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Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club
Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave, March 16, 2003
Clarke wins A Grade with crafty escape
By Malcolm Sawford
Strong A and B grade fields raced the weekly Sunday morning Criterium at Glenvale Crescent, with numbers given a small boost by the sudden and unfortunate loss of the neighboring St Kilda Club's Sunday morning circuit.
The opening 30 minutes of the A Grade event were raced at a furious pace, with the pace rarely dropping below 50kmh. Dean Johnstone (O'Mara Cycles), Doug Garley (Terry Hammond Cycles) and Anthony Comino (The Freedom Machine) were all on the attack, but although stringing the bunch out, none of their attacks looked like being successful. Jonny Clarke (SBR) and Robert Boag (ACR) marked most of the moves, while race favorites Robert Tighello (ACR) and Robert Crowe seemed happy to spend time towards the back of the field.
Around the half way mark of the race, the pace slackened, and finally the breakaway efforts began to look threatening. Johnstone was in everything, and 'Tigs' finally showed his hand, bridging to a small group 100 meters ahead of the bunch. With Tighello away, the pace lifted once again until with 20 minutes remaining the bunch regrouped.
With 15 minutes remaining, Clarke jumped away with a small group. The bunch, fixated on the whereabouts of Tighello didn't react, and by the time the majority of riders realized that Tighello wasn't going to selflessly tow the bunch to the leaders it was too late and the break was out of sight. Crowe made a late effort to bridge solo, but only succeeded in catching a couple of riders who had been shelled by the break, leaving the breakaway to claim all the day's prizes.
Australian Under 23 rider Clarke was too quick at the finish, taking the win ahead of Luke Weir, who had slipped almost un-noticed into the winning move. Visiting country riders Trent Perry and Joel Pearson claimed the next twp places, with Veteran rider Geoff Whiter too quick for the hard working Johnstone.
B Grade had the day's biggest field, and from the outset it was obvious that with so many sets of willing legs on hand every move would be short lived. A late attack from Paul Kelly and Mick Jamieson was most threatening, but in the end the bunch was together for the final laps.
David Buntin led into the final corner, but clipped a pedal and ran wide, allowing noted fast man Darren Cathie a clear shot at the finish line, a opportunity he was quick to take. Simon Hurren (Le Tour) followed him home, with Mick Jamison getting the judges nod for third in a close finish from Peter Ballas. Emma Rickards (SBR) rode well in her first race after her nasty fall in the Geelong World Cup Race. Emma heads to Vancouver shortly to train with the Canadian National Team, part of her plan to join the US Pro circuit.
C Grade also ended with a bunch sprint The longest escape for the day was by Rebecca Cleveland (Richmond Cyclery), who jumped away in the opening laps and led by the length of the straight before the bunch finally organized a chase. In the final laps, the pace was lifted by Stephen Jean, auditioning for a job as Cipo's lead out man. The beneficiary was James Shepherdson, who ran out a clear winner and earned promotion to B Grade in the process. Mark Kotzen sprinted well to take second, ahead of Shaun Doherty and Robert Scott-Howarth. Cleveland's early escape hadn't emptied her tank, and she was able to sprint to the Women's division win.
Terry Murdoch won the traditional D Grade sprint, convincingly enough to warrant a move to C Grade next time round. Under 19 rider Andrew Knowles took second despite being baulked in the final turn, with Brett McNally holding off a late charge from Simon Lancaster. Eliza Beasley's good form continued with her sprint taking the women's top prize, with first year rider Ferne Walklate nudging out Gemma Goyne for second.
Carnegie Caulfield Criteriums continue every Sunday at Glenvale Crescent, with racing at 6.30pm Tuesday evenings at Sandown Raceway (Melways map 80B10, Sandown Road entrance). All holders of 2003 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.
Images by Anne Johnstone
A Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 42 starters 1 Jonny Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Luke Weir (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Trent Perry (Albury-Wodonga CC) 4 Joel Pearson (Warragul CC) 5 Geoff Whiter (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 6 Dean Johnstone (Carnegie Caulfield CC) B Grade (1 hour + 3 laps) 49 starters 1 Darren Cathie (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Simon Hurren (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Mick Jamison (Blackburn CC) 4 Peter Ballas (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Emma Rickards (Carnegie Caulfield CC) C Grade (50 minutes + 3 laps) 22 Starters 1 James Shepherdson (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Mark Kotzen (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Shaun Doherty (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Robert Scott-Howarth (Chelsea & Peninsula CC) Women 1 Rebecca Cleveland (Brunswick CC) D Grade (50 minutes + 3 laps) 24 starters 1 Terry Murdoch (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 2 Andrew Knowles (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 3 Brett McNally (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 4 Simon Lancaster (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Women 1 Eliza Beasley (St Kilda CC) 2 Ferne Walklate (Carnegie Caulfield CC)