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Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club
Heffron Park, Sydney, November 16, 2004
Kelly blitzes the field with a sprint that Sean would have been proud of
By John Sunde
Liam Kelly, riding his new Fondriest Luxter red carbon complete with superfast Gippiemme carbon wheels, blitzed the entire field with an impressive sprint to comfortably win the Eastern Suburbs weekly criterium at Heffron Park. After outright wins to C and B grade respectively during the first two weeks of racing, everything returned to normal when A grade ripped through the entire field on the bell lap.
Even the handicapper seemed to get it right on a night which had almost 90 riders lined up across the three grades, although the strong northerly winds which buffeted the course were always going to make it tough for the front markers despite C grade starting with close to 40 riders compared to the A grade lineup of only 16 riders.
But it was an impressive lineup which boasted British Road Olympian Stuart Dangerfield, Aussie Track Olympian Ben Kersten, former Australian Road Champion Steve Williams, not to mention all the local big hitters keen to stamp their mark on Sydney's most competitive weekly summer criterium.
The wheels came off the C grade challenge early in the race when Laura Bortolozzi suffered a nasty fall in the crosswinds and is now nursing a fractured collarbone for 6 weeks. At least she has King Spurge to provide quality 'at home' nursing services. Despite this mishap, C grade still managed to hold off an inspired B grade bunch until just three laps to go.
B grade seemed intent on riding at an aggressive pace from the gun, which is great if you're in a scratch race, but not always suitable for a handicap when there is a charged up A grade field hunting you down from behind. This didn't seem to bother Matthew Loupis too much when he bolted off the front with Mr B Grade, Dave Whyman, and Antonio Iannacito with two laps to go. The move almost proved to be the winning move as the rest of the field didn't make contact with them until the last corner before the sprint.
By then it was simply go for the 11 and wind it up in the tailwind sprint. Going from the corner, Kelly unleashed an awesome sprint to simply ride away from the A grade field, rip through the C grade bunch and put daylight between himself and Dave Whyman, who held on for second and a definite start in A grade next week. Antonio Iannacito grabbed third, while Steve Williams capped off a strong night to lead King Spurge home to round out the top 5.
John Sunde claimed 1st B grade to get an early season jump on the rest of the B grade contenders and John Miller stayed upright to grab his first win in C grade.
A reminder to all riders that Tuesday night racing starts promptly at 6pm and that you must be entered and SIGNED ON by 5.50pm. A current Cycling Australia licence is mandatory.
Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Tony Horneman
Overall 1 Liam Kelly (Randwick Botany) 2 Dave Whyman (Lidcome Auburn) 3 Tony Iannacito (Caravello) 4 Steve Williams (Sutherland) 5 Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello) 1st B Grade: John Sunde (St George) 1st C Grade: John Miller (Randwick Botany)
Local results 2004