Footscray Cycling Club Graded Scratch Races @ Balliang, 14 May 2016.
Round 5 of the Footscray Cycling Club’s 2015 Winter Road Season saw riders head out to Balliang in the Brisbane Ranges, with riders racing around Balliang and then out twice to the base of Granite Road under blue, sunny skies. All 4 grades had good numbers, and all 4 races were dominated by one meteorological determiner: a bloody strong North-Westerly wind that made life hard on the bike.
A strong field of riders contested the A-Grade race, with the bunch breaking apart before they had headed out toward Staughton Vale for the first time; Eventual winner Andy McAuley, Miles DaCosta and Travis Small breaking clear of the chasing riders and staying away, McAuley taking the sprint from DaCosta and Small.
B-Grade saw first time racer (but gun rider) Steven Upton simply power his way to his maiden race win; the novice racer beating home a very high quality field and taking the sprint from two veteran guns in Richard McCorkell (1983 Grafton-Inverell winner) and Ben O’Leary. With lots of gutter action in this race, the bunch disintegrated as rider after rider found themselves in the red at the rear of the bunch in the nasty crosswinds.
In C-Grade, St Kilda CC rider Mark Spiteri took a strong win from junior star Sarah Gigante and veteran Paul Rettke; Spiteri in a class of his own in the tailwind sprint. A late race incident saw 4 riders get a little too close on a head-crosswind, resulting in a crash and a few bruises and sprains.
D-Grade’s race saw the experience of George Goodrope come to the fore in today’s difficult conditions; Goodrope taking off on the home straight and finishing well clear of Sunbury rider Dom Tulloch, who was also well clear of two FCC veterans in Tommy Gray and Tom Moloney.
A: 1st Andrew McAuley (MCL), 2nd Miles DaCosta, 3rd Travis Small, 4th Andrew Bonello.
B: 1st Steven Upton (1/3RL), 2nd Richard McCorkell, 3rd Ben O’Leary, 4th Daniel Standen, 5th Josh Zammit.
C: 1st Mark Spiteri (SKCC), 2nd Sarah Gigante (Bruns), 3rd Paul Rettke (GCC), 4th Mick Hazeldine.
D: 1st George Goodrope, 2nd Dom Tulloch (Sunb), 3rd Tom Gray, 4th Tom Moloney.