Footscray CC Club VUT Crits (2012) - 25 February 2012
With a blisteringly hot northerly wind and temperatures north of 100 on the old scale, it was a case of survival of the fittest for riders racing at the V.U.T. circuit in Hoppers Crossing; fields contesting the Footscray Cycling Club’s graded scratch races all being decimated with few finishers in such difficult conditions. Ben O’Leary figured in an early break with Alex Ansalone from SKCC in A-Grade’s race. However that was short-lived as once the bunch got into gear, they were reeled in pretty quickly. There were a number of other smaller attempts, all of which went nowhere. However, with about 25 mins still to go, O’Leary had another go, this time with Chris Zucchet. They established a break of about 250 metres. And this time the field had either tired or the earlier chasers weren’t prepared to go again and it became obvious that the breakaway would succeed. With about 4 laps to go, Zucchet jumped O’Leary and started to power away, taking the win in emphatic style with an advantage of about 100 metres at the finish. Meanwhile, with about 5 laps to go, Miles DaCosta went off the front of the bunch and built a lead of 200 metres by the finish. With about 3 laps to go, Marco Duys jumped away and finished in 4th spot, 75 metres ahead of the bunch. Surprisingly, the bunch had quite a spirited sprint for the finish line even though they were only going for 5th place, with Dom Dudkiewicz taking the bunch sprint.
In B-Grade, Jason Southby took off from the gun and established a lead of about 150-200 meters, but the chasing bunch, led by Tim Robertson, reeled him in after a few laps and then went on the attack and established a nice break, which he kept for a few laps as well. Eventually he too was reeled in. Not to be denied, he tried again later as riders started dropping out one by one due to the heat. Again Robertson was reeled in. But in the last 10 minutes, he took off again and got an even bigger break, and as the laps counted down he was starting to tire. In the last lap, coming around near the traffic lights, Robertson’s lead was down to about 100 metres with the bunch strung out in full chase mode. Antonio Marino realised it was now or never and took a flyer, but the effort to bridge left Antonio with no gas left in the last few meters; Robertson taking a very well deserved win by 4 bike lengths from Marino with Matt Johnson not far behind.
In C-Grade, riders could only watch and wonder as Jeremy Canny-Smith broke away very early on in the race, weathered all of the workload solo and amazingly stayed away until the end, nearly lapping the field, with Leo Brunato taking the bunch sprint. In D Grade, Nick Robinson took the bunch sprint from Geordan Bombos and in E-Grade new member Bosco Basadur took his bunch sprint from Javier Ravanal.
A: 1st Chris Zucchet, 2nd Ben O’Leary, 3rd Miles DaCosta, 4th Marco Duys & 5th Dom Dudkiewicz.
B: 1st Tim Robertson, 2nd Antonio Marino, 3rd Matthew Johnson, 4th Phil Tehan & 5th Ross Liley.
C: 1st Jeremy Canny-Smith, 2nd Leo Brunato, 3rd Frank Crifo, 4th Paul Beasley, & 5th John Paxton.
D: 1st Nick Robinson, 2nd Geordan Bombos, 3rd Eddie O’Farrell, 4th Neil Turner & 5th Graeme Wilson.
E: 1st Bosco Basadur, 2nd Javier Ravanal & 3rd Mark Shaw.