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Twilight Criterium, March 16, 2006

Morris Magic

Mid afternoon and it didn’t look like race six of the Haywards Bay Twilight Criterium Series would be held due to the rain. But by race time at 5:30pm the skies were clear conditions were near perfect for racing.

Darren Gordon set the cat amongst the pigeons at the start of the C grade race by starting off at a cracking pace. Peter Evans and Peter Kelly were happy to keep the pace high and try and thing the bunch out before the finish.

With several laps to the finish Gordon attacked again and the bunch had trouble closing the gap. On the final lap Michael O’Neil put a big effort in down the back straight and it looked like Gordon would be caught but he kicked again and just held O’Neil off by a tyre’s width. Adam Hotchkis and Evans filled the minor placings.

The C grade point score after race six is Evans and Hotchkis equal on 33, Gordon on 28 and Kelly 23.

The pace was quite civilized for the first few laps of the B grade race until Neil Midgley put his head down and got a gap of 100m on the bunch. The bunch was then strung out in single file as they attempted to bring him back. As soon as he was caught Aaron Hull tried his luck, he was joined by Daniel Silveri but their escape only lasted a few laps.

Hans Battaerd also tried to get away as did Drew Robertson. The most consistent rider on the front covering the moves and having a go herself was Leonie Aisbett. Robertson hit the front in the last few laps and as the other riders looked at each other to see who was going to chase he built a winning lead. Silveri launched his move down the back straight and crossed the line for a well deserved second, Tony Pulo was third and Aisbett forth.

B grade point score after race six is Pulo 43, Robertson 42, Battaerd 34 and Aisbett 20.

Each week the A grade bunch seems to raise the bar just that little bit higher. The speed and bike handling skills have to be seen to be believed. Ben Yates must have had something good for breakfast because he was jumping out of his skin. He must have attacked at least five times. Every time he was caught he would rest for a lap or two and attack again.

Tim Morris knows he is behind the eight ball in the point score so he also tried to break away for the win but series leader Danny Hennessy wasn’t letting out of his sight. Hennessy also tried to get away a few times. Close to the finish Yates gave it one last effort and was joined by Ben DuBois, the two built a good lead as Morris and Hennessy were playing cat and mouse.

With two laps to go it looked like Yates and DuBois would fight it out for the win, but in the back straight on the final lap Morris literally exploded away from Hennessy and set off after the leaders in what looked like a futile effort. How he actually made it around the two final corners was a minor miracle. He caught the two leaders in the final 20m of the race and won from DuBois, Yates and Hennessy.

A grade point score after race six is Hennessy 49, Du Bois 36, Morris 34 and Robbie Williamson 24.

There are only two races left in the Series and the point scores are quite close so the racing should be very competitive over the next two Thursday nights.


A Grade - 24 min plus 2 laps
1 Tim Morris (Illawarra)
2 Ben du Bois (Illawarra)
3 Ben Yates (Illawarra)
4 Danny Hennessy (Sth Highlands)
5 Daniel Beresford (Sutherland Shire)
B Grade - 18 min plus 2 laps
1 Drew Robertson (Illawarra)
2 Daniel Silveri (Illawarra)
3 Tony Pulo (Illawarra)
4 Leonie Aisbett (Illawarra)
5 David McMaster (Illawarra)
6 Philip Jones (Illawarra)
7 Hans Battaerd (Illawarra)
8 Frank Soto (Illawarra)
9 Arron Hull (Illawarra)
10 Neil Midgley (Illawarra)
11 Lionel Covington (Illawarra)
12 Anthony Kneipp (Illawarra)
C Grade - 12 mins plus 2 laps
1 Darren Gordon (Illawarra)
2 Michael O`Neill (Illawarra)
3 Adam Hotchkis (Illawarra)
4 Peter Evans (Illawarra)
5 Peter Kelly (Illawarra)
DNF Vincent O`Dwyer (Illawarra)
DNF Paul du Bois (Sutherland Shire)
DNF Sarah Whipp (Illawarra)

Local results 2006