Subaru Focus Criterium 23 Oct 2012 - C Grade sneak home as Burrell fires
The Narrabri Missile, Hugh Burrell claimed the biggest win of his young cycling career when he won the C grade sprint only metres in front of a fast finishing A and B grade grade bunch in Tuesday nights Subaru Focus Criterium at Heffron Park Sydney. Nicholas Bailly backed up his solid ride last week with another strong result for second, while Heffron newcomer Alex Rose-Innes was narrowily pipped for third. B grade next week for the all three.
After the publication last weekend of one of the most indepth investigative reports into dopes, it's no surprise that Tuesday night racing has now become the focus of the heavyweights of the cycling media with Eurosport, L'Equipe, Gazzetta della Sport all expressing interest in weekly race updates. It's only natural, the european season has finished, the stakes are high, the circuit has everything - long straights, tight corners, bumpy sections and climbs. There's even talk of allowing camper vans on the infield. Easts Race Director Francesco Conceicao is apparently on a whirlwind 2 week trip to lock down media rights.
The word is certainly out as another record field of 130+ riders lined up under clear skies with only light winds about. The spike in popularity and the nature of the tight circuit means numbers will now be capped at 130, with sign on closing promptly at 5.45pm. This new condition caught a few regular riders out with Liam Kelly being forced to watch from the sidelines. Getting away early is not always easy when you have a multistore business to manage.
The handicap almost worked with a storming A grade catching C grade at the bottom of the straight on the last lap. GPM/Wilson Racing's Sam Rutherford, Julian Hamil, Alex Wong did some stellar work to keep the pace high but it was Nick D'Ambrosio's bell lap turn that did the most damage. Jared Triggs lead the chase up the straight but in the end there was too much C grade traffic to get through with Jono Cridland snatching the A grade money in front of James McDulling and Luis Trueba. Crido was obviously fired up after his brother Luke won gold in the World Fireman Games RR earlier in the day.
Pat Sharpe showed no effects of sitting through his HSC Maths exam earlier in the day when he won B grade in front of John Sunde and David Walsh. Its always easy to spot class on a bike and despite the unfamiliar kit, not too mention the 'un pro' short socks, there was no mistaking one of Australia's most accomplished cyclists Brad McGee racing in B grade. McGee has recently returned to Australia to take up a coaching position with NSWIS and his invaluable knowledge will be a great asset to some of NSW's up and coming cyclists.
Further underlining that a day after UCI President Pat McQuaid claimed 'a landmark day for cycling', Tuesday night club racing at Heffron Park represents all the good things which make cycling the awesome sport it is.
1. Hugh Burrell (Caravello)
2. Nicholas Bailly (Manly)
3. Alexander Rose-Innes (Syd Uni)
4. Lee Clark (Easts)
5. Neil Morris (Randwick Botany)
1. Jonno Cridland (Southern Cross)
2. James McDulling (Lidcombe)
3. Luis Trueba (McArthur)
1. Patrick Sharpe (Syd Uni)
2. John Sunde (St George)
3. David Walsh ( Randwick Botany)