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Results and Reports from Australia
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Victorian Metropolitan Championships
Darnum, Victoria, July 4, 2004
Quick 'Slickers' take it to Country Course
Warragul CC write-up by Monique Hanley
St Kilda's Anthony Comino has emerged victor of the drama-filled Metropolitan Championships, held at Darnum on Sunday. With action aplenty from the starters gun, a five man breakaway clear for over 50km seemed likely to produce the eventual winner on the windy Darnum-Shady Creek circuit. That was the case until a chase group led by Anthony Comino (The Freedom Machine) reeled the tiring escapees in with less than 4km remaining. Comino was able to refresh his legs before overpowering Adam Murchie to take out the Championship. In the womens event, St Kilda riders controlled the race and podium as Briana James (Porche) stormed home to claim victory ahead of Cristine Foster (Richmond Cyclery) and Sam Lindsay.
Over 80 riders, or one quarter of Darnum's population, made the drive down the freeway from Melbourne to the small country locale known mainly for a rather large stump by the side of the road and having Australia's only musical village (its probably best not to ask why). Wind played havoc not only for racers but also for the bush surrounding the race circuit, with a tree falling across the route the previous night. Although cleared by race time, the debris was a challenge for riders as they ascended the 1.6km climb on Nilma-Shady Creek Road.
U23 rider Will Walker from Brunswick commenced race proceedings by attacking the field immediately, before all riders had settled onto the race circuit and clipped their feet in! The move shocked the peloton into action as they were forced to react swiftly and close the gap. For some, however, the race was over before completing their first km as the field stretch out at 50km/h into an unassisting crosswind. Walker wasn't the only rider stirring up trouble at the front, with Chris Bradford equally aggressive in the opening kilometres. By the end of the first lap, all CBD Cycles riders had made their presence felt by contributing to the relentless attacks. Lap two saw Walker manage a solo break for over 11km, gaining a 20 second break before being eventually caught on the second climb of Nilma-Shady Creek hill. From the descent, Jarrod Clark and Chris Tymms countered, building their break to 20 seconds shortly before the start/finish line. On noticing a small chase bunch behind they waited for the extra enforcement, which comprised of Carl Cubitt, Adrian Salter and Chris Bourke. Together the five worked together to build on their lead, extending the time gap to over a minute.
With the majority of the breakaway bunch working hard, the lead stretched out to around 1min, 30 seconds for two laps. By the bell lap and with 21km remaining, the lead was back to 1min 25 seconds. Although this gap should have been enough to hold off any chase effort, the breakaway bunch was running low on water and food. With the early aggression and low fuel taking its toll, the pace slowed to around 20km/h on the final ascent of Nilma-Shady Creek climb. Behind them, the peloton noticed the pressure ease, and responded with a terrific surge up the hill. Four riders, led by a possessed Anthony Comino and including Adam Murchie, Craig Johnson and Anthony Smith combined their efforts to peg back the time difference. Meanwhile, Chris Tymms attacked the leading bunch for a short solo break, before fellow Pro-motion rider Chris Bourke countered with a more successful move. But with 4km remaining the two chase bunches combined forces, re-capturing Bourke to the ranks with 1.5km remaining. Adam Murchie timed his attack with 1km to go, and by the final corner had established a 50m lead. The move however came too soon, and he blew up with the finish line in sight. Anthony Comino kept his best surge for the finish line, passing Chris Tymms and Adam Murchie to take out the win. Chris Tymms finished in second by just pipping a fading Murchie on the line.
The Darnum-Shady Creek circuit was the perfect location for Cristine Foster to initiate her new cow-oriented bike frame, complete with an udder-coloured bottom bracket. The womens field raced three laps of the 21km circuit, with Louisa Judd an early casualty on the first climb. The field remained together until the final hill climb where the St Kilda women including Foster, Briana James and Samantha Lindsay kept the pressure on, effectively shedding the field. Another surge in pace on the Nilma North flats took Lindsay out of the picture, leaving Foster to 'lead Briana out beautifully' for the win and bonus women's series prize
In other results, Jordan Sutherland (Brunswick) overcame the tyranny of distance to outlast the U19 field ahead of Scott Jensen (Carnegie Caulfield) and Simon Florentine (St Kilda). The Masters S2 title was awarded to Tom McDonough from Coburg; Masters S3 claimed by favourite Guy Green from Blackburn; and the Masters S4/5 championship was awarded to Rob Licciardo from Carnegie Caulfield.
Many thanks to the volunteers and officials who helped make the day successful and safe.
Images by Monique Hanley
Local results 2004