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Results and Reports from Australia
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Heffron Park Summer Series
Sydney, January 9 & 16, 2007
Anthony Spurgeon is back in 2007
Last week in round 1 of the Eastern Suburbs Summer Criterium Series, Anthony Spurgeon launched his 2007 Heffron campaign in the same manner as he completed 2006 and that was with a convincing win against a stellar A grade field which included US-based pros Ben Brooks (Navigators), Jeff Hopkins (Jittery Joes) and Peter Hatton (Colavita). The win marks an impressive return to form for Spurgeon who continues to dominate racing at Heffron Park and while he was beaten in round 2 of the series this week by Jeff Hopkins, Spurge is sitting pretty on top of the pointscore with 11 points after only 2 rounds.
The opening round of the series attracted a massive field of almost 100 riders and the quality and size of the A grade field almost guaranteed the A grade bunch would take overall honours in the graded 30km handicap series which will run over the next 11 weeks. In a slightly revamped format, B and C grades will compete for a separate series pointscore which is sure to add more spice to the finishes. Unfortunately the first round was marred by a nasty fall when Anthony Fortuna (Randwick Botany) fell heavily in one of the corners in the closing laps and everyone wishes Anthony a healthy and speedy recovery.
The other surprise from round 1 was the return to form of none other than Easts DS, Frank Conceicao who won C grade. To prove the win was no fluke, Frank even backed it up with a third place this week. Its hard to imagine how a diet of Portuguese chicken can be improved on, but Frank seems have discovered the magic recipe and is racing at a much leaner, meaner weight than in recent seasons.
Round 2 didn't attract the numbers that turned out the previous week, but the racing, like always on a hot, windy summers evening at Heffron Park was as fast and furious as ever. B grade obviously spurred on by the new pointscore series, split up after only four laps and a six man break of John Kenny, Scott Callum, Nic Rathborne (Easts), Todd Sinclair (Nth Sydney), Brad Glennan (Sutherland) and Brent Dawson (Dubbo) almost caught everyone napping to ride away with the overall win.
Unlike previous weeks when the A grade field ride a smooth, even tempo, the pace on Tuesday night was very fragmented with several riders like Matt Fleming (Clarence St) and Dave Early (Easts) frequently forcing the pace. The resulting off and on tempo meant the B grade break wasn't caught till the bell lap, with the C grade front markers only in the closing 500 metres.
A monster effort by St George track star Warren Scott gave Jeff Hopkins the perfect run to the line where he held off Spurge's challenge. Ben Isaksen claimed third and picked up valuable series points for the second consecutive week. Tim Willing who has swapped his Midland WA club colours for the red, white and blue of Easts ended up with fourth in front of another strong finisher, Steve Fitzpatrick (St George).
The B grade competition remains wide open after last weeks placegetters of John Peppard, Adam Socha and Scott Callum didn't feature in the placings. This weeks winner is no stranger to the podium and Brent Dawson's win is another stepping stone in his effort to regain the form and class he demonstrated at an elite level in the nineties. Brad Glennan and Nic Rathborne were rewarded with their efforts in the break with second and third.
The C grade comp has turned into an all Eastern Suburbs (hardly surprising) with John Greally backing up a fine second place from last week with a convincing win this week giving him the series lead from DS Concy.
With King Spurge's return to form and 2006 Joseph Sunde Memorial winner, Jeff Hopkin's convincing win on Tuesday night all eyes are starting to focus on this years Joseph Sunde Memorial at Heffron Park on Australia Day - Friday 26 January. This years racing gets underway with an additional Masters race at 7.30am, followed by the normal programme of 8am Masters, 9am Handicap and 10am for the Elite race. Entries are on the line, on the day - more info at NSW Cycling.
Round 1 - January 9 A Grade 1 Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello) 2 Peter Fitzpatrick (St George) 3 Jose Rodriguez (Clarence St) 4 Ben Isaksen (Lidcombe) 5 Warren Scott (St George) B Grade 1 John Peppard (Easts) 2 Adam Socha (Nth Sydney) 3 Scott Callum (Easts) C Grade 1 Frank Conceicao (Easts) 2 John Greally (Easts) 3 Mark Ardouin (Easts) Round 2 - January 16 1 Jeff Hopkins (Jittery Joes) 2 Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello) 3 Tim Willing (Easts) 4 Ben Isaksen (Lidcombe) 5 Steve Fitzpatrick (St George) B Grade 1 Brent Dawson (Dubbo) 2 Brad Glennan (Sutherland) 3 Nic Rathborne (Easts) C Grade 1 John Greally (Easts) 2 Kevin Vlahos (Easts) 3 Frank Conceicao (Easts) Points after Round 2 A Grade 1 Anthony Spurgeon 11 pts 2 Jeff Hopkins 7 3 Ben Isaksen 5 4 Peter Fitzpatrick 4 5 Jose Rodriguez 3 6 Tim Willing 2 7 Warren Scott 1 7 Steve Fitzpatrick 1 B Grade 1 John Peppard 3 pts 1 Brent Dawson 3 2 Adam Socha 2 2 Brad Glennan 2 3 Scott Callum 1 3 Nic Rathborne 1 C Grade 1 John Greally 5 pts 2 Frank Conceicao 4 3 Kevin Vlahos 2 4 Mark Ardouin 1
Local results 2007