Braving Northerly winds for 80 kilometers of racing around the You-Yangs, riders set off in 5 bunches to contest the Footscray Cycling Club’s Hugh Cram Memorial Handicap; the handicap format requiring each bunch of riders to co-operate and push themselves to the limit to keep the chasing bunches at bay, with the gun riders of Scratch starting out with a deficit to make up over Limit. Raced to honour Cycling Victoria Hall of Fame inductee, Footscray Cycling Club Life Member and one of three FCC ‘Club Legends’, the late ‘Hughie’ Cram, every rider out there dug extra-deep to take home the sash that bears the name of the man that epitomizes community service and the great Aussie tradition of the unpaid Club Volunteer, having racked up an astounding 65 years of voluntary service to cycling in Victoria.
After numerous attempts, it was Club Road and Crit Champion Dominik Dudkiewicz who finally took both the Winners Sash and Fastest Time in today’s coveted memorial; the 32 year old Melton resident coming off a very rough week with a bad case of the flu. “I only decided to race this morning, as I was just starting to feel better after a pretty rotten week of being sick and taking antibiotics.” Dudkiewicz and his fellow Scratch riders were powering along at speed, catching the three bunches ahead during the fourth of five laps. With only Limit ahead, Scratch riders put the pressure on those who had managed to hold onto their wheels, and by the time they had commenced lap 5, many had been dropped. With a greatly diminished bunch now chasing Limit down, Scratch sighted them on the downwind run, flying past them with half a lap to go. Dudkiewicz then surged again, and managed to ride away from most of the chasers except the boys from his bunch; Dudkiewicz, Bonello, DaCosta and Small well clear for the final few kilometers. “We had all worked very hard so we were on the limit; and I’m wondering whether or not I had anything left after the week I had. Then of course we started foxing a little. And the big bunch of riders we had shed were getting quite close, maybe 150 meters off us, so I knew we had to get on with it. Andrew and Miles were ahead of me, so I was a little boxed in; Travis saw that and took the opportunity to attack. Andrew chased him and I was on his wheel, and with maybe 50 meters to go we were side by side and I was concentrating on eking out everything I had in my legs and I only got it by maybe half a wheel.”
1st (and Fastest Time- Scr) Dom Dudkiewicz @ 2:05:27(Actual 1:45:27), 2nd Andrew Bonello, 3rd Miles DaCosta, 4th Travis Small, 5th Chris Munro, 6th Gerard Zammit, 7th Josh Zammit.