Bob Robson Anzac Memorial Criterium, Saturday April 25th 2009.
In honour of our Anzac diggers, 77 riders from the Footscray Cycling Club contested the 49th Annual Bob Robson Memorial Criterium held around Williamstown High School on Anzac Day. With a carnival atmosphere, a large crowd, great local support from the Hobson’s Bay Council, the Williamstown RSL, the Robson family and the Westgate Community Road Safety Council, the scene was set for a thrilling day’s racing.
It was a case of ‘catch me if you can’ in the Support Race, with 29 year old newcomer Scott Pilson dominating proceedings in today’s race. Pilson, brother to well known A-Grader Steve, was caught unawares when the peloton surged at the start of the race, and had to really push hard to move his way up to the front of the field. Once there, Pilson used his momentum move ahead of the peloton, and only decided to break away when David Newett urged him to ‘go for it!’, and go for it they did, as this pair were joined by Glenn Wright and the three worked together to pull 20 seconds on the field. Meanwhile, back in the peloton, most riders weren’t aware of the breakaway, so were not in ‘chase’ mode, with the bulk of the chasing being done by a few riders, most notably John Martin, who put in lap after lap of hard turns on the front. By the time riders cottoned on to the fact that they had riders to catch, it was too late, with Pilson sprinting to the win ahead of Wright and Newett. Later Pilson spoke of how he thought he had overcooked it at the last corner and nearly lost it, and how pleased he was with his progress in his very short racing career, having only started racing at Christmas!
It was a similar story in the main race, with Team Budget Forklifts rider and past winner Craig McCartney dominating from start to finish. Pro rider McCartney, who next week jets off to Indonesia and then Europe to race, was the driving force behind the early breakaway that dominated this race; no matter who joined or left the breakaway, it was McCartney was always in the driver’s seat, looking composed and comfortable out in front. Initially the breakaway consisted of McCartney, Redenbach and Pilson, but Pilson faded back to the peloton, with the 2 driving the gap out to 20 seconds. No matter how hard the peloton pushed, McCartney and Redenbach were all class at the front, with McCartney upping the ante at the finish and winning comfortably from Redenbach, with Shaun Gatter taking the bunch sprint and third place 20 seconds behind; Darren Martin taking the A2 win only centimetres ahead of a fast closing Daniel Hopper. 2008 Three Day Tour winner McCartney was very happy to have such a strong result, with injuries impeding his performance in last year’s Anzac day race, and will undoubtedly head off overseas in a confident frame of mind.
Memorial Race Results: 1st Craig McCartney, 2nd Paul Redenbach, 3rd Shaun Gatter.
Support Race Results: 1st Scott Pilson, 2nd Glenn Wright, 3rd David Newett.
Ya ridin' or ya hidin?