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Port Melbourne, September 8, 2002

Crowe and Herrewyn Dead Heat!

By Andrei Zaitzev

Windy conditions did nothing to keep cyclists from rolling up to SKCC'ssecond criterium of the 2002/2003 season. Following on from last week'ssuccessful season opener, all grades were very well represented with over 170 competitors in total. Not surprisingly, the racing was fierce and hotly contested in every grade.

Proceedings commenced with the D and C grade men and women and racing inboth grades (particularly C grade) was fast and furious from the outset. Itwas great to see so many new faces, however, the wind made things very difficult for anyone not hiding safely in the middle of the bunches. In D grade, a strong attack midway through the race from Mark Grey and Ian Hollway led to a sizeable breakaway that lasted until the chequered flag.Grey had too much in reserve for his breakaway partner in Hollway and tookthe victory. The remnants of the bunch that had tried so hard to close the gap eventually resigned themselves to the fact that they would have to be content with a fight for third. Darrin Hobbs won the bunch sprint ahead ofAdrian Van Drunen with first female (and road racing debutant) Jill Burstonhot on their wheels. The pace proved too hot for some, with numerous riders falling off the back of the bunch and being forced to fight 'solo' againstthe head wind along the back of the course.

Numbers in C grade were again very high, with over 40 competitors fighting it out. A strong women's contingent added considerable interest with LouisaHamilton-White, Sam Lindsay and Kerri Baumgartner battling for the first female prize. The race was characterised by sustained surging from the front and eventual winner Zhi Qiang proved to be most comfortable with the pace. Anumber of attempts were made to splinter the large bunch (including a gutsy effort from Sam Lindsay) but in the end, the result came down to a sprint involving almost the entire field. Qiang crossed the line in first with fastfinishing Pete Zaitzev (making his racing debut) crossing the line in second ahead of David Harper and Trevor Smith. Kerrie Baumgartner handled the conditions very well and rode a sensible race to finish as the first femalecompetitor.

The B and A grade races were next up, with over 100 riders on the road contesting the two grades. With 50 starters, the B grade event was always going to be fast and the race certainly didn't disappoint. Unfortunately forthose riders who attempted to make a break, the wind at the back of the course put paid to every move and dictated that the race would conclude witha bunch sprint. The closing laps of the race saw the pace increase quite markedly and as the leading riders weaved their through the A grade bunch nearing the finish, the pace at times lifted to in excess of 55km/hour. Atthe finish, it was visiting Coburg cyclist Carl Cubitt who took the honours ahead of Aaron Barbetti and Carlo Modulon. Blackburn cyclists Steve Martin and Richard Knight took fourth and fifth respectively.

A veritable who's who of Victorian cycling made up a strong A grade field ofover 50 competitors and right from the opening lap, the race was well and truly on. The spectators who had gathered had great interest in the way the race would unfold with Giramondo, ProMotion, Caulfield Carnegie CC, FreedomMachine, Fitzroy Cycles and St Kilda CC all well represented. As it happened, Peter Herrewyn, Chris Tymms and Cam Lester took off from the gun and established what looked to be a race winning lead. While the rest of the bunch played cat and mouse (much to the annoyance of riders such as Mike'Seppo' Yarski who was clearly not happy to sit and watch the leaders disappear), the three escapees rolled turns with relentless precision ontheir way to creating a lead of close to a minute. Brunswick junior, BillWalker tried valiantly to get himself across to the leaders, but the task proved too much and he was swallowed up by the chasing bunch after a fewlaps. The race looked to be over for the chasers however, Robert Crowe had other ideas. At about the midway point of the race, Crowe made an explosive attack from the main bunch into the headwind and, dragging Ag Giramondo andYarski with him, the three riders managed to successfully bridge the gap tothe leaders with some 20 minutes of racing remaining. With approximately 15minutes left, Giramondo made an attack of his own establishing a significant lead of some 20 seconds before he was brought back to the lead sextet. All further attempts that were made by the members of the lead 6 were thwarted and it became clear that the result would come down to a sprint for theline. The sprinters in the lead group (most notably Crowe and Tymms) werecertain to fight out a close battle but the surprise packet was Herrewyn whoshowed tremendous strength and stamina to cross the line in equal first together with Crowe. Tymms rounded out the top three followed closely byYarski, Giramondo and Lester. The rest of the bunch (considerably smaller than it had been to begin with as many riders found the going a bit too tough and abandoned) rolled across the line well behind the leaders in spiteof the best efforts of riders like Tony Comino and Dave Coultas. It was astory of "what could have been" for most of the riders left in the bunch.

All in all, a great day of racing and a terrific indicator of what we can expect to see later in the season. For more details on upcoming events, please visit A full racing roster and event schedule will be posted this week with details on future race formats and dates. Staytuned!


A Grade - Open
1 (EQ) Peter Herrewyn (Footscray)
1 (EQ) Robert Crowe (Caulfield/Carnegie)
3 Chris Tymms (Caulfield/Carnegie)
4 Mike Yarski (Footscray)
5 Agostino Giramondo (Footscray)
6 Cam Lester (St Kilda)
B Grade - Open
1 Carl Cubitt (Coburg)
2 Aaron Barbetti (Bendigo)
3 Carlo Modulon (St Kilda)
4 Steve Martin (Blackburn)
5 Richard Knight (Blackburn)
C Grade - Open
1 Zhi Qiang (St Kilda)
2 Pete Zaitzev
3 David Harper (St Kilda)
4 Trevor Smith (St Kilda)
1st Female - Kerrie Baumgartner (St Kilda)
D Grade - Open
1 Mark Grey (Footscray)
2 Ian Hollway (St Kilda)
3 Darrin Hobbs (Footscray)
4 Adrian Van Drunen (Footscray)
1st Female - Jill Burston (St Kilda)

Australian results from the past week

Cootamundra Cycle Classic Handicap
Collie CC
Footscray CC
Illawarra CC
Maryborough CC
Murwillumbah CC
Northern Districts CC
Randwick Botany CC


Complete Australian results for 2002