By Footscray Cycling Club
Footscray CC Graded Scratch Series (2012) - Footscray Cycling Club Graded Scratch Races @ SheOaks
Round 9 of the Footscray Cycling Club’s Winter Road Season was contested at what is arguably the toughest circuit the FCC race, the SheOaks circuit in the Brisbane Ranges, and with over 1000 meters of climbing this circuit chews up and spits out its fair share of riders.
The A-Grade race went fast and furious from the get-go; Bikebug riders Adam Murchie, Stuart Morgan and Ben Johnson breaking away from the bunch very early on, with Connor Murtagh, Jason Costin and Miles DaCosta working with the trio. The peloton behind was thrown into disarray, in fours, threes and twos chasing the impossible chase. The lead six dwindled when first DaCosta and then Costin blew, and luck deserted guest rider Murtagh when his rear derailleur �broke clean off his frame, leaving him stranded on the side of the road. In the all Bikebug finish, gun sprinter Murchie blew away his teammates to take the win ahead of Morgan and Johnson.
B-Grade saw a strong field of guest riders take the three podium spots, with Hawthorn’s Julien Fleurus breaking away from the bunch on lap 2 with Geelong’s Daniel Lamb and simply powering up the climbs to leave the peloton dumbfounded at the duo’s pace; quality, seasoned B-Graders being dropped at an alarming rate. The bunch, with absolutely no hope of catching the breakaway pair, saw repeated attacks from the in-form Antonio Marino and Paul Sheean, with both riders trying to escape up the road, but in the end it was a definitive win to Fleurus, with Lamb finishing second, and Caulfield rider Paul Aulakh taking the bunch sprint from Mark Micallef and Paul Sheean some 5 minutes later.
Within half a lap of the start, C-Grade’s peloton was in disarray due to the unusually high pace, but after the first series of climbs the bunch re-formed and did a few laps together before the pace of Mark Gallagher saw the bunch break up again, with St Kilda rider Marcus Nyeholt and Simon Maddison the only ones able to stay with him; Gallagher taking the sprint from Nyeholt and Maddison.
In D-Grade, Michael Dam, in only his third race, took a well deserved win on a very difficult circuit, with Beach Rd Cycles proprietor William Hamilton taking second and veteran Peter Bloink third.
A: 1st Adam Murchie, 2nd Stuart Morgan, 3rd Ben Johnson, 4th Jason Costin & 5th Miles DaCosta.
B: 1st Julien Fleurus (HCC), 2nd Daniel Lamb (GCC), 3rd Paul Aulakh (CCCC), 4th Mark Micallef & 5th Paul Sheean.
C: 1st Mark Gallagher, 2nd Marcus Nyeholt (SKCC), 3rd Simon Maddison.
D: 1st Michael Dam, 2nd William Hamilton, 3rd Peter Bloink.