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Race Results - St Kilda CC Criteriums

 Grand Prix Fever Hits SKCC

 It apparently takes more than constant drizzle and cool temperatures to dampen the competitive spirit of cyclists. In spite of the terrible conditions (and the prospect of heading along to the Grand Prix held only a few hundred metres away from the course), over 70 cyclists made their way to Port Melbourne (along with a loyal band of supporters) for the weekly edition of the St Kilda Cycling Club's criterium event.

 Racing kicked off with D and C grades. In D grade, Siam Sattayaphan showed that his victory last week was no fluke and he will almost certainly be elevated to C grade next week. Colin Campbell stuck to Siam's wheel for the duration of the race but was unable to come around in the final straight, leaving him in second place. Grant Young rode the last three quarters of the race solo but still managed to stay on the lead lap until the finish, coming across the line in third place.

 The C grade event was raced in teams of four, with overall victory going  to the team with the first two cyclists over the line. With each team wearing a different coloured arm band, it proved very difficult to escape the bunch unchecked and although there were a number of attempted breaks, no-one was able to sustain the effort to stay away to the finish. The bunch circulated at a high but sensible pace (given the slippery conditions) and luckily there were no falls. The 'orange' team of Todd Butterworth, Roger Jepson, Ben Hawley and Paul Anderson was largely responsible for driving the pace but in the end, it was the crafty 'pink' team of Nick Caple, Cameron Stewart, Chris Hui and Matt Johnson that came away with the victory with riders in first and fourth place at the finish. 

 While all this was going on, the final race of the three race SKCC Women's criterium series was unfolding. Sam Lindsay had performed very well in the opening two races with a 1st and a 2nd place, while Alex Reinehr had also made the winner's list in race two together with gaining a fourth place in the first race. The stage was set for a grand finale and both girls looked intent on taking the victory right from the start of the race. Sam and Alex were quickly joined by Sarah Starr and Helen Lawson in a lead quartet and all four girls attacked one another for the duration of the event. In the run to the line, Alex got the jump on the other three girls and rode away for the win while Sam battled it out for the minor placings with Sarah and Helen charging hard. In the end, it was impossible to split Sam and Sarah for second and Helen (fresh from her fantastic effort in D grade the previous week) took fourth. The winner of the series will be announced at the Wednesday club general meeting which will be hosted by Scott McGrory. There can be no doubt that the result will be very close!

As B and A grade took to the line, the F1 cars were released at Albert Park for their final practice session. The screaming engines made supporters temporarily unaware of the incessant drizzle, but the promise of close and fierce racing had competitors chomping at the bit to get a move on. In B grade, Robbie Moore appeared to have overdosed on adrenalin and was a constant figure at the front of the bunch. Robbie's excitement at times got the better of him and he found the temptation to sit on the back of A grade too much to handle on a couple of occasions. However, Moore's attacks eventually got the better of him and he found himself shot to the rear of the field as Justin Burgemeestre and others began a series of surges that stretched the bunch out and tested a few of the weaker legs. However, all of this was not enough to split the bunch and finish came down to a bunch sprint with Chris Keys taking first ahead of Moore and Blackburn's Evan Lennon.

For the past few months, Brunswick's 'Little' Bill Walker has been making his way down to Port Melbourne to test himself against some far more experienced (and physically developed) riders in A grade. Consistently finishing near the pointy end of the bunch at the finish, Bill finally came of age on Sunday with a fabulous victory over seemingly more fancied riders. The 16 year old maintained a strong position throughout the race in the main bunch and while others attacked and counter-attacked, Bill went largely unnoticed until the final straight when he swiftly moved around the bunch to take victory by over a bike length in front of Andy Van Slobbe and the flying Daniel Nelms of Caulfield Carnegie. The slippery and windy conditions played perfectly into the hands of Walker as he watched countless attacks from the likes of Phil Indovino, Chris Teakle, Chris Bourke, Van Slobbe and Nelms ultimately amount to nothing. Hopefully  we will continue to see Bill develop and grow into a powerful force in competitive cycling.

The big event this week (Sunday March 10th) will be the final in the four race Scapin Series. With fabulous prizes on offer, the racing promises to be fast and furious! Check out the SKCC website at www.skcc.com.au for more details.

Results:

Open Women

1. Alex Reinehr

equal. 2. Samantha Lindsay

equal. 2. Sarah Starr

A Grade

1. Bill Walker

2. Andy Van Slobbe

3. Daniel Nelms

 B Grade

1. Chris Keys

2. Robert Moore

3. Evan Lennon

C Grade

1. Team Pink (Nick Caple, Cameron Stewart, Chris Hui, Matt Johnson)

 D Grade

1. Siam Sattayaphan

2. Colin Campbell

3. Grant Young