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Dapto, October 20, 2002

Morris too quick

The excellent conditions and shorter race distance brought out the high speed legs in the thirty six riders in the 27km scratch races last Sunday morning. With such a large number of riders in attendance all three grades had good size bunches.

The first half lap of the A grade race saw Richard Lorenc, Lionel Covington, Graham Rutter, Rob Calladine and Garry Doughty swapping of turns at over 40km/h. On the short climb up from the ‘Y’ intersection Mark Wall, Josh Wall and Tim Morris attacked.

The bunch was vigilant and leaped onto the wheels. The acceleration was blistering out of the turn but the bunch stayed together.

For the remainder of the race there were some big efforts and attacks put in by Craig Williams, Calladine, Adrian Cooper, Morris, Neil Midgley and Rutter.

Unfortunately Mark Wall broke a spoke, but he got off the bike adjusted the brake blocks remounted and with Covington were able to keep pace with the bunch at a 30 second gap.

In the last 2km of the race Cooper, Williams, Josh Wall and Morris broke away from the bunch and opened up a 14 second gap.

In a very close sprint finish the order over the line was Morris, Williams, Cooper and Josh Wall in a time of 40:29.

It was no surprise that Joe Pereira rolled off the front of the B grade race in the first kilometre however Dennis Fitzgerald was right onto his wheel. This was to be the tone of the entire race with attacks occurring every few kilometres forcing the pace to an average speed of almost 38 kilometres per hour. The early attacks were chased down mainly by Joe Pereira, Tony Pulo, Dean Marcinkowski and Jason Johnson.

Several times the chase bunch dwindled as even the sprinters realised there were better opportunities with the breakaways and rode across the gap, though by then the race was usually back together. The most dangerous looking break on lap one was a one-man effort by Austin Pitman who stayed away for nearly half a lap. Once caught by the chasers, Pitman recovered at the back of the bunch planning his next attack.

Lap Two saw more attacks from Pitman. Incredibly the bunch let him get away again until once again he was chased down. By now the more astute riders were noticing a pattern to the Pitman attacks. He wasn’t rolling through to do a turn, he was riding away! Dean Marcinkowski and Pat Delahunty were quick to notice this and marked each of Pitman’s moves from there on.

Finding himself in a 3 man breakaway with Pitman and Brian Joyce, a tiring Delahunty soon cracked at the start of lap 3 and retired leaving Joyce and Pitman to be caught by the bunch by the 'Y'. Jumping hard out of the Hooker turn for the last time the bunch stretched out but came together again at the fast drop down from Hooker hill heading back to the finish line.

The winning move came from Alex Verdi who rode strongly away in the last 500 meters crossing the line in a very respectable time of 41:43. Next was a sprint between Barry Neal and Jason Johnson, Neal holding on for second.

With ten riders in the C grade race there were enough to chase down any dangerous looking moves.

Tony Stephenson rode strongly and looked menacing for the entire race distance doing the lion’s share of the work on the front. Vince O’Dwyer continued his strong form of the last month and did more than his fair share of work.

On the final climb up Hooker hill Lou Jonceski gapped the field, Stephenson was quick to react and the two pulled away. With the remainder of the bunch swapping off turns they were eventually able to pull the two leaders back.

Andy Shannon started the sprint off from a long way out and only O’Dwyer was able to go with him. The two put 12 seconds into the bunch with Shannon crossing the line in front of O’Dwyer in a time of 45:24. Stephenson was the best of the rest in third place.

Next week’s race is a 27km handicap with the marshals coming from group 6. Riders are reminded that next Sunday is the beginning of daylight saving.

Results, 27.5 km

A Grade
1 Tim Morris (Illawarra)           40.29
2 Craig Williams (Illawarra)
3 Adrian Cooper (Illawarra)
4 Josh Wall (Illawarra)
5 Graham Rutter (Hinchinbrook)
6 Neil Midgley (Illawarra)          0.14
7 Richie Lorenc (Illawarra)
8 Rob Calladine (Illawarra)
9 Garry Doughty (Illawarra)
10 Mark Wall (Sutherland)           0.30
11 Lionel Covington (Illawarra)     0.43
B Grade
1 Alex Verdi (Illawarra)           41.43
2 Barry Neall (Sth Highlands)       0.03
3 Jason Johnson (Illawarra)
4 Tony Pulo (Illawarra)
5 Adam Hotchkis (Illawarra)
6 Brian Joyce (Illawarra)
7 Dennis Fitzgerald (Illawarra)
8 Jose Periera (Illawarra)
9 Gavin Drury (Illawarra)
10 Doug Pollock (Illawarra)
11 Rebecca Borgo (Illawarra)
12 Austin Pitman (Illawarra)
13 Phil Jones (Illawarra)
14 Dean Marcinkowski (Illawarra)
C Grade
1 Andrew Shannon (Illawarra)       45.24
2 Vince O'Dwyer (Illawarra)
3 Tony Stephenson (Illawarra)       0.12
4 Lou Jonceski (Illawarra)
5 Kate Morphett (Illawarra)
6 Emma Ringer (Illawarra)           0.20
7 Reg Hitchens (Illawarra)
8 Andrew Telford (Illawarra)        0.29
9 Geoff Gooley (Illawarra)          1.24
10 Paul du Bois (Illawarra)

Australian results from the past week

Canberra CC - Ally Nish Memorial Handicap
Carnegie Caulfield Crit
Illawarra CC
Murwillumbah CC
NSW U19 & Masters Crit Champ's
Randwick Botany CC


Complete Australian results for 2002