Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Rare Day

CCC - Race Report Feb 17,1999

Due to the volatile weather conditions coupled with the diluted number of
entrants due to the Australian Track Championships currently being held in
Perth, the Handicapper decided to combine the A & B grade fields. The
Criterium was raced under black skies and strong cold winds prevailed, after
rain fell earlier in the day and looked like dampening the evening
spectacle.
The combined race boasted 40 riders. Many of the B grade riders had a look
of determination and wry, nervous smiles since they were playing with the
big boys and would be delighted to upstage the A graders.
Gareth Paton took a flyer on the first lap and stayed there for two only to
never be seen again. A couple of laps later and the big gun himself, Matt
Hayman decided to show his visiting older brother (watching from the crowd)
what he was made of and launched a brave solo attack into the roaring E/SE
gale.
The bunch was working hard to try and reduce the deficit without success.
Meanwhile looking back through the bunch, the peloton resembled a pan of pop
corn, rudely spitting and popping riders out the back, off the side and all
over the road. The gaps were reminiscent of an ever decreasing gradient on
a topographical map and growing by the second.
By the ten minute mark the bunch would be reduced to 20, with virtually no B
graders left in the peloton. The frenetic pace continued, predominantly set
by the Catalyst team, meanwhile Matt Hayman was DRIVIN' with all the gusto
of a locomotive. What was taking five guys to do the work of on the front
of bunch was being belted out by one, and what's more he was pulling away
(reminiscent of Big Mig putting time into 22 chasing teams, while he single
handedly plundered his way through the Belgian Ardennes, the day before the
first time trial in the 1995 tour, with Johan Bruyneel in tow)
At the sixteen minute mark Dylan Cooper and Steve Blackburn took matters
into their own hands and moved clear of the main field in pursuit of Hayman,
although realistically he was so far clear it would take a tradgedy for
Hayman to be beaten.
The procession continued through the incessant winds and the threatening
clouds and the top three positions remained unchanged. The major changes
were being made in what was left of the main field which was now numbering
barely more than 10.
In the end it was Hayman who ran out a huge winner, by about half a lap
before the two up sprint between Blackburn & Cooper. The sprint was very
tight, almost a dead heat, though the judges awared the second place to
Blackburn. In the main sprint, it was the inspired Jeff Dau who took the
sprint from John Forrest.

Combined A/B Grade (40 starters)
1 Matt Hayman (Rabobank)
2 Steve Blackburn (Bike Shed)
3 Dylan Cooper (ACT AS)
4 Jeff Dau (Lonsdale)
5 John Forrest (Catalyst)
6 Denis Mungoven (Catalyst)
7 Brent Miller (ACT AS)
8 Gerry Elias (CBF)

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