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Joseph Sunde Memorial Criteriums - NE
Heffron Park, Maroubra, Australia, January 26-26, 2006
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Race 2 - January 26: Group handicap/Women, 15 laps
Stuart Harrington pips Peter O'Connor on the line
The 30km group handicap event attracted a strong field of over 70 riders with the B grade scratch bunch looking strong on paper and finally threatening to end the domination the front groups have enjoyed in recent years. Backing up from the Masters race were the four Johns: Kenny, Boles, Hadley, and Peppard already to go another 15 laps. A big contingent of female riders participated with Sally Cowman opting for the B grade scratch bunch.
With the calm conditions the three bunches all worked very cohesively especially the B grade bunch who looked like closing the gap with about six laps to go, however once the C and D grades combined the additional momentum enabled them to carry their slender advantage into the closing laps.
With two laps to go a bold move from Jim Moore (Sutherland) almost worked before he got caught in no man's land between B grade and the front group. Todd Spokes (Easts) who has been getting stronger with each race at Heffron then bridged across with Sally Cowman (St George) to join Moore but in the end the trio couldn't make it.
The combined C and D grade were moving too fast by this stage and in the all up bunch sprint it looked like Peter O'Connor (Easts) was going to be victorious until a late surge by Stuart Harrington (Bicisport) got him across the line for the win. Local riders Andrew Duggan (Easts) and Lawrence Robinson and Calvin Smith (Randwick Botany) completed the top five.
In a strong showing for the female competitors Sally Cowman finished too strongly for her breakaway companions to win B grade and Belinda Diprose (Lidcombe) came home for 1st D grade, while Emma James picked up the prize for first unplaced woman.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Stuart Baker
1 Stuart Harrington (Bicisport) 2 Peter O'Connor (Eastern Suburbs) 3 Andrew Duggan (Eastern Suburbs) 4 Lawrence Robinson (Randwick Botany) 5 Calvin Smith (Randwick Botany) 1st B Grade: Sallyanne Cowman (St George) 1st D Grade: Belinda Diprose (Lidcombe Auburn) 1st Woman: Emma James (Randwick Botany)