The Footscray Cycling Club’s criterium racing on Saturday at the V.U.T. circuit in Hoppers Crossing again played guest to gun rider Rhys Gillett, which made for interesting racing in A-Grade. Very early on in the race, Gillett, soon to be heading off to Italy to begin his contract with Italian team US-Fracor, initiated a breakaway with Paul Anders and Brett Hickford ‘ two experienced riders who could handle the effort required to make a successful breakaway. The trio set about lapping, and then passing the bunch, leaving the trio to argue over the podium positions and the bunch to scramble for the scraps. But it was 42 year old Sunshine resident Brett Hickford who led the trio up the straight, just managing to hold off Gillett in the sprint to take the win. ‘I thought Rhys might hit us at the end, because he is always saying he can’t sprint, but I got onto his wheel in the last lap and jumped him at the end and managed to hold him off.’ B-Grade’s race saw newly promoted 20 ye
ar old Arron Liley take a surprise win, out-sprinting Darren Payne in a hotly contested sprint. Liley, from Tarneit, has only contested a handful of B-Grade races and this was the first race he had finished. ‘I took the advice of some more experienced riders on how to get to the end of the race, just to survive, but towards the end I managed to grab 5th wheel and I just lunged as hard as I could at the end and won by a few centimetres.’ C-Grade saw Rod Nesbitt take the sprint from Andrew Galliano to step up to B-Grade next week, and in D-Grade’s race Commissaire Mark Zanatta couldn’t separate the first two riders, even after a video review, so it was a dead heat and equal first to Dean Maclennan and Matt Defreitas.
Footscray CC Club VUT Crits (2012) - 29 January 2012
A: 1st Brett Hickford, 2nd Rhys Gillett, 3rd Paul Anders, 4th Chris Zucchet & 5th Matt Heath.
B: 1st Arron Liley, 2nd Darren Payne, 3rd Paul Young, 4th Antonio Marino & 5th Matt Wyatt.
C: 1st Rod Nesbitt, 2nd Andrew Galliano, 3rd Andrew Schieseck, 4th Sam Edwards, & 5th Chris Mitrovski.
D: =1st Dean Maclennan (GCC) & Matt Defreitas, 3rd Graeme Wilson & 4th Robert Stonehouse.