Fusion Criterium November 2008
A festival event blessed with Cycling Royalty, Anna Meares, presented itself with stalls, Marquee’s, DJ’s, jumping castle, AUDI motor vehicles and over $3000 of product give aways provided by ZIPP, TriplePlay clothing, Glass Bar, Cassons and Fusion Cycles. A beautiful, hot and clear day coupled with a splendid venue ensured a day of hard fought racing and an indication of Cycling’s ever increasing popularity in South East Queensland and Australia. Local MP Kim Flesser, instrumental in the creation of Albert Bishop Park, was also on hand.
Photos are on their way - here is a link to some photos published on the web: www.cyclingtim.com
Women's Race Results
B Grade Mens Race Results
A Grade Mens Race Results
1st Kyle Bateson U23 QSM
2nd Peter Thompson Fusion Teschner
3rd Shaun O’Brien
Prime 1 Michael Hepburn Virgin Blue Cycling
Prime 2 Steven George Virgin Blue Cycling
Prime 3 Jay McCarthy QSM
Prime 4 Peter Thompson Fusion Teschner
Prime 5 Darren Rolfe Virgin Blue Cycling
Prime 6 Peter Thompson Fusion Teschner
Glass Bar Most Aggressive
Thomas Richards Yellow Jersey-QAS
Mens A Grade Race Report:
Kyle Bateson of the QSM Cycling team demonstrated his peak form and taken sweet revenge by winning the inaugural FUSION “for the MEGA people” Criterium, edging out Peter Thompson of Team Fusion Teschner and Shaun O’Brien. The trio streaked to the finish line in a bunch gallop at the same venue where Thompson conquered the State Criterium Title only 2 weeks previous- having bested Bateson. The 60 minute + 2 lap event, peppered with 6 sprint primes and a most aggressive rider award, had threatened to allow break aways throughout the hot and windy conditions, but team tactics and 85 of Queensland’s and Australia’s best Criterium riders ensured a mass finish that lived up to expectations. In an ultimate display of sprinting strength; it was Bateson that bested his opponents in the Fusion “for the MEGA people” Criterium, Albert Bishop Park, Nundah.
After the introduction of the Elites by Anna Meares and the commentary crew, Chief Commissaire Joe Frendo sent the riders off, set to take on the challenges of a circuit known for its heavy cross winds and fast finishing straight. Several notable teams took to the line; Virgin Blue, Fusion-Teschner, Team Merida-99 Bikes, QSM Cycling, Budget Forklifts who all ensured the pace was held extremely high.
The pace was fast from the get go, beginning with the major players settling in over the first 5 minutes. Challenges were aplenty for the Glass Bar Most Aggressive Award with Thomas Richards (Yellow Jersey-QAS) animating affairs with signature attacks and initiating small breaks from the main pack. The first sprint would see Michael Hepburn (Virgin Blue) victorious, taking the Rosenlund Sprint to then be countered by Chris Williams of Merida-99 bikes.
Several more attacks leading into the second of 6 sprint primes, most of which were initiated by Thomas Richards would see him moving into the lead of the Most Aggressive. Sprint 2 was taken out by Steven George of Virgin Blue in fantastic style as expected from the Olympian. Further bringing the heat, 2007 Grafton-Inverell winner Cameron Hughes (Budget Forklifts) lit up the black top with Mark “the Hammer” Ledgerwood of Virgin Blue in tow. The field remained single file for most of the winding, 1.19km circuit until the next sprint, a further 6 laps away.
QSM took ownership of affairs and with the increase in speed and the onset of fatigue, gaps were beginning to appear with frantic attempts of all riders to bring back the 3’s and 4’s stepping off the front. Jay McCarthy took out the 3rd sprint after the winning rider was relegated for irregular sprinting by the officials on course.
