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Carnegie Caulfield CC Criterium
Glenvale Cres, Mulgrave, December 22, 2002
Cycling's Hollywood comes to Mulgrave
By Mal Sawford
The word was out that Glenvale Crescent was the place to be for 2002's last metropolitan club race. After a hot one yesterday, the morning brought overcast skies, wind and some light drizzle - not the sort of weather that brings people to the races in droves!
Fortunately, the weather got better and better, and by the time most of the A and B Grade riders would have been looking out the window to see if it was worth heading out, the sky was clear and the sun was shining. As a result, despite a smallish D Grade field, the colossal size of both the A and B Grade bunches ensured a record field to round out the year, with 206 riders taking to the start line.
With only a few weeks till the Bay Series, time is running out for riders to fine tune tactics and fitness, and a who's who of Australia's Elite road riders took to the start line of the A Grade race. Joining the host Club's two regular dominators, Hilton Clarke (SBR) and Robert Tighello (ACR) were iteamNOVA team mates David McKenzie, Allan Iacuone and Jamie Drew, Giro d'Italia revelation and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Cadel Evans (Mapei), Junior World MTB cross country World Champ Trent Lowe (Yeti), AIS Under 23 rider David Pell (Moroni), seasoned Euro pro Jeremy Hunt and the Criterium Champion from this year's National Club Championships, Chris Carr (SBR).
As expected with the big field full of hitters, the pace was on from the start keeping the bunch in single file for most of the journey. Clarke as usual was out to show his stuff, and very quickly opened a gap with only a handful of riders, who one by one lost contact with the fearsome pace. Only Pell was able to match the sustained pace set by the new Barloworld signing despite a concerted chase from the head of the main field, from riders including Carr, Nick Kiraly (Fitzroy), Chris Bradford (CBD) and Rob Crowe (Bike NOW).
With the pace staying high in the bunch, it took the two leaders 45 minutes to latch on to the back of the field - which was by then stretched out over nearly the length of the long finishing straight. Clarke and Pell weren't about to rest on their laurels, continuing past the bunch to catch a belated counter attack from Tighello and Robert Wilson (Drapac Property Group). Evans had made a big effort to bridge to the group in no-man's land but had come up short, and the four riders continued on as the bunch finally slowed to prepare for the battle for the remaining places.
Clarke was finally forced to use his quick finish to take the win ahead of Pell after a run of unchallenged wins, while Tighello was too quick for track star Wilson claiming third one lap down. Jamie Drew led the bunch home with Hunt next home to take the final prize of the day.
The VIS Women arrived in force to fine tune tactics for the Bay Series, but faced a big task in the huge B Grade field. As with the A Grade race, the numbers ensured a fast pace, with plenty of fresh legs to roll through or chase down attacks.
In the closing stages, Helen Kelly went clear with Liwa Becker (Fitzroy) and the pair combined well and with some tactical riding from the VIS Women, who were looking an outside chance to cause an upset. The eager posse of fast finishers smelt a big pay day and marshaled the locomotives in the closing stages to ensure a bunch finish. Things almost went haywire when the B Grade wind up over the final three laps coincided with A Grade easing off, but in the end the big field remained intact in the charge to the line.
Aaron Salisbury (BikeNOW) took the win by two lengths from his father Chris 'Snake' Salisbury, with Junior VIS rider Michael Ford holding off Barry Woods (ACR) for the minor placings. Designated sprinter for the VIS girls Delys Franke took out the Women's division, with Kirsty Bortolin (The Freedom Machine) taking second in her first race at this level.
C Grade also got off to a flying start, with Paul Groves attacking from the gun. After riding away from the field on Tuesday night in the same manner, the bunch was a lot more attentive, and was quick to chase on. The pace stayed high for the entire race, with attack after attack causing the riders at the back all sorts of difficulty, and a somewhat reduced field survived to contest the finish. The unlucky Groves just missed out again, taking second behind Matt Collins, with Trevor Smith a close third. Rachel Rademaker sprinted into fourth outright, also taking out the Women's Division ahead of Meaghan Godfrey.
After the completion of the controlled section of the D Grade race, the pace lifted and split the bunch in to three groups. Benefiting from yesterday's secret track training session at the Carnegie Velodrome, young Shaun Bourke looked comfortable with the leaders, and used his track speed to take out the win ahead of Neville Bird, Andrew Donohue and Mick Cummings.
Junior rider Lisa Friend attacked the chasing group on the last lap to lead the Women home, with Gemma Goyne's run of wins finally coming to an end.
Carnegie Caulfield Criteriums resume on Sunday, January 5th at Glenvale Crescent, with racing at the Necropolis commencing Tuesday January 7th at the Springvale Necropolis circuit. Merry Christmas from all at CCCC, and we look forward to seeing you next year. Don't forget to arrange a 2003 license before then! All holders of Cycling Australia licenses are welcome (don't forget to bring your license or receipt!) and non-members can have a go by taking out a three-race license for $39, deductible from your full membership if you decide to continue racing. For first time competitors, Tokyo Olympian Mick Hollingworth conducts racing clinics in E Grade.
Images by Mal Sawford
A Grade - 1 hour+ 3 laps 1 Hilton Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 David Pell (Bendigo CC) 3 Robert Tighello (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Robert Wilson (Footscray CC) 5 Jamie Drew (iteamNOVA) 6 Jeremy Hunt (Great Britain) 67 starters B Grade - 1 hour + 3 laps 1 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Chris Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Michael Ford (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Barry Woods (Blackburn CC) Women 1 Delys Franke (Broadford-Seymour CC)) 2 Kirsty Bortolin (Blackburn CC) 76 starters, 9 women C Grade - 50 mins + 3 laps 1 Matt Collins (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Paul Groves (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Trevor Smith (SKCC) 4 Rachel Rademaker (Blackburn CC) Women 1 Rachel Rademaker (Blackburn CC) 2 Meaghan Godfrey (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 37 starters, 6 women D Grade - 45 mins + 3 laps 1 Shaun Bourke (Blackburn CC) 2 Neville Bird (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Andrew Donohue (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Mick Cummings (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Lisa Friend (Blackburn CC) 2 Gemma Goyne (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 22 starters, 7 women E Grade - 35 mins + 3 laps 1 Jason Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Emma Steele (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Caroline Jones (Carnegie Caulfield CC)