Round 1 of the Footscray Cycling Club’s 2016 Winter Road Season saw a strong field of riders head out to Balliang in the Brisbane Ranges, with riders racing to the base of the dreaded Granite Road hills in perfect early-season riding conditions.
A-Grade decided to throw a few hard attacks in within a few kilometres of the start, which saw the bunch split into 3 separate groups; and once they hit the climbs it broke up even more. On the second climb, breakaway specialist Miles DaCosta broke away and built a 30 second lead, with Dom Dudkiewicz and Connor Murtagh in hot pursuit. Eventually Dudkiewicz and Murtagh reeled DaCosta in, and continued on up the road. Dudkiewicz took the sprint comfortably from Murtagh, with Alastair Tubb taking the bunch sprint shortly thereafter.
In B-Grade the bunch stayed intact for the majority of the race, but when it came to the endgame Allen Nash took a very strong win; Nash just streeting the field with his sprint, taking the win from fellow guest Daniel Stojanovski who was several bike lengths clear of veteran rider Ben O’Leary in third place.
In C-Grade, 39 year old St Kilda rider Nicholas Newby powered up the climbs with Brunswick rider Justin Foster in tow; the pair powering away from the bunch and staying clear until the sprint, where Newby took a strong sprint to top off a strong win, with Foster taking second place; the bunch sprint was then taken by Alan Palser for third place.
After two climbs through Staughton Vale, Ascot Vale resident Simon Kelson took the win in D-Grade’s road race; 37 year old Kelson powering over the climb towards Staughton Vale with Ado Barker; the pair well clear of the chasing bunch. ‘On the second set of climbs, Ado was pushing hard on the front and I looked back and saw a gap so I yelled out “Keep going mate” and we didn’t look back. We saw a bunch behind us and thought it was our bunch so we just kept pushing.’ Unbeknownst to the pair, it was actually B Grade they could see, but it paid off. Kelson, who had done the bulk of the work in the break, was given a clear run to the line just ahead of his breakaway partner Ado Barker who took a well-deserved second place, with David Danson taking the bunch sprint for third.
A: 1st Dom Dudkiewicz, 2nd Connor Murtagh, 3rd Alistair Tubb, 4th Travis Small, 5th Miles DaCosta.
B: 1st Allen Nash, 2nd Daniel Stojanovski, 3rd Ben O’Leary, 4th Josh Ryan, 5th Daniel Standen.
C: 1st Nicholas Newby, 2nd Justin Foster, 3rd Alan Palser, 4th Paul Downes, 5th Thomas Rebesco.
D: 1st Simon Kelson, 2nd Ado Barker, 3rd David Danson, 4th Walter Chetcuti, 5th Steven Biggs.