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A View from the Peloton in Perth
 
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 1/6/2003
A View from the Peloton in Perth
 

Nathan Russell
Nathan Russell is a pro rider in Australia, and writes to us about the four race crit series in Perth that concluded with the National Criterium Championships on Sunday January 5th. The races in the series were the W.J. Moncrieff Leederville Loop (2 January), the City of Victoria Park (January 3), the Be Active Cycle Instead Criterium at Subiaco (4 January) and the West Australian Newspapers Australian Criterium Championship 2003 at Joondalup January 5th.

Among the racers in the series were world champion Peter Dawson, State Criterium Champion Daniel Mackey and Olympic medallist Brett Aitken, not to mention Henk Vogels and Hilton Clarke. As we mentioned previously, Robbie McEwen decided to sit this series out, but still, a local newspaper warned that the cyclists would be "exceeding the speed limit" at speeds up to 60 kph as they raced through Perth's suburbia.

The Leederville Loop saw all the heavy hitters finish at the front:
1.  Steve Williams Caravello Joinery NSW
2. Brett Aitken Be Active - Cycle Instead SA
3. Mark Renshaw FRF Couriers NSW
4. Daniel Mackey WAIS WA
5. Jason Rigg Kirke Securities WA
6. Nic Brown Apex Rentals WA
7. Henk Vogels WA Sports Centre Trust WA
8. Peter Dawson WAIS WA
9. Tony Mann Visionary & National Estate Builders Qld.
10. Jarran Poad Visionary & National Estate Builders NZ

Nathan said, "Our year of racing kicks off with some killer crits in the heat of Perth and with success already in the team (teammate Steve Williams of Caravello Joinery won the Leederville Loop, putting him first on GC) spirits are high. With the big names here the crowds are great, the hotdog shape courses are a curse...C'est la vie..."

In the second race Nathan grabbed seventh place, while Hilton Clarke grabbed three of the five sprints and 20 year old Mark Renshaw (who has signed with a French amateur team) won the crit. Steve Williams slid into 6th on GC; the top GC spot was owned by Renshaw.

Victoria Park Results:
1. Mark Renshaw FRF Couriers NSW
2. Graham Brown Bike Force Australia NSW
3. Brett Aitken Be Active - Cycle Instead SA
4. Peter Dawson WAIS WA
5. Jason Rigg Kirke Securities WA
6. Nic Brown Apex Rentals WA
7. Nathan Russell Caravello Joinery NSW
8. Jarran Poad Visionary & National Estate Builders NZ
9. Daniel Mackey WAIS WA
10. Andrew Sime Perth Criterium Series WA

Of the third race, the Subiaco Criterium, Nathan writes: "I am loving the 35 degree weather but not so happy about the 600m lap in the crit last night with witch's hats at either end. It was no surprise that there were only 13 finishes. There was a great crowd out in an area full of cafes and party people that would have easily spread around a block.  The Aussie/American riders like Vogels and Dawson put on a killer show amongst the many rainbow jersies on display. I managed to push my way into 7th in the second race and feel good with the preparation needed for the national crit tonight and road race in two weeks."

In the third race, Renshaw finished first, while Graham Brown, Nathan's teammate Steve Williams and Renshaw shared the sprint points - Brown and Williams each took two sprints and Renshaw one.

Subiaco Criterium Results:
1. Mark Renshaw FRF Couriers NSW
2. Brett Aitken Be Active - Cycle Instead SA
3. Daniel Mackey WAIS WA
4. Peter Dawson WAIS WA
5. Graham Brown Bike Force Australia NSW
6. Steve Williams Caravello Joinery NSW
7. Hilton McMurdo 96FM WA
8. Jonathon Davis FRF Couriers NSW
9. Jason Rigg Kirke Securities WA
10. Wayne van Moorsel Kirke Securities WA

And the GC:
1. Mark Renshaw FRF Couriers NSW 43 points
2. Brett Aitken Be Active - Cycle Instead SA 41  pts
2. Peter Dawson WAIS WA 32  pts
4. Jason Rigg Kirke Securities WA 29  pts
5. Daniel Mackey WAIS WA 28 pts
6. Steve Williams Caravello Joinery NSW 25 pts
7. Graham Brown Bike Force Australia NSW 25 pts
8. Nic Brown Apex Rentals WA 23 pts
9. Phil Riemann Kirke Securities WA pts
10. Jarran Poad Visionary & National Estate Builders NZ 15 pts
11. Henk Vogels WA Sports Centre Trust WA 13 pts
(Nathan placed 15th and his team was fifth in the team standings)

Then on Sunday was the Western Australian Newspapers Criterium Championships - here are the results:

1. Dawson, Peter Peel Districts M23
2. Sime, Andrew Eastern Goldfields ELITEM
3. Brown, Nic Melville Fremantle ELITEM
4. Brown, Graham St George ELITEM
5. Renshaw, Mark Bathurst M23
6. Vogels, Henk Southern Districts ELITEM
7. Van Moorsel, Wayne Midland ELITEM
8. Suckling, Ryan Northern Districts ELITEM
9. Davis, Jonathan St George M23
10. Mackey, Daniel Southern Districts M23
11. Rigg, Jason Northern Districts ELITEM
12.  Riemann, Philip Midland ELITEM
13. Graham, Andy Port Fairy ELITEM
14. Aitken, Brett Adelaide ELITEM
15. Dawson, Brent Dubbo ELITEM

There were 15 finishers and 37 DNFs - my immediate reaction was that there must have been a crash. Nathan says no - "The last race was actually the only one that had no crashes.The high number of DNFs was a result of a testing course (hairpins) and a truck load of attacks." It seems Nathan's actual result does not show properly in the crit champs race results either. He said, "Well I am not the happiest little camper. It seems by the results on the internet that my 7th place was not good enough to even document so they gave me a DNF... hope to get it sorted in the next day or so."

But of the crit champs he said, "It was another hotdog shaped loop but this time wider, faster corners. All good for me. I was riding without a team after 35 mins and with a little patience simply watched the big hitters attack each other whilst waiting for the crazy gallop.The two riders that stayed away and won were awesome, so after coming out of the last corner 13th, 7th was all good. Next time more commitment earlier!!"

Thanks, Nathan! See you in the US!

 
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