By Mo Sawford
Another great day for racing at Glenvale Crescent, with the morning warming nicely as racing got underway. Good sized fields raced in front of big crowds along the finish straight with most riders staying on to watch the nail biting A Grade finish – while working on their tan lines!
The final few laps of the D Grade race saw the pace pick up markedly, and stretch what had been a very compact bunch into a nice, safe long line before the inevitable bunch sprint. Youngster Kallum Parlevliet took the win, relegating Serge Krepak to yet another second place finish, while Pat Burt, Sebastian Presley and Craig O’Sullivan were close behind. Amber Saunders took the women’s win with a confident ride in the front group.
An early attack paid off for juniors Michael Stringer (Cycle House), Ben Andrews (Kelly Cycle Coaching) and Daniel Pendlebury (Bike Force), with the trio combining well to open an unbeatable lead over the main bunch. To add to the woes of the majority, another small group set off in pursuit and while unsuccessful in reaching the leaders, also held off the bunch to claim the minor placings and leave the sprinters empty handed.
In a very tight sprint for the win, Stringer’s throw gave him the win by a tyre’s width over Andrews, while fourth place went to Jayden Cooper (Kelly Cycle Coaching) ahead of Sam Wilsmore (O’Mara Cycles). Back in the bunch Nina Greig-Towers (CCCC Elite/Bikes de Ver) won the women’s division with a good sprint ahead of Mel Hunter and Carolyn Fraser.
It was a good day for the sprinters in B Grade, with the plethora of early attacks petering out under the relentless chasing of the enthusiastic bunch. Late solo efforts from Angry Trent Brown (Fitzroy Cycles), Dan Young and Paul Kelly weren’t enough to derail the sprint trains either, but the more fancied sprinters came away empty handed when recently promoted pocket rocket Lachlan Holliday shot clear in the final 50 metres to take the win.
Lined out across the road behind the clear winner were David McLean, Adam Versteege (Zoom Video Racing), Michael Brown and Michael Vogt. Climbing star Miranda Griffiths (Holden) showed she is no one trick pony with a good sprint to take the women’s race ahead of team mates Steph Ives and Carley McKay.
After a high speed start, the A Grade bunch began to split at the 10 minute mark, with a very strong group of 15 riders clear. With no organised chase the leaders built a 30 second advantage quite quickly and looked to be well on their way to lapping the bunch. Approaching the half way mark, a few more began to contribute to the chase, and the two groups settled into a large scale pursuit match with the time gap steady.
Out front, both the Jayco VIS and Cycling-Inform teams had strong representation, but some of the other riders felt that the C-I boys weren’t fully committed and began to temper their own efforts. The slight drop in pace was all the main bunch needed to race back into contention, and it took only three laps for the bunch to re-amalgamate.
The bunch didn’t stay intact for long, with some of the hardest workers from the original move lifting the tempo again, including Michael Gallagher (Jayco VIS), Murray Spink (Giant), David Sturt (Cycling-Inform) and Trent Morey (Plan B Racing). Their continued aggression paid off with a small group getting established 100 metres up the road.
It was a margin that looked like it could be shut down at any stage, but too many riders waited for someone else to take charge, and the same small gap was still evident to six riders when the final three laps were signalled. A final surge saw Gallagher and Sturt go clear of the group, with Morey chasing hard but not quite on the wheel.
The other three escapees were overhauled as the bunch accelerated towards the finish, but the three in front were safe, with Sturt taking his second win over Paralympic champion Gallagher in recent seasons. Just behind third placed Morey was Luke Parker (Jayco VIS), Brendan Rowbotham (Cycling-Inform) and Jack Cummings (Jayco VIS).
For a full gallery of Mike Eaddy’s shots, visit https://plus.google.com/photos/103110114927998248117/albums/5804230549705320145
Mo Sawford is back for 2012. Get on board and help support the great work of Beyond Blue and the Prostrate Cancer Foundation. Donate at the link below or hand me your cash in person.
|A Grade||40 riders|
|B Grade||50 riders|
|6||Aaron||Blomeley||Ballarat – Sebastapol|
|Women’s B Grade||6 riders|
|C Grade||34 riders|
|Women’s C Grade||5 riders|
|D Grade||41 riders|
|Women’s D Grade||7 riders|
|F Grade||29 riders|