After a very wet and miserable Saturday that saw everyone sensible leave their bikes alone, a fine morning at Glenvale was a perfect place to burn off the extra energy banked up from a day on the couch. Quite a stiff breeze kept thing interesting, but didn’t prevent breaks from getting up in four of the five races.
A typically aggressive A Grade race saw the field split into three distinct bunches on a few occasions, as tired riders struggled to hold wheels when attacks came thick and fast. Doing the damage early on were AIS Under 23 team mates Pat Lane and Nick Aitken, Nick Walker (Fly V), Floris Geosingen (Drapac-Porsche), Jason Spencer (Budget Forklifts) and Brendan Rowbotham (Cycling-Inform).
Midway through the race, a strong chase group of around 15 riders looked like they would bridge to the leaders, but when all looked lost for the rest of the main field some strong turns from riders like Damien Turner, Alex Smyth, Dean Johnstone (O?Mara) and Leigh De Luca (SRAM) saw the field regroup, albeit very briefly.
Aitken, Lane and Geosingen quickly countered and rode away virtually unchallenged to quickly build what would prove an unassailable lead. Drapac’s resident Dutchman was forced to lead out the sprint, but had to settle for second as the diminutive Lane used his impressive finishing burst to good effect. Shannon Johnson (Kosdown) led the bunch home in fourth place, inches ahead of Walker and Calvin Watson (Jayco VIS).
1984 Los Angeles Olympian Gary Trowell was the standout rider in B Grade, and spent almost the full 60 minutes off the front of the bunch. After bridging to an early break, he was quickly joined by Zander Hitchcock and Sam Pickering (Pro-Motion). Nick Bien (Bike Gallery) and Liam White (Charter Mason) chased across five minutes later and that was pretty much if for the main fields chances.
Hitchcock and Pickering weren’t able to hold the pace to race end however, and dropped back to the the bunch, but the strong trio remaining looked comfortable as they maintained a 30 second advantage all the way to the finish. White proved the quickest in the dash to the line, with Bien celebrating his final B Grade race with a photo-finish verdict to snatch second from the tireless Trowell.
Daniel Nelson (Croydon Cycleworks) led the main bunch home, with Jack Hickey (Avanti/Peninsula Star) fifth. Nic Whitburn (LIV Giant) took the women’s sprint from Bridgette Officer (XOSize) and Carley McKay (Kelly Cycle Coaching).
The only bunch sprint of the day came in C Grade, with a trio of juniors showing great sprinting form to claim the top spots. Oscar Stevenson took the win, chased home by David Randall (Bicycle Superstore) and George Hamilton, with Mark Doran’s fourth place salvaging some pride for the more mature riders! Lisa Hanley (Cycling-Inform) won the women’s dash from Ruby Greig-Hurtig (CCCC Elite) and Emma Lyall, who has pledged all her winnings this month to Mal’s Movember campaign (http://mobro.co/MalSawford).
Lucas Hitchcock and James Browlie kept the pace in D Grade high and steady for lap after lap, and as the end of the race neared a bunch sprint looked likely until Daniel Pendlebury blasted off the front with three laps to race. He was still well clear at two to go but faded on the next lap and was overhauled by Nathan Heaney.
Heaney had judged his effort well, and charged around the final lap to keep the sprinters at bay and take the win. David Koroknai (CCCC Elite) had to settle for his second successive runner’s up placing, with Tim Rowe (Trail Mix) and Sam Abrams (O’Mara) rounding out the podium. Madeleine Cardillo (Kelly Cycle Coaching) claimed the women’s sprint ahead of Amber Saunders and AWD star Hannah MacDougall (Charter Mason).
CCCC?s crits return to Sandown on Tuesday night after a week off for the V8 Supercars. Gates open at 5.30pm for a 6.30pm race start for all grades. Sunday mornings are at Glenvale Crescent, Mulgrave. The Novice Clinic kicks off the program at 8.30am, followed by B and D Grades at 9am, and concluding with the A and C Grade races at 10.15. Full details at www.carnegiecycling.com.au
|A Grade||60 mins + 3 laps||53 starters|
|B Grade||1 hour + 3 laps||62 starters|
|C Grade||50 mins + 3 laps||42 starters|
|D Grade||45 mins + 3 laps||49 starters|
|E Grade||30 mins||20 starters|