2011 Keith Esson Memorial

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By Cycling Victoria

The Keith Esson Memorial road race was won on Saturday in convincing style by talented young 17-year-old Melbourne cyclist Alexander Morgan.

Morgan has had a magnificent 2011, with the highlight for him being part of the Gold Medal winning pursuit team, at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Russia. He teamed with Jackson Law (NSW), Alexander Edmondson (South Australia) & Jack Cummings (Victoria) to defeat the host country Russia in the final. The VIS rider attacked the 7 strong leading group with just over 10km to the finish and showed his pursuit skills to record a magnificent victory.

A total of 31 riders lined up in the small township of Dookie for the “A” Grade event over 147km via Devenish, Lake Mokoan, Taminick Gap, Wangaratta, Devenish and returning to Dookie for the finish. The riders rolled along for the first 8km before the first of many attack began. All of the attempts were short lived, until 3 riders (Sean Finning, Trent Stevenson & Peter Ladd) successfully went up the road. It was not until the climb at the 68km mark that riders started to drop off the chasing peleton. On the steep decent MA Cycling rider Pascal Lussier-Duquette misjudged a corner and took a tumble. Shortly after the decent three riders (Tom Leaper, James Boal & Nicholas Mitchell) attacked off the front of the peleton to chase the 3 leaders, who had established a 2min 30sec lead.

At the 87km mark riders Leaper & Boal had made contact with Finning, Stevenson & Ladd with Nicholas Mitchell going back to the main bunch. At 92km Trent Stevenson had come back to the chasing group leaving 4 riders with a 3min 10sec lead. It was shortly after that 2 more riders made their move (Alexander Morgan & Steven Waite). At the 100km point Tom Leaper had attacked the leading group and had opened up a 12 second lead from Sean Finning, Peter Ladd & James Boal. Morgan & Waite were chasing at 1min 30sec down, and were about to be joined by the 1988 Olympian – 49 year old Stephen Fairless of Shepparton, who rode across by himself to the duo. Fairless then organised the other two riders, and the chase was on. With the three riders working well together they made contact with the 4 leaders (Leaper had been chased down) with approx 30km to go.

Riders began attacking, and at the 136km mark Peter Ladd succumbed to the relentless attacks. Shortly after Alexander Morgan launched from the group and quickly opened up a 200mt lead. With 5km to the finish on the uphill climb back to Dookie two more riders when off the back (Steven Waite & James Boal). Leaper, Fairless & Finning took the foot of the pedal on the downhill run, and James Boal made contact again.

With Morgan receiving the chequered flag, the interest was in the minor placings. In the sprint to the line Sean Finning took 2nd place to make it VIS one, two. Wangaratta youngster James Boal finished 3rd ahead of Stephen Fairless and Tom Leaper.

Race Results

A Grade
Placing Name Riding Time/Margin
1 Alexander Morgan 3:43:57
2 Sean Finning 00:54
3 James Boal 00:54
4 Stephen Fairless 00:54
5 Tom Leaper 00:54
6 Steven White 1:10
7 Brendan Schultz 2:05
8 Tully Lyster 2:05
9 Jack Cummings 2:05
10 Liam Dove 2:05
11 Tim Hucker 2:05
12 Clement Boydell 2:05
13 Kel Chaffey-Jones 2:05
14 Nicholas Mitchell 2:05
15 Dominik Dudkiewiez 2:05
16 Andrew Weightman 2:05
17 Munro Boydell 2:13
18 Peter Ladd 2:13
19 Michael Knoff 2:13
20 Trent Stevenson 6:22
21 Adam Trewin 10:53
22 Josh Edbers 10:53
23 Luigi Vecchio 10:53
24 Evan Hull 10:53
25 Rian Douglas 10:53
26 Mark Flood 10:53
27 Robbie Hucker 10:53
28 Liam McCrory 20:38

B Grade
Placing Name Riding Time/Margin
1 Stefan Imberger 3:52:49
2 James Bennett 0:00
3 Michael Hay 0:02
4 Rhys Lewis 1:05
5 Todd Schlinter 1:31
6 Brad Scott 1:31
7 Travis Lindhe 1:31
8 Roy Clark 1:31
9 Leigh Clifford 1:31
10 Chris Allemand 1:31
11 Garry Leed 1:31
12 Daniel Abotomey 1:31
13 Benjamin Douglas 1:31
14 Rudolf Schmidt 1:31
15 Marcus Cook 1:31
16 Travis Edwards 1:31
17 Jake Morgan 1:31
18 Neville Laffy 1:46
19 Dean Robinson 2:41
20 Boyd Friis 6:52
21 Ian Boyd 20:06
22 Sam Watson 13:20
23 Kris Hopkins 17:24

C Grade
1 Adrian Sinnatt 4:11:37
2 Ross Hamilton
3 Tom McDonough
4 Jarrad Mackin
5 Tony Ryan