Daring break a class move
By TANIA PHILLIPS
FORMER Australian junior track champion Shaun Morris broke away in the final laps of the Murwillumbah Banana Festival Criterium yesterday to claim victory in the hotly contested A Grade competition.
The Gold Coast-based Morris, a former national under-17 champion, broke clear of the pack in the closing stages and held on to beat out Brisbane's Craig Mackie in a sprint finish after just over an hour of racing around the main streets of Murwillumbah.
"We broke away with about three laps to go and I just kept going. Then I heard the bell and looked back and no-one was there," the 18-year-old said.
Morris, who moved to the Gold Coast from Victoria late last year, will now contest the national club titles at Mooloolaba next month before competing in the national under-23 titles. He will also travel to Germany to compete before seeking a berth on the Australian Institute of Sport team.
Former Criterium winners Steve Storer and Currumbin-based international Jon Cantwell, who returned from Italy just a week ago, filled out the minor placings yesterday.
Masters' world champion Geoff Harris won the B grade event from Banora-based rider Ian Walker by a wheel with young Brisbane rider Byron Davis third. Murwillumbah's Geoff Collier finished fourth.
Collier suffered back injuries when he was knocked off his bike two months ago but has made a miraculous recovery and will head to Hawaii next month to contest the World Triathlon Championships.
The C Grade division was won by Gold Coaster Harry Hetherington just ahead of Stuart Harmer and Murwillumbah's Rod Bailey. Murwillumbah rider Frank Schirmer took out the D grade event.