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Carnegie Caulfield Criterium
Glenvale Cres, Mulgrave, November 17, 2002
Hot winds make for low-key racing
By Malcolm Sawford
Fairly low key racing today with a number of other races allowing riders to pick one close to home. The morning also brought the first hot northerly of the season, sapping many riders strength, and making it hard to stay away for long.
After 15 minutes of controlled racing, the pace wound up in D Grade, resulting in the stronger and more experienced riders splitting the field roughly in half. Young Tess Downing was the only female to make the split, and as a result took out the women's division, while John Walker unleashed a good sprint to take the win ahead of fellow Vets Ken Stewart and Bob Johnson, with Ashley Morris the first of the younger brigade home.
Rob Doyle only needs one more placing in C Grade to earn promotion, and he tried to go out in style with an early solo breakaway. Despite opening a good advantage he was only able to stay clear for about 15 minutes. The chasing bunch was being driven by Helen Kelly, resuming racing after a successful campaign at the Australian Club Championships, and she eventually went clear with Mark Kotzen and Matt Duck.
When Matt Collins bridged at the half way mark it looked like the bunch was out of contention, but the unfortunate Kotzen ran out of legs and dropped back to the bunch. Collins lead the break home ahead of Duck and Kelly, while Lachlan Hay outsprinted the bunch to claim the final podium spot.
B Grade ended with a bunch sprint after a mid race break by Stan Thomas was reeled in with a little over 15 minutes remaining. With Frank Cipriano and Fast Eddy Perez on lead out duty, Darren 'Sprinter' Cathie was looking good for the finish, but the boys had spent their bickies too early reeling in the attacks!
Mauro Restrepo showed the field his speed, and after recent finishes of 4th, 3rd and 2nd, the win seemed inevitable. Danny Kah followed in for second ahead of the rapidly improving Thomas, with Nick Gibson also in the money.
Ray Turner (Diamond Back) launched the first attack as the A Grade bunch left the starting chute, and made a number of other attempts to break up the field. Matt Chessum (Fitzroy Cycles) and Robert Boag (ACR) were the other riders with the strength to open up gaps, but the smallish field were quick to organize a chase whenever a move looked threatening.
Without the usual big hitters in attendance, the pace slackened whenever a break was caught, and a bunch sprint looked likely with 15 minutes remaining. Chessum had other ideas, countering a late attack from Martin Bole, and holding off the bunch on the final lap. Jeremy Dunning (Borsari Cycles) tried to follow but couldn't quite get on the wheel, but did enough to hold on for second, ahead of the fast finishing bunch lead home by Rohan McLellan and Simon Walker (Bicycle Superstore).
Carnegie Caulfield Criteriums continue at Glenvale Crescent on Sunday mornings, with racing also held every Tuesday night at the Springvale Necropolis circuit, with the Police Road gate (Melways Map 80 G6) opens at 6pm for race starts for all grades at 6.30. 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. For first time competitors, Tokyo Olympian Mick Hollingworth conducts racing clinics in E Grade.
A Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 18 starters 1 Matt Chessum (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Jeremy Dunning (Coburg CC) 3 Rohan McLellan (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Simon Walker (Carnegie Caulfield CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 23 starters 1 Mauro Restrepo (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Danny Kah (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Stanley Thomas (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 4 Nick Gibson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 31 starters 1 Matt Collins (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Matt Duck (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Helen Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Lachlan Hay (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women: Helen Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 21 starters 1 John Walker (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Ken Stewart (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Bob Johnson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Ashley Morris (Blackburn CC) Unplaced Women: Tess Downing (Carnegie Caulfield CC) E Grade (35 mins + 3 laps) 1 Kim Peterson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Emma Steer (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Darren Graham (Carnegie Caulfield CC)