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Port Fairy CC

January 28, 2004

Premature end to Summer Criterium Series

By David Tozer

The Port Fairy Cycling Club is disappointed to announce that the popular Summer Criterium Series has been cancelled due to the apparent early end to summer in the south-west of Victoria. Club officials have blamed "el ninio" for the failure. Fortunately, a new Wednesday night criterium series is replacing the failed Summer Series.

Weather conditions for last nights criterium were as follows: constant, isolated shower fronts coming of the coast, wind squalls from the North West gust around 45 knots, temperature between 15 - 18 degrees with a wind chill factor of "way to much for January", rider and spectator comfort level: low to very low. "Back to you now Ritchie"... "Thanks for that Tony".

The B Grade riders comfort level plunged even lower when Nick Lee decided that he'd get the B-Grade race finished as quickly as possible by going ballistic from the gun. Unfortunately Nick's plan was flawed, as the race was a 20 minute affair! Nevertheless, Nick continued to attack the bunch repeatedly causing a few of the riders to lose touch with the front group.

The attacks seemed to be putting the 'hurt' into most of the riders but a group of six managed to hang on. Late attacks by Terry Sketcher were also wound back in and a sprint finish separated Wayne Burnett (1st) from Justin Leske (2nd).

In the A Grade race, early attacks by Andy Graham were controlled and eventually brought back by the pack. The pace remained constant throughout the race, lifting occasionally to reign in one of many solo attempts. Brian McNamara and Garry Coombes both attempted attacks in the latter part of the race, but once again a sprint appeared to be the most likely outcome.

Heading into the final lap, it was McNamara setting the pace with Graham in second wheel and Jade Frankel sitting just behind. It was left to Graham and Frankel going into the final corner to contest for the win; Frankel was able to wind up and pass Andy in a very close and hard fought push to the line.

The inclement weather also contributed to a world class performance by club president Fiona Lee. In an attempt to get things wrapped up quickly, Fion conducted what is believed to be the fastest presentation ceremony in Port Fairy Cycling Club history. Fiona's reaction time was clocked at 30.7 seconds (after the completion of the A Grade race) and had an average speed of 2.57 seconds per placegetter. This clearly places Fiona in the scratch group of speed presenters and her expedience was appreciated by all concerned.

The Port Fairy Cycling Club would normally invite readers to view photography taken during the event at our web site but unfortunately not even with digital technology can effective shots be taken when both hands are securely placed in pockets through fear of hypothermia...


A Grade
1 J.Frankel
2 A.Graham
B Grade
1 W.Burnett
2 J.Leske

Local results 2004