Footscray CC Graded Scratch Series (2012) - Footscray CC Graded Scratch Races @ Little River
Wet roads, rain and a chilly southerly took its toll on riders contesting Round 21 of the Footscray Cycling Club’s Winter Road Season, held in the shadows of the You Yangs near Little River, with the in-form Dom Dudkiewicz making it two wins in a row in A-Grade. ‘It was a typical terrible winter’s day. There were a few probing attacks early, but the bunch always managed to bring any breaks back, with one prolonged breakaway started by Jason Costin and joined by Brett Hickford; Dudkiewicz, James Love and Miles DaCosta then managed to bridge across and form the main break of the day. ‘The bunch were working well behind us and holding us to a small lead, so on the last lap it all came back together. In the last 500 meters, Costin made a do-or-die run for the line, with Dudkiewicz and a returning-to-form Matt Heath rolling Costin in the dying last meters; Dudkiewicz first, Heath second and Costin third.
24 year old Osteopath Gerard Wild had a dream start to his first ever race with a win in the B-Grade race. After 5 laps of tough racing that saw riders alternately soaked and then snap frozen, Albury resident Wild handled the conditions with aplomb. ‘It was pretty tough in the crosswinds and every time it rained it was so cold.’ It was surprisingly quiet in the bunch, with very few attacks; more a race of very high pace and attrition, with Wild and Geelong rider Daryl Burns looking strong on a day that saw many classy riders spat out the back of the bunch. Wild, who took up racing after spending the last few years training with mates who race, chose to have a few exploratory digs but wisely decided to employ the tactic of ‘wait and see’. ‘I don’t think anyone was game to make a move just because of the wind, and I was just happy to watch and learn being my very first race.’ Towards the middle of the last lap, Wild went again. ‘I very naively went with 5 k’s to go but that was not a good idea. Once I was caught I just waited and with about 500 meters to go I went again and had a crack. I thought I might have blown it when my legs exploded with about 100 to go but I held on.’ Wild crossed several bike lengths clear of Mick Varker and Bernie O’Sullivan who took second and third respectively.
C-Grade winner Michael Dam felt better this week after being dropped in last week’s race; the 30 year old West Footscray rider enjoying the tough day. ‘We rode today more like a handicap than a scratch race; probably because of the awful conditions. I could hardly see where I was going out of my glasses. We were all approaching the sprint, jockeying for position, and there were a few bumps and scrapes along the way; I ended up at the back but then a gap opened up which was great as I got through.’ Dam took the win from Andrew Schieseck and veteran Wayne Davis, with D-Grade’s Glen Detering taking the win in fine form, possibly booking himself a berth in C-grade next week, out sprinting Marty Kilduff and David Lane in the long uphill drag to the finish line.
A: 1st Dom Dudkiewicz, 2nd Matt Heath, 3rd Jason Costin, 4th Josh Zammit, 5th Darren Henneken.
B: 1st Gerard Wild (Albury CC), 2nd Mick Varker, 3rd Bernie O’Sullivan, 4th Mark Micallef.
C: 1st Michael Dam, 2nd Andrew Schieseck, 3rd Wayne Davis, 4th Ross Schubach.
D: 1st Glen Detering, 2nd Marty Kilduff, 3rd David Lane, 4th Dal O’Brien.