By John Flynn in Burnie
The Burnie Criteriums are a brief but high-paced street-racing interlude in the track cycling-based week of racing in northern Tasmania, called the 'Christmas Carnivals'. The Burnie Criteriums are not officially part of the Christmas Carnivals, but feature many of the riders who attend the track series, as well as road-oriented cyclists from the 'Apple Isle' who are contracted to major professional teams, such as Health Net's Tassie devil, Karl Menzies.
One of the pro road riders who took to the streets - while not participating in the Carnivals - is Tasmanian Wes Sulzberger, who rides for the Australian UCI-registered Continental squad, South Australia.com - AIS.
In fact, Sulzberger successfully defended his Burnie Criterium crown. It took just a handful of laps for a long distance breakaway to evolve and there were no surprises at the composition; triple junior world champion Cameron Meyer went up the road and Sulzberger wasn't about to let him disappear from view.
"I knew that one of the Meyer boys would definitely get up the road again, they're both aggressive riders and really strong," Sulzberger said. "It was good to get away with someone that could work well, it was certainly pretty windy and sharing the workload definitely helped."
In second place was fellow Tasmanian, Sean Sullivan. The Australian said he was eager to send a message to his Toyota United team-mates in the US, that his form heading into 2007 is right on the mark. "Happy new year lads," Sullivan remarked. "I talk to them [team] all the time, they know that I'm training and we all want to have a good season."
For a complete report, photos and results from the Burnie Criteriums, click here. The Tasmanian Christmas Canrivals continue today with the Burnie Carnival.