It is not often cyclists and those interested in watching track cycling get the opportunity to do so from within the Melbourne Arena. There was a great atmosphere within the arena all afternoon and evening whilst racing took place. Blackburn Cycling Club had 17 riders competing: JB11 Lachlan Ermert, JM13 Hayden Vimpani, JM13 Matthew Clarkson, JW15 Alana Hribar, JM15 Jamie Radford, JM15 Oscar Gallagher, JM15 Hamish Clarkson, JW17 Sophie Marr, JW17 Lauren Fitzgerald, JM17 Tarun Cook, JM17 Jackson Hribar, JM17 Ashley Newnham, JM19 Sam Gallagher, Elite Women Caitlin Ward, Elite Men Conor Rowley, Jonathan Marr and Masters Men Cameron Ermert, all represented their club well.
Under 19 Sam Gallagher rode a perfect race to take out the 121st Austral Wheelrace off 90 metres. Sam then backed up the wheelrace win, by blowing the field away and winning the JM19 Invitation Men’s Keirin.
It was great to see Blackburn’s Caitlin Ward back racing in Melbourne. Caitlin, who currently has a scholarship with the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) and lives in South Australia, rode a brilliant Invitation Women’s Keirin to take out the win, and also grab a Silver medal for the Victorian Women’s Team Sprint with Madison Jansen (St.KildaCC).
Conor Rowley was part of the gold medal winning Victorian Men’s Team Sprint which included Tyler Meunier and Jacob Schmid (both from Carnegie CaulfieldCC), rode an awesome race as the second rider, ensuring the Victorian team powered home in the last lap to grab gold from the ACT team.
The straight out final of the Junior Women’s U17 Australia Wheelrace was hotly contested where we saw Blackburn’s Sophie Marr off 40 meters ride a brilliant race to grab the bronze medal (3rd). Also in the event was Lauren Fitzgerald who also raced well.
The Junior Men’s U17 Austral Wheelrace heats were run earlier in the day and were hotly contested in large fields by all riders. Both Jackson Hribar and Ashley Newnham qualified through to the final and all raced well.
Jamie Radford JM15 had an excellent days racing walking away with three convincing wins for the day, proving he is the rider to beat in this age group this summer. Well done Jamie!
Young JB11 Lachlan Ermert displayed similar form from his Melbourne Cup on Wheels racing and achieved some great results, a win and two seconds. More to come I am sure!
It was great to seek many of Blackburn’s younger juniors and their parents watching and cheering on their club mates from the stands. I am sure all riders appreciated the support and hearing their names yelled out from the stands.
Former Blackburn cyclists Kelland O’Brien and Godfrey Slattery also had a brilliant night. Godfrey came 2nd in the Austral final to Sam, and Godfrey and Kel were two of the strongest riders in the Victorian Men’s Pursuit Team, who came home with the gold medal in a time of 3.56:588. Kel also went on to win the Australian Madison Championship with Leigh Howard (professional cyclist) who use to race Blackburn’s club track meets most weekends before turning professional.
Overall results, check out live results:http://liveresults.cycling.org.au/2018/Austral/Session1/Session1_result.pdfhttp://liveresults.cycling.org.au/2018/Austral/Session2/Session2_result.pdf
For further information and photographs from the days racing, check out Cycling Victoria’s facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingVictoria/