Brown defiant after Jayco decider
FIERY sprinter Graeme Brown was defiant after a tumultuous four days in the Bay Cycling Classic.
There was another incident during the deciding race in the Jayco series yesterday at Williamstown and, not surprisingly, Brown was involved again.
Brown, the defending champion, finished sixth in the race and third overall as Chris Sutton won the title.
Sutton is the son of national coach Gary Sutton, who won the first Bay Classic 21 years ago.
The women’s title predictably went to Rochelle Gilmore, who won her third race yesterday as her Honda team again dominated.
After losing the series lead to Sutton in Monday night’s drama-filled race at Geelong, Brown was desperately trying to bridge the gap to the decisive break midway through the Williamstown race.
His former Rabobank team-mate Mat Hayman then dropped back from the group of five leading riders.
Brown did not mention Hayman by name, but said post-race that a rider had blocked him as he nearly joined the break.
Hayman went straight to chief commissar Doug Armstrong after the race, but the judges took no action.
It is understood that as Hayman slowed him down, Brown furiously grabbed Hayman by the jersey.
“Just as I jumped across (to the break), one guy dropped off the back,” Brown said.
“I don’t know whether he meant it or not, he went really, really slowly around a corner and I couldn’t get around (him).
“It’s a bit of a shame, but it’s over now.”
While Brown has been at the eye of the storm throughout the series, he said several other riders and many fans supported him for his aggressive racing style.
But he did admit to feeling many riders were against him.
“People like the way I ride because it is aggressive,” he said.
“Some people just don’t like me because I do that – there are pros and cons to the way I race.
“Obviously Cookie (Baden Cooke) doesn’t like it... Robbie (McEwen) basically just throws out the fishing line and tries to hook, line and sinker me every time and he does a pretty good job of it.”
Brown was fined $250 on Monday night for riding directly at Armstrong in an intimidating manner after the sprinter was ordered off the course.
Cooke said Brown should have been suspended, but Armstrong said the fine was sufficient.
“He shouldn’t have been standing in the middle of the road,” Brown said when asked about Monday’s incident with Armstrong.
By contrast, Gilmore won three of the four women’s races in a commanding display.
Her Honda team controlled the final race superbly.