(2012) - Footscray Cycling Club Road Championships
SheOaks is easily the most challenging circuit that the Footscray Cycling Club race on; several hair raising descents, energy sapping long climbs, a nightmare-steep climb up and out of Steiglitz and a long, fast and exhilarating run towards the finish line; combined with a bone-chillingly cold day and icy North-westerly wind that it is no wonder that quite a few riders roll over in bed and just stay at home. But armed with the hope of taking home the winner’s medallion in the Club’s Road Championship, riders ventured into the Brisbane Ranges on Saturday, with A-Grade regular Andrew McKellar snatching a daring win with a solo breakaway, earning the right to wear the Number ’1′ on his back for the next year.
48 year old McKellar was as surprised as anyone about the way the race panned out. ‘The win was quite unexpected. The race was quite calm and steady for the first few laps and then when we got to the climb on the third lap I literally just rolled off the front and kept going; I just rode tempo up one climb, and then the next, and then the next, and just kept waiting to be caught, but to my surprise it didn’t happen.’ After spending one lap out on his own McKellar had built up a lead of 400 meters, and even though the peloton made up ground, the Glenhuntly accountant just chipped away and maintained enough of a lead to take the win. ‘I fully expected to be caught, but fortune favours the brave so I just kept it going; when I approached the finish I thought I might actually make it so I put my head down and went for it.’ McKellar crossed the line about 10 seconds clear of the peloton, with Tarneit’s Matty Heath taking out the bunch sprint for second.
B-Grade conducted their race in an entirely different manner, choosing to smash each other senseless from the get-go. With constant attacks and a vicious pace, many riders found themselves in the red zone early and quite a few were dropped on lap 1; but it was Yarraville resident Martin Fluker who really set the scene when he took off on lap one and spent the next 60 kilometers out on his own. The peloton wholeheartedly chased Fluker, who at one stage looked uncatchable, but by the first lap their prey was in sight and they reeled Fluker in. This chase took its toll on the bunch, and the last 10 kilometers saw a much reduced bunch of 8 get ready for the sprint. With the line in sight, Ben Coull led the bunch into the sprint, with Fluker second wheel and Mark Micallef third wheel; Fluker passing Coull and holding off an exhausted Micallef to take the win.
C-Grade’s Michael Dam enjoyed the day’s racing out at SheOaks, taking home the C-Grade medallion after a tough race. With the pace high and riders being scattered, Dam, Paul Beasley, John Lucas and Tim Robertson broke away on the last lap and kept their lead to the finish.
D-Grade regular David Lane got an early birthday present in the form of the Champion’s Medallion today by taking the win after a long solo breakaway. The 56 year old Werribee resident found himself out on his own early in the race and revelled in the 60 kilometer length; knowing that the longer distance would suit him. ‘When I saw we were doing 3 laps I was rapt; I rode tempo and just covered any moves for the first lap. When I found myself ahead of the bunch after the big descent at the beginning of the second lap I just kept pushing, and I got a big gap on them so I thought I have to keep going now.’ Lane built up a sizeable lead on the chasers, and with Arron Liley chasing as hard as he could the gap see-sawed for the next lap; Lane easily holding off Liley to take a well deserved win.
A: 1st Andrew McKellar, 2nd Matthew Heath, 3rd Chris Zucchet, 4th James Love.
B: 1st Martin Fluker, 2nd Mark Micallef, 3rd Gerald Liew, 4th Bernie O’Sullivan, 5th Xavier Coppock.
C: 1st Michael Dam, 2nd Paul Beasley, 3rd John Lucas, 4th Tim Robertson.
D: 1st David Lane, 2nd Arron Liley, 3rd Mick Wells