At the front of affairs now team Fusion Teschner flexed their strength along with Virgin Blue and QSM, U23 State Champion Peter Thompson (Fusion Teschner) would take the 4th prime with ease. Virgin Blue set up for a brilliant move from Toowoomba boy, Darren Rolfe. “Rolfy” known for his ITT skills, kicked from the main pack without any response from the remaining 70 riders left in this carnival of smack and quickly set up a 30 second lead and a firm challenge to the Glass Bar Most Aggressive prize.
The Toowoomba hard man morphed into a sleek Virgin bullet as he charged through the start/finish chute, barracked on by the large crowd and team support gathered at the AUDI display. Cameron Hughes- 2007 winner of Australia’s premier 1 day event, Grafton Inverell- and his Budget Forklift partner Jack Anderson, recently back from the Herald Sun Tour, took to the front with Gavin Nicholls and Gilbert Gutowski (QSM). A keen working group, having all raced on the same squad in 2007, went about chipping the lead of the lone Virgin rider. Having spent much time out front, Rolfe was brought back into the pack, his efforts rewarded with the 5th Prime and equal points on the Most Aggressive chart with Thomas Richards.
The race was still being dominated with attack after attack with no success as not one group was able to become established off the front.
The call was, “Piano, Piano!!!” as the gaped mouths of the riders cooking in the ever increasing heat and humidity of Queensland summer relaxed the pace, if but for a moment.
Mark Ledgerwood (Virgin Blue), Thomas Richards (Yellow Jersey-QAS), Craig Mackie (Fusion Teschner) and Stephen Handericks (Merida 99 Bikes) hit out just 1 lap after the 5th Prime, looking very threatening with 4 of the 5 major teams represented. The group worked well however the constitution and grit of Team QSM and their desire for a bunch kick drove the pace as well as competitors into the hurt zone to quickly eliminate this threat. On the back of this good work, Peter Thompson (Fusion Teschner) took out the last prime in fine sprinting form. Break aways of 2’s and 3’s continued to punctuate the race only laps from the final.
David Melville (Virgin Blue) placed himself in contention with a massive effort, oblivious to the surging and re-organising of the sprinters teams. Melville was swallowed up as the teams all drove the pace higher and higher terminating any ability for a last minute dash.
Coming through the start/finish for the last time, the long line of athletes could only mean it was go time for the sprinters. Through the 4 chicanes that would place the group at the top of the open, flat, 400m finishing straight; the Peleton roared into view for the huge crowd waiting to crown their victor. Still single file with rider after rider peeling right from the front, still single file then BOOM TIME!!!!
7 wide with the contenders, it was the march of the gladiators as they disconnected from the weaker sprinters. In the right hand gutter, leaving no room it was George of Virgin, Thompson and Wood of Fusion Teschner, Bateson of QSM, Shaun O’Brien and Chris Williams that all dropped the hammer and polished the “11” as they accelerated through the 60’s zone and the pain barrier. Bateson, pulled right in his second kick with Thompson following, finding himself next to his nemesis with O’Brien half a wheel behind them. Unfazed by the challenges, Bateson stood firm and extended; winning by half a bike length to Thompson, with Shaun O’Brien taking the final step on the Podium.
Asked about the race, Bateson was all praise for his QSM team that delivered him to victory in the marquee event of the day. “It was super fast today, I’m surprised that no breaks went but I told the boys I was up today and they did all they could, this makes it worth it”. Asked about drawing level in the ding-dong with rival Thompson, Bateson was diplomatic with his response. “We keep each other honest, I guess. I am really glad that guys like him are in the race, it really adds to the win. We will see each other again soon enough.”
A fairly relaxed Thompson only offered praise for the day’s winner, “Bato always makes for a good battle. Our boys were giving it their all, as they (QSM) were too. He just dropped to the right a little when he kicked and I caught just a little too much wind so I tried to run at him again, but the finish line came too soon. Bugger. I am happy for Bato, he deserved it today.” Shaun O’Brien took the third spot. “I’m pretty happy, I am by myself in here and to have Merida, Virgin, the Teschner guys and now QSM all banging away, it’s not so easy, I am pretty stoked really”