Footscray CC Graded Scratch Series (2012) - Footscray Cycling Club Graded Scratch Races @ Kirksbridge
Round 10 of the Footscray Cycling Club’s Winter Road Season was contested out at the Kirksbridge circuit, leaving riders exposed to the elements for the duration of racing; and with a strong, cold westerly blowing and intermittent rain, it made for a very difficult day’s racing.
Electrician Steve Pilson and Teacher Ben Johnson sparked up the A-Grade race with a three lap breakaway; the first lap saw Pilson twist the throttle and put the race into the gutter in an effort to rouse the bunch into taking turns. ‘I upped the tempo and put it into the gutter not to really bust it apart but just to let the others know that you have to roll through or not sit on. Nobody rolled through and Ben launched a move, so I went with him and we just rolled turns for the rest of the race. 500 meters out I flicked the arm and Ben came through; I got the good sit and kicked with 100 to go’. Pilson took the race from Johnson in second; Adrian Hanson taking the bunch sprint for third place.
B-Grade saw a strong field crack the whip big time from Lap 1, with the front group driving the pack in self-destruct mode on the run towards the last turn time after time, causing quite a few riders to get shelled. With crosswinds leaving many riders in the gutter, a second echelon formed for the first few laps, but on lap 3 panicky riders jumped across from the second to the first bunch; this undisciplined riding seeing many riders unable to get any rest in the first bunch and with the lactic acid creeping up through the leg muscles the inevitable happened and rider after rider was spat out the back; the second echelon splitting up due to a lack of firepower. The last lap saw 31 year old Biochemist Paul Sheean just biding his time until a break began to form. ‘Anthony Rebesco went at Kirksbridge and Les Kennett, Damien Harris and I went with him. That break got brought back and then Michael Sparke went on the last turn; Les chased and I got onto his wheel and got over him just before the line. Fairfield resident Sheean crossed marginally ahead of Kennett and Sparke to take a strong win.
C-Grade winner, 44 year old Reservoir resident Kon Papakonstantinou, rode with courage and determination in today’s race, and was not going to be content with anything other than a win, describing the race a ‘tough, hard and fast’. Coming onto the home straight, Papakonstantinou threw caution to the wind and attacked; with the finish line a kilometre down the road, he knew it was a do-or-die move. ‘I just went; I didn’t look back, and just as I saw the line I found a little extra and just held on. I had nothing left; absolutely not one drop of energy at the end.’; Papakonstantinou just holding off Ian Duffin and Wayne Davis, with Paul Downes leading the peloton home for fourth.
25 year old Podiatrist Josh Ryan took out today’s D-Grade race with a strong run on the finishing straight; the Hoppers Crossing resident enjoying his first road season. Ryan stayed with the bunch as they approached the finish line, following wheels and biding his time. ‘I took off with about 300 meters to go and got a jump of about 60 meters on the bunch and kept it to the line. I took up bike racing to stay fit in the summer when I was playing football, but now I want to contest a road season; it’s harder and the races are longer. I’m looking forward to seeing how I do in C-Grade.’
A: 1st Steve Pilson, 2nd Ben Johnson, 3rd Adrian Hanson, 4th Andrew McKellar & 5th Trevor Hutchings.
B: 1st Paul Sheean, 2nd Les Kennett, 3rd Michael Sparke (BCC), 4th Peter McQuade & 5th Mick Varker.
C: 1st Kon Papakonstantinou, 2nd Ian Duffin, 3rd Wayne Davis, 4th Paul Downes & 5th Delphine Astier.
D: 1st Josh Ryan, 2nd Barry Howden, 3rd Gerard Zammit & 4th Dennis Hobbs.