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Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclo-cross kicks off

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The sandpit created its own version of chaos

The sandpit created its own version of chaos
(Image credit: Brian Mangano)
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Brent May jumps over the barrier

Brent May jumps over the barrier
(Image credit: Brian Mangano)
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Campbell Townsend gets over the barrier

Campbell Townsend gets over the barrier
(Image credit: Brian Mangano)
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The Dirty Deeds barrier

The Dirty Deeds barrier
(Image credit: Brian Mangano)
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Jeremy Soawyer in action

Jeremy Soawyer in action
(Image credit: Brian Mangano)
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Mark Sartorel works his way through the sandpit

Mark Sartorel works his way through the sandpit
(Image credit: Brian Mangano)
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Action from the prologue

Action from the prologue
(Image credit: F&S Photography)
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Jeremiah Vella rode the stage in just his knicks

Jeremiah Vella rode the stage in just his knicks
(Image credit: Robin Pearce)

The 2011 Melbourne Cyclo-cross Season kicked off in style on Friday night with the Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclo-cross Prologue taking place in front of a massive crowd at the Harrison Street Velodrome.

Organizers had stated in the weeks leading up to the event that this was no ordinary Cyclo-cross race, but rather would be a number of events befitting the nature of a prologue. A taste of cyclo-cross, an hors d'oerve tray of muddy, sandy, grassy action. As such, each rider participated in two short, fast races - the first of which would be a scratch race, and the second of which would be a hastily-prepared handicap. Riders were divided into three categories - those with Cyclo-cross bikes, those with any other kind of bike, and kids!

Mark Sartorel, aged four, battled his way through the sandpit, when he probably would've preferred to stop and build sandcastles. He was helped by his dad, who helped him out and occasionally lifted him over the bunting, in order to stop him drowning in the mudpit.

Mark was not the only one tempted to play in the sandpit, however. Local legend Rhino took it upon himself to craft elaborate patterns in the sand, and it was his crafty constructions that wreaked havoc with the riders. It was difficult to maintain a straight line through the pit, and as such it was the site of a number of hilarious incidents.

Liam Jefferies from Trailmix totally dominated the kid's race, winning both the scratch race and the handicap, in the process showing why he is the under 15 national mountain bike champion. For his trouble he scored a total of $15 worth of gift certificates at the Brunswick Cycling Club canteen - that's a hell of a lot of redvines and sesame snaps. I'd like to apologise to Liam's parents for him being a little hyped up on candy last night.

The Open Class scratch race was up next. As per usual, the Open Class featured both wacky bikes and wacky outfits. One J. Vella, braving the near-freezing temperatures and stench from the mudpatch, rode the entire race in only his knicks. As there were only 21 competitors in the Open Class, only one race was run, and this was fairly dominated by Stuart Brown (perhaps only because I told Liam Jefferies he couldn't ride with the big boys). Stuart went home with some bar tape and a pair of socks for his trouble.

The CX class was randomly split up into four bunches, each consisting of about twenty-three riders. Competition here was pretty fierce - there was a distinct lack of crazy outfits, and a distinct abundance of fancy bikes with carbon wheels. In the first race defending Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclocross Champion Lewis Rattray proved that he was equally comfortable over a short distance by taking home the biscuits. The second race was a close affair, but was eventually taken out by Footscray Cycling Club's Adam Trewin.

Jeremy Soawyer had been suffering from the flu all week, and was pumped up to the eyeballs full of Sudafed, but still managed to take out the third race; and Alex Meyland, who before this evening had never even thrown a leg over a Cyclocross bike, took out the fourth race with ease.

Around this time the commentary team were approached by the good people at Larry's Custom Cycles, who were keen to announce that they had already chosen a winner of the prize for best dressed.

The prize, however, was quickly renamed by the good folks at Larry's the award "For Most Mud Down Their Buttcrack," and there was no question that this should be taken out by Tate, who won a sweet frame and fork set for his stinky, stinky trouble. His tiny shorts and Hi-Vis socks certainly took the cake.

The Open Handicap was up next, and once again the sandpit proved the greatest handicap of all. Ann-Michel, who had spent most of the day helping the Dirty Deeds Team prepare the sand, suffered for her good deeds. In the handicap races riders were asked to stand in the order that they had finished in the scratch race, and as the judges had only taken the top three results, riders were asked to use the honesty system, even if, as our chief commissaire stated, "cheating and lying would probably be quite beneficial."

Riders must've been relatively honest, however, as all night the handicap races threw up unusual winners. The Open Class was no exception: Cam Mackenzie seemed thoroughly bewildered to win, and was more excited to be interviewed after the race.

The Cyclo-cross Handicaps were closely fought affairs, with backmarkers often ending up on the podium but never able to crack the win. The first race was taken out by Tom Kurka, with Rattray again making a strong dash to the line to clinch third. The second went to Michael Dann, who just held off Adam Trewin - pictured above - to take the prize. The third went to Tristan Baker, with daylight second. And the fourth Cyclocross Handicap was the closest race of the night, with Llewellyn Thomas stealing the win from Troy McKinna right on the line.

As the night drew to an end talk inevitably turned to the next race at Darebin Parklands on June 16th. What would the Dirty Deeds Organizing Team dream up next? Stairs? Ice? A Rope Swing? A Jungle Gym? And, more importantly, would we be able to get the sand out of our drivetrains by then? Fortunately a visit to the Splashdown section - which consisted of a high pressure hose and a gold coin donation to the Brunswick Cycling Club - helped answer the latter question. As they rode off into the night their bikes were mostly clean. It was only their clothes that stank.

Results

U15 4 Lap Scratch
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Liam Jeffries
2James Butler
3Ruby Gannon

U15 4 Lap Handicap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Liam Jeffries
2Ruby Gannon
3Nathan Bof

Open 5 Lap Scratch
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Stuart Brown
2Edward Powell
3Jeremiah Vella
4Simon Matheson

Open 4 Lap Handicap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Cameron Mckenzie
2Michael Holder
3Greg Matthews
4Joshua McDougal

M Cross 5 Lap Scratch
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Lewis Rattray
2Matt Gray
3Nicholas Edwards
4Huw Vellacott

M Cross 4 Lap Handicap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Tom Kurka
2Brent Wejendorp
3Lewis Rattray
4Justin Matthews

N Cross 5 Lap Scratch
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Adam Trewin
2Erdmann James
3Andrew Scott
4Richard Kemp

N Cross 4 Lap Handicap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Michael Dann
2Adam Trewin
3Horatio Burton
4Erdmann James

O Cross 5 Lap Scratch
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Jeremy Soawyer
2Mark Travers
3Kristian Snorrason
4Steve Martins

O Cross 4 Lap Handicap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Tristan Baker
2Andrew Blake
3Phillip Greenwood
4James Juricevich

P Cross 5 Lap Scratch
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Alex Meyland
2Sam Mcgregor
3William Gear
4Llewellyn Thomas

P Cross 4 Lap Handicap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Llewellyn Thomas
2Troy McKinna
3Sam McGregor
4William Gear

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