REPORT FROM FOOTCRAY CYCLING CLUB:
Geelong V Footscray Challenge Cup Graded Scratch Races, 12 July 2014.
The Footscray and Geelong Cycling Clubs ventured out to chilly Meredith for the second in a two-race series for the 8th Annual Challenge Cup. Racing conditions started out cold but clear, but a little rain made the hilly circuit, and especially the fast, tight descent into Steiglitz, such a challenge that many riders did not make it to the finish.
As in race one, only a few A-Graders turned up to race, and in direct contrast to race one’s Footscray cleanup, the A grade race turned into a Geelong whitewash, with 31 year old Geelong resident and noted gun bike mechanic Chris Fry taking the win. Fry has a strong cycling pedigree; he spent 2 years working as a mechanic for Pro teams HTC Highroad and Garmin, working under noted Australian rider and Team Manager Allan Peiper. Fry had a clear plan for the afternoon’s race. ‘At Steiglitz I went pretty hard and pretty soon there was only Mark Kelly with me and we rode together for the next lap; neither of us were feeling great so we didn’t really attack each other and we just left it to the final sprint. Fry sprinted clear of Kelly in second by about 20 meters.
In the B-Grade race, 22 year old Newtown resident Tim St Quentin took a strong win to continue Geelong’s lucky run. ‘B started off with A so the first lap was incredibly difficult; I actually got dropped for a moment. On the last lap I attacked from the top corner after the Steiglitz climb and got a 20 second lead; thankfully no one managed to catch up to me and I held on.’ St Quentin finished well clear of second placed Tony Mirabella and third placed Paul Aulakh.
C-Grade winner Paul Rettke has the rare distinction of being one of only a few riders to have been members of both Geelong and Footscray; the 58 year old Geelong resident and Music Teacher taking the win for Footscray. ‘I felt good today; 8 of us broke away from the bunch and we worked really well together. I thought when the rain started that it was really going to set in and become horrendous but it soon stopped and we got on with it. Phil Tehan broke away as per ‘the plan’ and the two Geelong guys chased him down, then Mark Micallef went and with 250 to go I went and got the win.’ Rettke held off Geelong rider Daniel Hall in second and Footscray hardman Paul Downes in third.
D-Grade saw Paul Beasley hold on to C for the longest, riding a solo race to take the win ahead of Dennis Hobbs and Peter Bloink.
A: 1st Chris Fry, 2nd Mark Kelly.
B: 1st Tim St Quentin, 2nd Tony Mirabella, 3rd Paul Aulakh, 4th Lincoln Stolz.
C: 1st Paul Rettke, 2nd Daniel Hall, 3rd Paul Downes, 4th Mark Micallef, 5th Steve Firman.
D: 1st Paul Beasley, 2nd Dennis Hobbs, 3rd Peter Bloink.