Footscray Cycling Club Criteriums @ V.U.T, November 3 2012.
Saturday morning saw riders enjoying perfect racing conditions at Race 5 of the Footscray Cycling Club's Summer Criteriums at the V.U.T. track in Hoppers Crossing, with A-Grade declaring war from the get go. With the initial 15 minutes a constant flurry of attacks and riders scrambling to hold on, it was clear that there were quite a few riders who wanted to both whittle down the bunch and get into a breakaway, and eventual winner Dom Dudkiewicz got into what would become the winning break. 'I was part of the initial 3 man break with James Love and Stuart Morgan, and 5 others got across to make it 8. It was really pleasing to see how hard the bunch chased, and they never quit; they just kept coming, but then Benny Johnson would do another hard turn and we just kept the bunch at bay.' By the bell lap, the 4 remaining riders in the break were being led out by another killer turn on the front by Johnson, and it was at this time that Dudkiewicz and Brett Hickford started the sprint. 'I went as late as I could as I was so tired,' said Dudkiewicz, 'but as soon as I saw Brett jump I knew I had to push; It was good to have a win, but I wasn't really expecting it given how early I am in my preparation for the Bay Crits.' Dudkiewicz, like many riders in A, have plans to be in tip-top shape for the big races in January.
B-Grade's race saw 2007 3 Day Tour winner Craig Robertson and Simon Hurn see who could make the most of their swansongs in B, with Robertson just holding off gun sprinter Hurn in a fiercely contested sprint. With a large field of strong riders, B-Grade set quite a high pace, and whilst many riders tried to break away, the willing bunch would do the work necessary to reel them back in. Resigned to a bunch sprint, riders rounded the last corner en-masse with Robertson using his trademark kick to take a narrow win over Hurn and Daniel Doherty.
In C-Grade, it was a smiling Leigh Pridmore who was 'top gun' on the day; the 52 year old Pt Cook resident amazed at his good fortune. 'It was a hell of a race; there were so many attacks...Ross and Stephen Liley, Tom Gray and heaps of others just making it a hard race. I expended a lot of energy to move up in the last lap or two, and as we rounded the second last corner I followed another rider who was leading us out, and when we got to the line I only just got over the top of Delphine. Right place, right time... and really surprised to beat Delphine who has a killer sprint.'
It was an ecstatic Andrew Bonnello who took out D-Grade's race in what was only his third race; the 25 year old Melton South resident having an absolute ball racing. 'It was a great race; intense and challenging. I loved it!' The enthusiastic youngster may lack the race smarts that he will develop over time, but what Bonnello lacks in experience he more than makes up for in fitness. 'I took some tips off Barry Cram and the other guys and waited until the last lap, got to the hill and gave it all I had', Bonnello finishing well clear of second-placed John Paxton.
A: 1st Dom Dudkiewicz, 2nd Brett Hickford, 3rd Stuart Morgan, 4th Ben Johnson, 5th Ben O'Leary.
B: 1st Craig Robertson, 2nd Simon Hurn, 3rd Daniel Doherty, 4th Anthony Rebesco, 5th Richard Conejo.
C: 1st Leigh Pridmore, 2nd Delphine Astier, 3rd Rob Stonehouse, 4th John Boyle, 5th Stephen Liley.
D: 1st Andrew Bonnello, 2nd John Paxton, 3rd Dal O'Brien.
E: 1st Michael Albanese, 2nd Mark Koutsogiannis.
Ya ridin' or ya hidin?