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Joseph Sunde Memorial Criteriums - NE
Heffron Park, Maroubra, Australia, January 26, 2006
Race 3 - January 26: Elite Men, 1 hour + 3 laps
Hoppy kicks home for the win
By Les Clarke
With a quality field including Cofidis pro Chris Sutton and Jittery Joe's riders Trent Wilson and Jeff Hopkins in attendance, the 2006 Joseph Sunde Memorial criterium at Sydney's Heffron Park was won today by Jittery Joe's speedster Hopkins after great leadout work from Wilson. The 2006 edition was the 13th anniversary of this popular event, which is conducted on the Australia Day holiday by Eastern Suburbs cycling club and is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Sunde, who passed away in 1993 after an 18 month battle with leukaemia (see about Joseph).
Wilson, who had been busy throughout the race with several moves off the front, hit his straps over the closing stages to provide Hopkins with a perfect path to victory. It was then up to 'Hoppy' to bounce over the bumps of Heffron Park's finishing straight to take a popular win.
FRF-Caravello's Peter McDonald, fresh from 7th place at the recent Australian national championships road race made the early running, supported ably by teammates Troy Glennan and Robbie Cater. McDonald's early attempts at the break were neutralised by Sutton before an early breakaway of six riders, including Sutton, Cater and Wilson got away. Navigators pro Ben Brooks gave chase, and it wasn't long before they too had been caught by the main bunch.
This was the story of the race, with plenty of riders trying their luck at the head of the field. Although the riders out front changed, one thing stayed the same - Wilson was never far from any potential moves that may get away, keen to take a win on home turf in front of family and friends.
It wasn't long before Wilson did indeed get away, joined by Brent Jenkins in an attempt to fly the coop. They were able to put together an 8-second advantage, but with a flying Josh Fleming trying to bridge the gap, their break lasted only four laps before the field came together again. Wilson remained active among the field, with Cofidis' Sutton beginning to make his presence felt as the hour mark approached.
Another rider to make their way to the front was local strongman Liam Kelly, who was next in line to try his luck at the front as the FRF-Caravello crew continued to ride as a pack near the front of the field. With two laps to go Kelly punctured, skittling his chances of a win as the pack remained together and it increasingly looked like a bunch sprint was on the cards. That didn't stop McDonald trying his luck at a late break during the last lap, however; but as he was rounded up it was time for Wilson to think about getting his man Hopkins to the line.
Over the last kilometre, the new Jittery Joe's duo worked together as Hopkins "gave Willo a shout" to get him into position for the sprint. Leading into the last 300 metres Hopkins, who had made his way to the front, turned on the gas and easily made it to the line ahead of Dave Whyman and Peter Fitzpatrick.
With the start of the US domestic season near, Hopkins is feeling good going into another year with the Georgia-based squad, saying, "I'm training 50 per cent better this year," before adding, "I felt alright during the race and had a few goes into the wind. But I wanted Willo to lead it out so I shouted ahoy at the top of the straight and it worked well."
John, Christine, Edward and Portia Sunde and the Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club would like to thank the record number of 160 riders who competed in the 2006 event, together with the many spectators, friends and supporters who donated so generously to raise money for the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia.
A big thank you to Trek Australia for their sponsorship support of the event, along with Shimano Australia, Wildfire Restaurant Group, Allpress Espresso and Croydon Industries who contributed generously to the raffle prizes.
Thank you also to Velo Vita/TMO, Albion Cycles and Ivan Lulics Pharmacy for their continued support in providing prizes for the race events and to the FRF Couriers team for donating their prize money to the Cancer Institute.
Liz Allan has the magnificent food hamper from Croydon Industries sitting in her larder, Gavin Solomon is the winner of the Barista course at Allpress Espresso, Paul Williams from Cranks Bike Shop is off to Wildfire for dinner for two, while Chris Jenkins won dinner for two at Ocean room, Tim Willing is the proud winner of a new set of Shimano Ultegra race wheels, Anthony Spurgeon finally gets to be part of the Discovery team with his new Discovery team kit, Phil Hutt has a new Trek 1000 to entice him back to training, while race winner Jeff Hopkins will be spoilt over a special dinner for two at The Boathouse.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by David Lane/actionsnaps.com.au
Images by Stuart Baker
1 Jeff Hopkins (Jittery Joe's) 2 Dave Whyman (Clarence St) 3 Peter Fitzpatrick (St George) 4 Warren Scott (St George) 5 Ben Isaksen (Lidcombe Auburn) 6 Chris Sutton (Cofidis) 7 Robbie Cater (FRF-Caravello) 8 Stuart Dangerfield (UK) 9 Josh Marden (FRF-Caravello) 10 Nash Kent (Clarence St)