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Carnegie Caulfield CC Criterium
Springvale Necropolis, November 12, 2002
As the Crowe flies
By Mal Sawford
After a very hot day, the cool change came early bringing strong winds and black skies. Surprisingly, the rain bypassed the Necropolis circuit, although the wind made things very tough for all riders, with all bunches losing a substantial number of riders as the races went on. Riders who took the risk of getting rained out were rewarded with a very tough workout!
The result in A grade was decided very early on. An attack at the end of the first lap saw 6 riders move clear to hold a 20 second advantage next time past the finish. In form rider Leigh De Luca was joined by Barcelona Olympian Robert Crowe (Bike NOW), Warren Knevitt (O’Mara Cycles), David Sturt (SBR), Anthony Di Battista and the currently dominating junior rider Simon Clarke (Bike NOW).
Di Battista found the pace too hot and withdrew midway through the race, leaving the others to ride to a comfortable win ahead of a diminishing chase group rapidly losing interest in the tough conditions. Sturt was the first to jump at 2 laps to go, but his move was quickly neutralized by De Luca. At the bell, De Luca and Crowe had a 20 meter gap to the others, which blew out to 30 seconds at the end of the 2.5km lap.
Crowe got the judges nod after De Luca lead out the tight two up sprint, while track star Knevitt was too good for Clarke and the unlucky unplaced rider, Sturt. No B grade riders had the strength to move clear of the bunch, with all attacks being quickly smothered. Ken Ford made numerous efforts, and was in the most promising move of 8 riders driven by Bruce Will. Despite opening an advantage of 20 seconds at 3 laps to go, things were all back together next lap and a bunch sprint looked likely.
Ford tried one more time at the bell, but the sprinters prevailed, another very tight finish seeing his Under 17 son Michael (Gran Prix Bicycles) holding off a fast finishing Glen Hutchinson, with ‘son of snake’ Aaron Salisbury (Fitzroy Cycles) taking third in his first ride in two years. Pro-Motion’s Scott Rush took the final placing, with another strong ride from Lizzie Williams, bronze medallist at the Australian Championships criterium in Mooloolaba, rewarded with the women’s prize.
The large C grade field had the most trouble with the strong winds, as the early pace saw the bunch split into 3 main groups. Liwa Becker (Fitzroy Cycles) earned promotion to B Grade attacking the lead group 10 minutes in and increasing his lead every lap, eventually lapping most of the field.
With 15 minutes remaining Rob Doyle set off in pursuit, and managed to get within 15 seconds before settling into a rhythm that would allow him to hold off the remnants of the bunch to claim second. Becker eventually held a 28 second advantage over Doyle at the finish, with Brett Rossiter leading Richard Cormick in 45 seconds behind the winner.
After finding the pace in C grade too hard last week, Jack Dovaston dropped back to contest D Grade, but it proved to be a short holiday! After a race that saw the field stay fairly intact, Jack lead out of the final corner, and just held off Under 13 star Peter Johnstone over the length of the short finishing straight. Michael Paul and the consistent Ray Smith filled the minor places.
Due to increasing demand, the Club has introduced a Novice level race at the venue, to compliment the popular Sunday morning sessions. Under the control of Mike Goldie and Tony Birkett, the young juniors and novices rode under control for 30 minutes learning the basics, before racing the final 10 minutes. Dale Reith won the bunch sprint ahead of Grant Bowker-Bell and Ebbe Navntoft.
All riders are encouraged to enter the final Sprint King race at Croydon this Sunday, hosted by the Blackburn Club. With good prize money on offer for the day as well as for the overall series, and a closed road circuit supported by the local council at Hewish Road (Melways Map 50 K3), racing promises to be good. For those unable to make the trek to Croydon, Carnegie Caulfield will be running our normal Glenvale Crescent Crits.
Racing continues every Tuesday night on the circuit, with the Police Road gate (Melways Map 80 G6) opens at 6pm for race starts for all grades at 6.30. Sunday morning races are held at Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave (Melways Map 80 B2). All holders of current 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. Our thanks go to the Trustees of the Necropolis for making the fabulous facility available to Melbourne’s racing community.
A Grade (1 hour+ 3 laps) 15 starters 1 Robert Crowe (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Leigh De Luca (Noble Park - Dandenong CC) 3 Warren Knevitt (Carnegie Caulfield CC 4 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 24 Starters 1 Michael Ford (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Glen Hutchinson (Footscray CC) 3 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Scott Rush (SKCC) Unplaced Women: Lizzie Williams (Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 30 starters 1 Liwa Becker (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Rob Doyle (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Brett Rossiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Richard Cormick (Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 23 starters 1 Jack Dovaston (Noble Park - Dandenong CC) 2 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 3 Michael Paul (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Ray Smith (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) E Grade (35 mins + 3 laps) 7 starters 1 Dale Reith (Blackburn CC) 2 Grant Bowker-Bell (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Ebbe Navntoft (Carnegie Caulfield CC)