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Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club

Phillip Island, June 18, 2006

Phillip Island Cycling Grand Prix

Troy McKinna
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

A return to the picturesque Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit brought riders out of the wood work, with 170 starters making the most of the opportunity to race on near perfect hot mix surface. Early morning mist cleared in time for the 11am start, with the still conditions promising fast paced racing.

Immediately after the opening neutral lap had been completed by the A Grade bunch, an attack by Pat Shaw (Giant/VIS), Trent Stevenson (Barry Bros), Vaughan Bowman (Le Tour), Nick Culvenor (SHM) and John Kohlar (O'Mara Cycles) opened a significant advantage. Kohlar found the pace to hot after a handful of the 4.5km laps, but the remaining four worked hard to increase their advantage to thirty seconds after five of the twenty laps had been completed.

A number of small groups attempted to bridge the gap, but each was forced to raise the white flag rather than tow another of the well drilled SHM squad of Peter Barnett, Brendan Rowbotham, Jake Sutherland and Cam Wise up to the lead group. Strong rides by Paul Mason, Gippsland Tour winner Matt Jensen (Nepean Cycles), Murray Spink (Giant) and Leigh De Luca (Jamis) kept the bunch from losing more time, but with five laps remaining, it looked as if the four early leaders would dominate the results.

Pat Shaw urges the rest
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

A late move from Specialized's Mitchell Vervaart and Jonathan Lovelock, Guy Green, Luke Hanley (Quick Cycle Coaching), David Gafa and Dale Woonton, with Barnett and Rowbotham along for the ride, made some ground on the leaders, but with three laps to go first Culvenor, and then Shaw lost contact with the lead group, and the remainder of the bunch had a sniff of an unlikely win.

Stevenson proved up to the challenge, lifting the pace and gapping Bowman on the final climb of Lukey Heights to take the win. The group in no-mans land was swept up, but a moment's hesitation in the chase allowed Justin Davis to charge away on the climb to claim third, while the bunch sprint was commandingly taken by Jamie Kelly (Terry Hammond Cycles) ahead of Rowbotham and Pete Johnstone (Inexa).

A fast paced B Grade race was marred by two falls in the final lap; Shannon Hall (BikeNOW) hit the deck early in the lap as riders jostled for position behind the known fast men, and then in the final dash for the line four riders came down hard, with Anthony Smith (Anaconda) the worst off, with a suspected broken collar bone.
Clear of the carnage was first time racer Nick Mitchell, a rower who had powered away on the final climb for the much coveted first up win. Locally based Kiwi Marc Prutton (Kathy Watt's Personal Training) led the bunch in ahead of Paul Groves (Croydon Cycleworks), who made sure his father's efforts as lead car driver weren't in vain. The fiercely fought women's division came down to a battle between Peta Mullens (VIS) and Mary Rogers (Kathy Watt's Personal Training) after Briana James (The Freedom Machine) went cross country avoiding Hall's fall, with the win going to Mullens and adding a little more cash to her Junior Worlds travelling fund.

D Grade action
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Both the C and D Grade bunches were decided with bunch sprints, with the rare wind free day at the Island helping keep the bunches together. David Lay made the long trip from Geelong to take out C Grade ahead of George Greenall and first timer Julian Pinche, while another newcomer was to strong in D Grade, with Rodney Andanopolous too quick for Blackburn pair Alan Barnes and Gavin Sittampalan. Michelle Murrell took the C Grade women's division ahead of Christine Foster; Denise Bennett won D Grade from Melissa Roland and Melissa Nicholls.

A small but eager junior bunch tackled six laps of the challenging circuit, with the leading three contesting a closely fought sprint finish. Peter Vlahos (Quick Cycle Coaching) held on to take the win ahead of George Vissariou and Leongatha's James Blair.

In the coming weeks, racing in the South East region offers a block of Criterium and Kermesse racing. Blackburn host at Casey Fields next Saturday afternoon, followed by Chelsea at Frankston Gardens. For further details, go to


A Grade
1 Trent Stevenson (Shepparton)                              
2 Vaughan Bowman (Blackburn)                                
3 Justin Davis (Carnegie Caulfield)                         
4 Jamie Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield)                          
5 Brendan Rowbotham (Carnegie Caulfield)                    
6 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula)                     
B Grade
1 Nick Mitchell (Carnegie Caulfield)                        
2 Marc Prutton (New Zealand)                                
3 Paul Groves (Carnegie Caulfield)                          
4 Jason Halls (Carnegie Caulfield)                          
5 Tom Blazevic (Carnegie Caulfield)                         
1 Peta Mullens (Carnegie Caulfield)                         
2 Mary Rogers (Carnegie Caulfield)                          
C Grade
1 David Lay (Geelong)                                       
2 George Greenall (Mornington)                              
3 Julian Pinche (Carnegie Caulfield)                        
4 Josh Mackley (Carnegie Caulfield)                         
1 Michelle Murrell (Mornington)                             
2 Christine Foster (St Kilda)                               
D Grade
1 Rodney Andanopolous (Carnegie Caulfield)                   
2 Alan Barnes (Blackburn)                                   
3 Gavin Sittampalan (Blackburn)                             
4 Ben Horton (Carnegie Caulfield)                           
1 Denise Bennett (Carnegie Caulfield)                        
2 Melissa Roland (St Kilda)                                 
3 Melissa Nichols (Carnegie Caulfield)                      
E Grade
1 Peter Vlahos (Carnegie Caulfield)                          
2 George Vissariou (Carnegie Caulfield)                     
3 James Blair (Carnegie Caulfield)                          

Local results 2006