Grand Prix Series: Jewell eyes masters crown

A highly competitive team of Mark Jewell, Peter Kreilis, Craig Paull and Paul Oyston will represent the Illawarra Cycle Club in the masters division of the NSW Grand Prix Series at Cronulla and Wollongong this weekend.

Jewell is looking forward to going one better than last year when he finished second in the series.

The event days have been switched this year with the series decider being held in Wollongong on Sunday and the first round at Cronulla tomorrow.

"I think we should be able to control the race a lot more this year," Jewell said.

"Last year we missed out on a pretty essential breakaway that happened on the Sunday up at Cronulla which took me away from being able to get maximum points for the sprint because I actually won the bunch sprint in Cronulla but there were already two guys up the road.

"We've got to be able to control the racing and make sure if the race is hard, go with the break and control everything that's going on in the race at the same time.

"It's probably the best in-form masters riders we have in our club. We know each other pretty well.

"We spent time together on the road and on the track riding as a team so we definitely know each other's style of racing and what we can do and what we've got to do.

Jewell has been back in training since early November after travelling through Europe after the World Masters track championships in Manchester, England, where he competed in five events with a top five result in every race.

CYCLING

On the first night in the 1000-metre time trial, Jewell finished second to world champion Benedict Elliot.

The next event was the sprint and after qualifying fourth, Jewell made a tactical error in the second round to eventually finish in fifth place.

Then came the scratch race where he missed an early break to finish in third place.

"That was one of the toughest scratch races I have ever ridden," he said.

The following night was the pointscore which proved to be disappointing for Jewell who led at the halfway stage in the race to eventually fade to fourth.

Jewell's highlight on the final night was the teams pursuit teaming up with Dave Stevens, Michael Popplewell and Gerard O'Connell.

After qualifying fastest the Australians rode off against Canada in the final to become world's best in the masters teams pursuit winning by more than three seconds. Now Jewell, Paull, Oyston and Kreilis are setting their sights on a successful criterium at Cronulla and culminating in their home city on Sunday.

"I'm really looking forward to teaming up with Illawarra riders again to compete against some of the best masters riders in the country," Jewell said.

A number of other ICC riders will be competing in the masters event.

NSW GRAND PRIX SERIES

Sunday at Flagstaff Hill

9am: Preliminary and junior racing

11.30am: Masters series

12.40pm: Women’s race

1.30pm: Men’s race

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