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Heffron Park, Maroubra, NSW, February 21, 2006

English Commonwealth Games squad with speed to burn...

... but C Grade notch another win

By John Sunde

World Madison Champion, Mark Cavendish.
Photo ©: Stuart Baker
(Click for larger image)

Even the presence of the English Commonwealth Games track endurance squad and a super quick average speed of 46kph for A grade weren't enough to haul in the C grade field when Peter Carscadden powered home to win round 7 of Trek Bikes Summer Series giving C grade 6 wins in the series to date. An unfortunate mix up at the start line for A grade lost them a further 15 sec which would have easily given them the win they clearly deserved on another night of superb racing, fun, spills and of course all the usual weekly drama.

A warm, fast night for racing with only a slight easterly wind blowing across the finish straight greeted the field of almost 100 riders who were relatively evenly spread across the 3 grades with A grade easily boasting their largest field of the series, with 27 riders ready to match it with the Great Britain speed merchants of Mark Cavendish, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Andrew Tennant. To add to the hype surrounding the handicapping, there was more grade swapping last night than wife swapping on an episode of Desperate Housewifes. While most riders opted to step up a grade, Alan Bozunovic decided that after 4 weeks of finishing A grade and a 3rd place in A grade two Saturday's ago it was time to return to the bosom of B grade. No surprise of course who won B grade.

Ed Clancy
Photo ©: Stuart Baker
(Click for larger image)

In an innovative move to assist riders who suffer the misfortune of a puncture, DS Conceicao offered 2 sets of Campagnolo wheels as spares courtesy of Mr 'Campag Australia' Felice Santoro. It turned out to be a fortunate offer as Stewart 'Computer' Campbell, who seems to have suffered more punctures at Heffron Park than Frank Conceicao has sold inner tubes, was promptly in for a wheel change after 5 laps. More mayhem followed when C grade encountered obstacles stupidly placed on the track by some local glue sniffing teenagers causing a minor fall but fortunately without any casualties. Not so lucky was mountain bike Olympian Paul Rowney who wasn't quick enough to bunny hop one of the English riders when he punctured and ended up falling heavily on his arm.

Despite the mix up at the start, the superior speed of the English track quartet along with fellow pommy Commonwealth Games roadman, Stuart Dangerfield, the horsepower of FRF Couriers riders, Joe McDonnell, Peter McDonald, Robbie Cater, mountain bikers Peron Delacour and Josh Fleming, plus Tim Willing all ensured B grade were caught with a handy 4 laps to go. Dave Evans made sure he mopped up maximum sprint points in the 3 laps to go sprint prime after a handy lead out from Clarence St Cyclery team mate Dave Whyman.

The screws then tightened in the closing 2 laps as a last ditch effort was made by the chasers to catch C grade who were just out of harms way with around 10 sec advantage. An almost full lap turn by Geraint Thomas was one of the most impressive efforts seen all summer, however once again the top five places were easily wrapped up by C grade. Sutherland rider Peter Carscadden who has gradually improved with his come back to racing had too much power in the sprint to hold off another rider on the come back trail, Leichhardt real estate king, Shane Howley. Manly rider Simon Parker capped off another good nights racing when he picked up his second 3rd place in the series, while Adam Socha came in fourth ahead of full time trainer Karl Bellamy, who is often spotted still out at 2pm.

Geraint Thomas
Photo ©: Stuart Baker
(Click for larger image)

World Madison Champion, Mark Cavendish made it look easy when he kicked home to take the A grade win in front of a big effort from Robbie Cater and another fine finish from Tim Willing. In the battle for B grade it was an all Easts affair when 'A is for A grade' Alan or is it 'B is for B grade' Bozunovic timed his run perfectly to outsprint the Irish John's Peppard and Baxter.

A great weekend for cycling in Sydney with the 24th Clarence St Cyclery Cup track carnival at the Dunc Gray Velodrome on Saturday 25th February starting at 6.30pm - Don't miss your chance to see Ben Kersten and Leigh Howard go head to head for supremacy in the seasons last big prize before the Commonwealth Games. Tickets from NSW Cycling or at the door, $15 for adults.

The Trek Bikes Summer Series 2006 continues every Tuesday night through to 28 March 2006. Racing starts promptly at 6pm. You'll need a current Cycling Australia licence and an Australian Standards approved helmet.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Stuart Baker


1 Peter Carscadden (Sutherland)
2 Shane Howley (Easts)
3 Simon Parker (Manly)
4 Adam Socha (North Sydney)
5 Karl Bellamy (Easts)
A Grade
1 Mark Cavendish (England)
2 Robert Cater  (FRF Couriers)
3 Tim Willing (Midland, WA)
B Grade
1 Alan Bozunovic (Easts)
2 John Peppard (Easts)
3 John Baxter (Easts)