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Carnegie Caulfield Criterium
Springvale Necropolis, February 4, 2003
Crowe gets it by just half a wheel
By Malcolm Sawford
Another hot Melbourne night with the smog like blanket of smoke from the terrible bushfires in the state's north east keeping the temperature above 35 degrees throughout the evening. The heat combined with the tough circuits sapped the strength of many and saw only the toughest go the distance in A and B Grades.
Barcelona Olympian Rob Crowe led the early move in A Grade, opening a 10 second advantage in the first 5 minutes with Robert Boag (ACR) and Jeremy Dunning (Borsari Cycles). The chasing effort by Robert Tighello (ACR) and Michael Ford (Gran Prix Cycles) evaporated as Tighello's bottom bracket unwound, and the leading trio consolidated their lead.
The leaders were joined by Matt Goold (ACR) and John Dam at the 15 minute mark, and the lead grew to 20 seconds, with all riders working well. Just as it seemed the bunch were out of contention, a solo attack from Goold at 4 laps to go saw Dunning and Dam lose contact, and with only 3 left out front the bunch were back in the hunt.
Goold held his 50 meter lead at 2 laps to go, until Crowe jumped away from Boag and joined the leader. At the bell, with 'Crowey' driving the lead pair were only meters ahead of Aaron Salisbury and Swiss rider Ralf Zimmermann, with the charging bunch hot on their heels. Disaster struck the chasers when Russell Newnham's front wheel lost traction at the exit of the finish straight, with the Leigh De Luca, Scott Rush and Michael Gill unable to avoid the pile up, and ending any chance of a regrouping.
In the four up sprint to the line, Goold lead out, but Crowe was able to come round in the closing meters to take the win by half a wheel. Zimmermann took third from an impressive Salisbury, while Simon Clarke (BikeNOW) led Chris Bradford (CBD Cycles) and the remnants of the bunch home.
B Grade also saw a race dominated by breakaways, with Grant Jamieson and David Taylor forging a 15 second lead at the 15 minute mark. Once caught, the counter attack came from Tony McGarrigle, Danny Weatherley and Jenny Macpherson, with strong men Bruce Will and Ken Ford joined by fast finisher Darren Cathie in pursuit of the leaders.
Will and Ford crossed the gap, and 5 leaders had the race wrapped up until a huge effort from Jamieson saw him bridge in the final 15 minutes. After working tirelessly and refusing to take up the chivalrous offer to sit in, Macpherson's impressive ride ran out of puff in the closing stages, leaving the 5 men to fight out the finish. Jamieson's recent track training (and borrowed shoes!) paid off as the others had no answer in the sprint to the line, with Will, Ford and Weatherley having to settle for the minor placings. Back in the bunch, Helen Kelly got the better of Swiss World number 6 Priska Doppmann to take out the women's division.
On the tough and hilly Avenue of Roses circuit, the C Grade bunch stayed largely intact until a strong attack from visiting Kiwi Gerard O'Flynn at 3 to go surprised the bunch. O'Flynn held the gap until bell lap, when Ben Schofield shot from the pack and flew straight past the tiring leader. With a well judged effort around the 1.1km loop, Schofield held on to take the win ahead of Michael Bloomfield, Brett Rossiter and Matt Young.
No escapes in D Grade, with the bunch content to ride out the distance and settle things with a bunch sprint. Geoff Rushen knocked on the door of promotion with a good win, ahead of Andrew Stewart, Ian Nolan and Michael Boyce, with Melissa Nichols victorious in the Women's division.
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. Criteriums are also held on Sunday mornings at Glenvale Crescent (Melways Map 80 B2) with a 9am start time. Next Sunday only (February 9th )the A and B Grade categories will be held as part of the St Kilda Festival, at the corner of Beach Road and Fitzroy Streets between 9am and 1pm. C, D and E grades will be held at the normal 9am start time at Glenvale Crescent.
All holders of current Cycling Australia licenses are welcome (don't forget to bring your license or receipt!) at all Carnegie Caulfield races, and non-members can have a go by taking out a three-race license for $33, 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) 30 starters 1 Robert Crowe(Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Matthew Goold (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Ralf Zimmermann (Switzerland) 4 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 5 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 Chris Bradford (Carnegie Caulfield CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 23 starters 1 Grant Jamieson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Bruce Will (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Ken Ford (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Danny Weatherley (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Helen Kelly (Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 mins + 3 laps) 39 starters 1 Ben Schofield (Blackburn CC) 2 Michael Bloomfield (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Brett Rossiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Matt Young (Carnegie Caulfield CC) D Grade (45 mins + 3 laps) 20 starters 1 Geoff Rushen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Andrew Stewart (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) 3 Ian Nolan (Chelsea & Peninsula CC 4 Michael Boyce (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Melissa Nichols (Carnegie Caulfield CC) E Grade (40 mins + 3 laps) 10 starters 1 Phillip Booth (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Steve Sweeney (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Richard Plum (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Matt Flaherty (Carnegie Caulfield CC)