home by Marshall Watson (Pro-Motion Bicycles) in third place, showing some speed ahead of Tommy Nankervis (Fitzroy Cycles - who had celebrated his 21st Birthday with a vengeance the night before!), Simon Walker and Anthony Smith (Gran Prix Bicycles).

The B Grade bunch seemed to lack a little of their customary aggression, with the pace noticeably slower than usual. Bettina Kuhn (Univega) infiltrated the first break, but couldn’t lift the pace enough to avoid a regrouping. A late break including John Mackenzie, deaf cyclist Rhys Van Beek, Peter McWeeney and Jan Wilhoeft (Pro-Motion) looked the most threatening, but had the misfortune to get caught beside the A Grade bunch. In the interests of safety, organizers delayed the B Grade finish until the A Grade race was over, and the extra few laps allowed the B Grade bunch to reel in the unlucky break.

Geelong junior sensation Leigh Howard (Evolution Cycles) showed his promise, sprinting to a good win ahead of Wilhoeft, who had held position well after his break was caught. Bettina Kuhn produced an excellent sprint to claim third ahead of teammate Priska Doppmann, in the best finish by Women since former World Cup Champion Anna Milward claimed the overall win a few years back.

Juniors Michael Downing (Le Tour), Sean Bourke and Peter Johnstone (O’Mara Cycles) tried an early break in C Grade, with the assistance of some none to subtle blocking from Michael’s father David. After twenty minutes, and some colorful language, the stronger riders in the bunch realized it was possible to maintain a chase despite the presence of a blocking rider!

Once the break was caught, David Downing counter attacked with Barton Duncan (Croydon Cycleworks), but strangely found plenty of riders eager to chase him down! A bunch sprint was the result, with Bourke good enough to take the win by a wheel from Michael Downing. Duncan followed home in third, ahead of Barry McShane (Mainline Cyclesport). Amy Phillips (Trak Cycles) was the best of the Women, sprinting to a narrow victory over Nicky Mathews (Bicycle Superstore) and Gemma Goyne (BikeNOW).

Four riders broke away from D Grade in the closing stages to fill the places, even finding the speed to overtake the C Grade bunch in their final laps. Wayne Flint proved quickest, with his win earning him a ride in C Grade next time, ahead of Richard Reynolds, Cam Ely and John Walker (Victorian State Home Loans) – another rider who will move up to C Grade. Andrea Bishop was the only Woman to maintain a position in the bunch, and took out the Women’s prize.

With Matt Jensen still in a pain killer induced daze after the removal of his wisdom teeth, and unable to race, Simon Lancaster has moved further ahead in the $7000 Team Alex Series, and sits on 130 points. Cheryl Walker joins Jensen on 119 in second place, while Warren Knevitt is the leading A Grade rider on 101 points in fifth place overall.

Carnegie Caulfield Criteriums continue every Sunday at Glenvale Crescent (Melways map 80B2). 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. All holders of 2003 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. 2004 licenses are also now available. For first time competitors and the younger juniors, Tokyo Olympian Mick Hollingsworth conducts racing clinics in E Grade. For further details, including information and standings for the Team Alex series, check out


A Grade, 1 hour + 3 laps, 45 starters
1 Hilton Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield)
2 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield)
3 Hugh Watson (Carnegie Caulfield)
4 Tommy Nankervis (South Australia)
5 Simon Walker (Carnegie Caulfield)
6 Anthony Smith (Carnegie Caulfield)
B Grade, 55 minutes + 3 laps, 44 starters
1 Leigh Howard (Geelong West)
2 Jan Wilhoeft (Carnegie Caulfield)
3 Bettina Kuhn (Switzerland)
4 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland)
5 John Hollingworth (Carnegie Caulfield)
1 Bettina Kuhn (Switzerland)
2 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland)
3 Anna Baylis (Carnegie Caulfield)
C Grade, 50 minutes + 3 laps, 44 starters
1 Sean Bourke (Blackburn)
2 Michael Downing (Carnegie Caulfield)
3 Barton Duncan (Carnegie Caulfield)
4 Barry McShane (Carnegie Caulfield)
1 Amy Phillips (Carnegie Caulfield)
2 Nicky Mathews (Carnegie Caulfield)
3 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield)
D Grade, 45 minutes + 3 laps, 20 starters
1 Wayne Flint (Carnegie Caulfield)
2 Richard Reynolds (Blackburn)
3 Cam Ely (Carnegie Caulfield)
4 John Walker (Carnegie Caulfield)
1 Andrea Bishop (Carnegie Caulfield)
E Grade, 45 minutes
1 Dale Reith (Blackburn)
2 Janelle Evans (Brunswick)
3 Nan Jerstrom (Carnegie Caulfield)

Local results 2004