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Illawarra Cycle Club Graded Handicap

, February 17, 2008

The show rolls on

Frank Tortorici triumphed in the Illawarra Cycle Club 37.5km graded handicap on Sunday. Tortorici finished in front of fellow B grade riders Ian Robinson, Daniel Silveri, Paul Oyston and Phil Jones respectively Capitalising on excellent work from his B grade “team mates”, Tortorici set a course record for B grade riders over the race distance.

The riders were divided up into the 4 grades currently used for the summer pointscore series, and instead of racing against the riders in the same grade, as has been the case in the last few weeks, each grade effectively became a team. B grade gained an advantage before the race had started when several late B grade entries were received, increasing their numbers while both A and C grade had a couple of riders each not show up.

D grade comprising Liz Bevan, Mark Campbell, John Ruiz, Jenni Vaughn-Floyd and David Allen started off strongly with all riders sharing in the work load and swapping off smoothly. Meanwhile the C-grade group was steadily pulling back the D-grade limit riders. At the end of the first lap they were on target having halved their lead to just 5 minutes. All nine riders were pulling turns smoothly with the aim of staying away from the chasing B-grade. B grade, with the strength of numbers, were determined to reverse the result of the last handicap race, in a race billed as a rematch between the grades.

From the outset the B grade pace was high and a glance at the 5km mark showed the average speed was 42km/h. The stout pace was driven evenly early on in the race with all riders working for the bunch.

The well oiled unit powered along at speed at the expense of several “brothers” who were in need of a spell. The next 15K saw the strong men go to the front in a team motivated effort.

Michael Comensoli, Dan Macnamara, Phil Jones, John Danzo, Paul Oyston, Tortorici, Robinson, Silveri were all strong with, Rob Hernandez and Steve Westra showing they aren't afraid to contribute depite being relative newcomers to the club . Efforts from Peter Evans, Brian Joyce, Dean Kelly and motivator Joe Chiaverini also helped. A grade with only seven riders always faced a tough task trying to catch the B grade bunch motivated by revenge. Although they rode strongly and efficiently together, the initial effort away from the start line from B grade had effectively eliminated them from the race.

B grade had the wind in their sails and caught C grade at Yallah TAFE heading out on the second lap. Just about everyone found seats on the fast moving train. Some C-graders got involved while the rest just hung on for some fast riding The stronger riders in B grade moved to the front of the pack determined to catch the only riders remaining ahead of them from D grade.

One kilometre from the finish B grade caught D grade and began to jockey for position for the win. Tortorici cashed in on the alliance of a Comensoli lead out for the win despite Robinson’s valiant attempt to come around him.

The rest of the B grade strongmen followed home for the minor placings in what can only described as a proud day for the “peoples grade”.


All In - 37.5km
1 Frank Tortorici (Illawarra)    56.31
2 Ian Robinson (Illawarra)            
3 Daniel Silveri (Illawarra)          
4 Paul Oyston (Illawarra)             
5 Philip Jones (Illawarra)            
6 Michael Comensoli (Illawarra)       
7 Isaac Beard (Illawarra)             
8 Brian Joyce (Illawarra)             
9 Steve Westa (Illawarra)             
10 Peter Evans (Illawarra)            
11 Robert Hernandez (Illawarra)       
12 Leigh Jackson (Illawarra)          
13 Jonathan Hull (Illawarra)          
14 David Morris (Illawarra)           
15 Dan McNamara (Illawarra)           
16 Joe Chiaverini (Illawarra)         
17 Dean Kelly (Illawarra)         0.18
18 Craig Brown (Illawarra)            
19 Kirsten Arnold (Illawarra)         
20 John Danzo (Illawarra)         1.12
21 Patrick Delahunty (Illawarra)      
22 Eric Haakonssen (Illawarra)        
23 Tim Morris (Illawarra)             
24 Keith Bennett (Illawarra)          
25 Danny Hennessy (Illawarra)         
26 Brad Martin (Illawarra)            
27 Jeffrey Gray                       
28 Stephen Hunter (Illawarra)         
29 Stuart Gadd (Illawarra)            
30 Jenni Vaughan-Floyd (Illawarra)    
31 Peter Kelly (Illawarra)            
32 Juan Ruiz (Illawarra)              
33 David Allen (Illawarra)            
34 Elizabeth Bevan (Illawarra)        
35 Diego Diaz (Illawarra)             
DNF Mark Campbell (Illawarra)         
DNF Geoff Pollard (Illawarra)