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Randwick Botany CC

Maroubra, September 21, 2002

Long live the King

B grade in full flight
Photo: © Randwick Botany CC
Click for larger image

Sixty riders, including juniors, turned out for racing at Heffron Park on what could only be described as a magnificent spring day on Saturday 21 September 2002. The sunshine beamed down and even the wind took a holiday for a change. When the wind takes a break at Heffron Park, racing takes on a whole new look. No longer is it a race for the sprinters but the endurance riders get a chance to make breaks from the peloton. This was the case in nearly all the grades with riders getting away.

The 36km A-Grade race was very interesting in the first couple of laps with all of the riders turning over and doing turns, then all of a sudden two riders were missing. Last week's A-grade winner, Jerzy Sowa and Aaron Castles both out with punctures. Soon after that, Tom Brook turned up the heat. The "King of Heffron Park", Anthony Spurgeon was able to go with him, but the attack saw the remaining A-graders break into two groups with Randwick Botany’s Matthew Lucas and David Bowen from Eastern Suburbs working together trying to get them back. The pace was so hot that Lucas and Bowen gracefully retired and watched the Spurgeon and Brook show. Brook tried on several occasions to drop Spurgeon but when it comes down to a sprint with the King of Heffron, there is usually only one outcome as it was on this occasion, with Anthony Spurgeon first and Tom Brook second.

Brad Lane took a holiday from his usual position at the back of the bunch and was seen at the front early in the 32km B-grade race setting the pace. On lap 3 however, Sydney Club's Phil McKnight attacked and got a good break. The pace of the chasing riders was such that after they caught McKnight, B grade had effectively split into two bunches with a group of seven riders away. There was then another attack by McKnight's team mate, Paul Rigby and the chase to get him back saw Phil McKnight dropped off the back with six riders away. Although Phil, valiantly tried to get back on, he was never quite able to bridge the gap and rejoin the group away. The race became even more interesting about three laps to go when a touch of wheels saw Eastern Suburbs rider, John McKenzie go down right in the path of Randwick Botany's Neil Morris. Both riders were OK and worked together and amazingly were able to bridge the gap to get back to the front bunch. The final sprint saw Randwick Botany's Will Gray first, Paul Rigby second and David Jackson just edge out Neil Morris for third place.

The 28km C-grade event was also very much a two-man show. Randwick Botany's Keegan Aitchison, Tony Caruana and Richard Manners got away on lap 2 of the race, building on their lead and staying away from the chasing peloton. The going was a bit hot for Manners, who backed off and settled back into the C-Grade bunch. Aitchison and Caruana stayed away for much of the race. With 3 laps to go Aitchison cramped and slowed. The C-Grade train quickly swallowed the breakaway pair and Wayne Goold immediately attacked. Caruana was able to stay with the break but Keegan started to lose touch with the bunch.

It appeared that as quickly as this cramp came upon young Aitchison it left him and in an almost miraculous feat, he bridged the gap and was once again with the front C Grade bunch. The final sprint was won by Anton Rivera of the Eastern Suburbs Club, followed by Mark Deaves and Tony Caruana hanging on for third place.

Towards the middle of the D Grade race, Scott Rice from the Randwick Botany club managed to get away and put a sizeable gap between himself and the peloton. Rice was out by himself for a couple of laps when Mark Taylor was able to get across to him and the pair worked together. About 2 laps to go, the chasing peleton turned up the wick and chased down the two breakaway riders. Mark Taylor was able to hang on to take first place in the sprint, followed by Ron Sproule with Craig Clement third.

There was a good roll up in the Junior ranks with 14 junior riders competing. All the kids posted good times with the U17s doing a 5-lap individual time trial, U15s 4-laps, U13s 3-laps and U11s 2-laps. The feature event of the day was a 5-lap handicap event, which saw Michael Murdoch (U17) just pip Adriano Maradini (U11) for the win, right on the line, with Luke Davison (U13) third.

Coverage of local cycling results can be heard on Sydney’s Eastside Radio 89.7FM "Game On" program, hosted by Brad Cooke, each Saturday morning from 10am to 11am.

Randwick Botany Cycling Club conducts racing at Heffron Park, Maroubra NSW each Saturday throughout the year. Juniors start at 1.00pm and Seniors 2.30pm. For more information please contact the club secretary Helen Vella on 02 9667 3307 or email secretary or website


(Randwick Botany Cycling Club riders unless otherwise noted)
A Grade 36km
1 Anthony Spurgeon (Caravello)
2 Tom Brook
B Grade, 32km
1 Will Gray
2 Paul Rigby (Sydney)
3 Dave Jackson
C Grade, 28km
1 Anton Rivera (Eastern Suburbs)
2 Mark Deaves
3 Tony Caruana
D Grade, 20km
1 Mark Taylor
2 Ron Sproule
3 Craig Klement
E Grade, 14 km
1 Norman Jew
2 Kevin Blanchfield
U17 Time Trial, 10km
1 Keegan Aitchison, 16.53
2 Michael Murdoch, 17.01
3 Thomas Murdoch, 18.03
4 Belinda Angwin, 18.36
U15 Time Trial, 8km
1 Tyron Bicknell, 14.02
2 Pita Vea, 14.06
3 Jade Hughes, 16.34
U13 Time Trial, 6km
1 Tamas Bykerk, 11.39
2 Luke Davison, 11.52
U11 Time Trial, 4km
1 Andriano Maradini, 8.34
2 Sam Buckland, 9.02
Junior Handicap, 10km
1 Michael Murdoch
2 Adriano Maradini
3 Luke Davison



Australian results from the past week

Darwin Cycling Club Premership points
Randwick Botany CC
Murwillumbah CC
Maryborough CC
Footscray Cycle Club
Illawarra CC
Bundaberg CC



Complete Australian results for 2002