The Eastern Suburbs Tuesday Night Summer Series is one of the most highly competitive criterium series in Sydney. When summer rolls around, Tuesday Heffron is the go to for hard and fast racing. MWCC rider Alex Nazarewicz has gone back to back as the Series Champion.
This years series was plagued by rain, which meant a month between the final two races, this is an undetermined hell for Sydney riders who are keen to roll out and pin a number on a warm summer evening.
This series continues to go from strength to strength and it is also a bit of an honour roll when you look at the names who have taken out the series in the last 32 years.
The handicap nature of the racing means that everyone from C Grades to International Pro’s in town during January can have a shot at winning the race. As Cycling identity and promoter John Sunde proclaims “If you can win at Heffron, you can win anywhere in the world”. With figures such as Mark Cavendish, CJ Sutton and Jens Mouris having rolled around, it is a justified claim.
Given his huge efforts in promoting this race, it is only right to give the race summary as presented by Mr. Sunde and all photos are by Simon Francis.
The 5th and final round of this years rain effected pointscore series came down to a ‘all or nothing’ lunge for the line between Alex Nazarewicz and Garry Millburn in one of the most tense sprints seen at Heffron Park in years.
The outcome of the race and 2017 Series Champion was only decided in the last 50 metres when Alex Nazarewicz was able to hold off Garry Millburn and become the 1st rider since Stew Campbell in 2000 and 2001 to successfully win back to back titles.
Despite the overcast and gloomy conditions the enthusiasm from the 87 starters, support from the spectators and end of season beers it was another great night of racing and a fitting end to another hugely successful summer season of racing.
The commitment from Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club to continually improve the Tuesday night racing experience is appreciated by everyone but special thanks to
Race Organiser – Colin Iremonger
Commissaire – Ron Peek
Race Announcer – Paul Craft
Number Stewards – Jenny Spurgeon, Brian Sturgeoner
Course Preparation – Peter Lawton
Race Photograher – Simon Francis
Along with the attendance of the St Johns Ambulance and Dave’s coffee van these hard working volunteers make Tuesday night racing tick.
But most importantly thanks to the 330 riders who came to experience the thrill and challenge of competing in the 30km Tuesday night graded handicap, especially the 150 new riders. After 32 successful season’s the aim is continue to promote the race as Sydney’s go to summer racing experience.
How it unfolded….
After 3 weeks of rain interrupted racing everyone was super keen to decide the outcomes for the 2017 Series both overall and for B and C grades.
For most of the race the advantage was clearly with the 30 strong C grade bunch and even with 3 laps to go it was touch and go whether A grade would get up to contest line honours.
At 2 laps to go the gap narrowed and finally at the bell the A grade train were on even terms with lead out riders for the 3 main contenders Alex Nazarewicz, Garry Millburn, Bradley Mills all jockeying for the perfect run into the straight.
Mobius Future Racing have been the standout squad all summer at Heffron and once again delivered Alex Nazarewicz in the perfect spot on straight however he still had a heap of work to do with Garry Millburn on his hip for the last 100m
Alex Nazarewicz has proven consistently for 2 seasons now that once he starts his sprint he reliably has the strength and power to hold it to the finish line and he proved it once again despite Garry Millburn taking the contest all the way to the line with 1 final lunge.
Luke Cridland capped off a memorable 30th birthday week by taking an impressive 3rd after his 2nd place in the test race on the State Road Titles course at the weekend.
Bradley Mills was never out of the top 5 in each race this year and while he might give up a little bit of speed and kick to Alex Nazarewicz and Garry Millburn there’s no mistaking his strength and work ethic which netted him 4th across the line and a clear 3rd in the Series
Wesley Ho took a convincing win in B grade but the real battle was who was going to be the B grade champ for the Series. That honour went to Shaun Falzarano whose 2nd place leapfrogged him in front of Daniel Gandy who couldn’t race the last round. Solid ride from Jason Hotten whose 3rd place also netted him 3rd in the Series
The C grade outcome was already decided with 15 year old Antoine Gizardin in an unbeatable lead but podium season honours were still up for grabs. Ben Dutton in his first season at Heffron won C grade to secure 2nd overall while 51yo Greg Rule in his 32 season at Heffron was very happy to take 3rd in the Series.
1 Alex NAZAREWICZ (Manly)
2 Garry MILLBURN (Peleton)
3 Luke CRIDLAND (St George)
4 Brad MILLS (Parklife)
5 Alastair LOUTIT (Canberra)
1 Wesley HO (St George)
2 Shaun FALZARANO (Manly)
3 Jason HOTTEN (Sydney Uni)
1 Ben DUTTON (St George)
2 Greg RULE (Easts)
3 Will RICHARDS (Easts)
See you all next Summer!
Thanks to Series sponsors – Champion System, Moits, Sram and Trek.