CCCC Sandown Twilight Criteriums – 13 Dec 2011

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By Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club
Big fields again at Sandown, with some new faces including the ACT track squad who were in town for last weekend’s Victorian Track Championships. The wind was back to the usual headwind down the finishing straight, which makes for a fast run up the hill. Attacking racing saw many riders lose contact with their bunches throughout the evening, but in most cases there were still plenty in contention for the bunch sprint.

The exception to the bunch sprint rule was the A Grade race, which saw Andrew Stalder (Hometec) demonstrate his class in a very strong field. Pretty much every early attack saw the newly green and black Hometec colours of the former Under 23 Australian road champion off the front and driving hard. When the dust settled, Stalder was piloting a very select group including Joel Pearson and Pat Shaw (Genesys Wealth Systems), Paul Van der Ploeg (Search2Retain), Zac Dempster (Rapha-Condor), Stu Smith (Jayco VIS) and Brent Nelson (Croydon Cycleworks).

Although Pearson lost contact with the group, the remaining six powered out to a 20 second advantage, despite the best efforts of Nick and Johnnie Walker (Fly V), Simon Clarke (Astana) and the Fenton Green team to shut down the move. The final frantic chase saw the bunch close to within five seconds at the finish line, but Stalder had capped off a very impressive night with a last lap attack to solo in for the win.

Van der Ploeg held off Dempster in the sprint for second, with Smith, Nelson and Shaw close behind. James Henry (Chilli Cycles) and Nick Bien (Bike Gallery) led the chasing bunch home.

B Grade saw Will Thomas keen to reinforce the fact that the Burnley Finance team doesn’t solely consist of Masters riders with a couple of solo moves, but the most promising move saw power house ex boxer Andrew Kujath joined by Stefan Imberger (Mainline Cycles) and Ben Larrson. The trio spent a few laps with a handy 10 second lead but were shut down just before the final two laps were called.

The bunch sprint was well won by Shaun O’Callaghan (BikeNOW) with an impressive acceleration 100 metres from the line that saw him finish a couple of lengths clear of Peter English (Sole Devotion), who just got over Kyle Thompson (Crino Cycles) with Chris Garrard and Lachlan Davidson (Giant) rounding out the podium. Steph Ives (Cycling-Inform) continued her run of good form with a win in the women’s division ahead of the much improved Carley McKay (Kelly Cycle Coaching).

The C Grade bunch sprint saw a long drag race between Mark Hudson and Queensland visitor Francis Ransley, with the home town rider holding on to take the win by a wheel. Matt Bennett (Cycling-Infrom) led the sprint out but hit the front a little early and faded to fifth as Shane Barr and Mark Ferguson stormed home strongly.

Karin Coles capped off a great lead out from Fast Eddie Perez to win a closely matched women’s race, and finished ahead of Nadine Le Mescam (Bicycle Superstore) and Sonia Throssell (Velocino).

It was a similar scenario in D Grade, with young James Tickner opening the sprint a little too far out given the head wind finish. Just back from the Perth round of the National Junior Track Series, Tickner led until the final 20 metres, but couldn’t hold off Steve Penman and Lynton Williams and had to settle for third. Tony Best rounded out the podium, with the ACT pair of Susan Powell and Lucy Kirk were the only women to survive with the main group on a very tough night.

A Grade 60 mins 70 starters

1 Andrew Stalder CCCC

2 Paul Van der Ploeg Mt Beauty

3 Zac Dempster Bendigo

4 Stuart Smith Leongatha

5 Brent Nelson Blackburn

6 Pat Shaw Ballarat

B Grade 60 mins 69 starters

1 Shaun O’Callaghan Brunswick

2 Peter English St Kilda

3 Kyle Thompson CCCC

4 Chris Garrard CCCC

5 Lachlan Davidson CCCC

1 Steph Ives CCCC

2 Carley McKay Mercantile

C Grade 50 mins 63 starters

1 Mark Hudson CCCC

2 Francis Ransley Queensland

3 Shane Barr Southern Masters

4 Mark Ferguson CCCC

1 Karin Coles CCCC

2 Nadine Le Mescam St Kilda

3 Sonia Throssell CCCC

D Grade 45 mins 54 starters

1 Steve Penman Blackburn

2 Lynton Williams CCCC

3 James Tickner CCCC

4 Tony Best Southern Masters

1 Susan Powell ACT

2 Lucy Kirk ACT

E Grade 30 mins 10 starters

1 Saffron Button CCCC

2 Jack Throssell CCCC

3 Mietta Greig-Hurtig CCCC

4 Georgia Cummings CCCC

5 Emma Chilton CCCC

6 Lachlan Williams CCCC

7 Jason Zheng CCCC

8 Sam Bradbury CCCC

9 Alana Field CCCC

Club Messages:
CCCC’s next race is the Lorraine and Ike Collings Memorial Criteriums at Glenvale Crescent on Sunday December 18. We’d love to see a great turn out for the second edition of this very special race.