News for February 16, 1999

Northcote Velodrome, 101st Austral Wheel Race, 2000m, February 13

Mark Chadwick was at Northcote for Here is is excellent report. The last outdoor Austral was contested before a crowd diminished by rain early in the day, however the conditions come race time were good. The entry list was substantial, 131 entered for the heats to qualify for the main event, with the program of 25 races providing entertainment for all present.

Prior to the first event, during general warm up, an unfortunate event marred the evening. Two riders were brought down when a car representing the principal sponsor, a major car dealership, was allowed to cross the track in the path of a "train" of thirty odd riders. The two involved went for the infield with the others escaping behind the vehicle. Leongatha veteran Steven Flower was taken to the Austin Hospital for observation and favoured rider Troy Clarke, whilst relatively uninjured, found that the forks of his bike were folded back beyond the down tube. Within 40 minutes Clarke, the 1996 Austral winner, was watching his tyres being pumped after the Sansonetti family came to the rescue. Troy’s father Hilton had arranged for a new frame for his campaign at the upcoming national titles.

In short order the frame was rushed to the track and built up from the wreck. His efforts throughout the evening showed us all the level of his professionalism, he rode like ten men.

The heats yielded a final field of

Stephen Pate             Scr
Troy Clarke              Scr
Shane Kelly              Scr
Todd Wilksch              30
Hilton Clarke jnr         75
David Maltby              80
Luc Gilmore               90
Tim Decker                90
Ashley Harding            90
Joel Leonard             100
Gary Mueller             100
Scott Callow             105
Mark Robertson           110
Michael Gill             125
Adam Whightwick          130
Lee Godfrey              140
Brendan Sansonetti       140
Darren Allen             160
Glen Hutchinson          170
Marc Murphy              170
Ben Rowe                 195
Hamish Taylor            210

In the final, the backmarkers quickly got together and set about their chase of their quarry. A huge two lap effort from Troy Clarke left the job to 4 time World Champion Shane Kelly who drove to the front in the bell lap with Stephen Pate firmly fixed in his draft. At the 200M mark Pate backed off Kelly slightly to blast away for a record fourth win. Second across the line was Tasmanian Luc Gilmore who adds this to his second in the Melbourne Cup on Wheels. Comeback rider, former Australian champion David Maltby was third.

A former World professional sprint champion, Pate has now surpassed the record he held jointly with Danny Day. Day’s victories came in 1977, 1986 and 1990 all from the scratch mark. Pate won in 1988 off scratch, 1991 from 10M BEHIND scratch and 1993 at 20M BEHIND scratch.

At 35 years of age "Patey" had set his sights on the record and his delight at achieving his gaol was obvious, his acknowledgment of his fellow backmarkers showed his genuine appreciation of their work. Pate, Clarke and Kelly travel to Perth Wednesday, their campaign at the national titles based on good form and the confidence that comes from victory.

Other A grade race results were:


 1. Stephen Pate
 2. Darren Young
 3. Brent McCaig

Pate backed off at 200M and did it again.

Scratch race:

 1. Darren Young
 2. Ashley Sheard
 3. Adrian Sansonetti

A group of five slipped away at five laps to go.


 1. Shane Kelly
 2. Troy Clarke
 3. Stephen Pate

Four heats yielded the strongest to do battle behind
the motor bike. Kelly’s strength was awesome.

Linda McCartney report from Malaysia

A tremendous debut for the Linda McCartney Pro Cycling Team at the top end of world professional cycling in Malaysia ended with a climactic weekend in Kuala Lumpur. Following a superb ride on Saturday on the feared slopes of the Genting Highlands, Allan Iacuone fulfilled Sean Yates's prediction of a high finish when he held on to third place overall after the closing Kuala Lumpur circuit race.

The McCartneys were able to keep Allan out of trouble on Friday's stage, then help him stay with the best when the decisive action came on Saturday. Team manager Sean Yates takes us through it:

"The climb to Genting Highlands was 26 kilometres in length. Serguei Ivanov from the TVM squad was out to try and win the race, and his team set a fierce tempo. Pretty soon it was down to just five riders: Ivanov, Lanfranchi and Nocentini from Mapei, Simensen of Agro Adler, and our own Allan Iacuone." Only Lanfranchi and Ivanov had started the day ahead of Iacuone overall, so he knew he had a great chance to improve on his tenth place.

"I managed to stay with Ivanov's group knowing that with each turn of the pedals I was leaving the other guys behind," explained the McCartney's Australian hero. "Ivanov just blew the whole thing apart, and then it was just a case of limiting my losses to the finish." Iacuone finished in 8th place on the stage as the remnants of an earlier break were hunted down by the big names on the climb. When the stage was over and an exhausted Iacuone tried to regain his breath at the top of the mountain, he was overjoyed to see that his heroics had carried him into third place overall, with Mapei's Paolo Lanfanchi taking over as new leader and Ivanov second.

"Fingers crossed!" said Sean Yates going into Sunday's city centre circuit race, but everything went to plan as the race finished in a bunch sprint and Iacuone clung to his place on the podium in Kuala Lumpur.

"It's been a fantastic team effort throughout," said Yates when the race had drawn to a colourful close in the capital. "Allan had an absolutely faultless tour, David McKenzie won a stage and always threatened in the sprints. Chris Newton, Matt Illingworth, Julian Winn and Julian Clark came straight here from the miserable British winter, but were never out of their depth in the racing. The team did everything I asked of it, and I'm very proud of all of them."

USA, Dinuba Criterium, Women's Pro 1/2

Pam Schuster reports that the first race of the day that I joined in on was the men's 35+, categories 1-5. My best estimate of the field size was about 35 of which my valentine that I married 14 years ago was one of them. I was intimadated by the pack of burly guys and spent most of the race thinking about when to drop out. The course was technical with two 120 degree unca mbered turns. A break of 6 riders went off early of which the largest team Simple Green guys had 2 riders. This split up after the only prime of the day when 4 of the guys came off and didn't work together to get back on. So 2 guys stayed off the front for the win and the rest of us sprinted for 3rd place. I could smell a crash and wasn't disappointed when a guy took it sideways with 4 corners to go right in front of me. I got around and was thanking my lucky stars. I don' t know official results of this me lamo.

The women's race was a lot more fun for me. First thing making it fun was the aggressiveness, as Lisa Hunt(Lombardi) said, "It was a nice race...aggressive". Alura Emery had this to say, "It was fast for the first crit of the year. It was challe nging and I liked it". Team RECT with Nicole Freeman, Christy Ferguson and Odesa Gunn showed the most heart in this Valentine event. Odesa in her pursuit to give it her all off the front, crashed into a curb. She then popped back up andwas back in the race attacking one lap later. She gets the unlucky award of the weekend as she had a flat yesterday. Fortunately promoter Bob of Velo Promo also gave heart with a prime for a box Russel Stover chocolates in addition to 3 money primes. Wanting to practice the sprint that I have been working on this winter, I went for all of them. While no one else was interested, I actually won them all. As my confidence grew I also got in position for the finish but sprint specialist Nicole Freeman came by me like I was standing still after getting a perfect lead-out from her teammate Christy Ferguson. She was nice though and told me afterwards that it took effort. Happy Valentine's day to all of you!!! XOXOXOX

 1. Nicole Freeman
 2. Pam Schuster
 3. Alexa Sourka
 4. Trish McKay
 5. Anna Hinkle
 6. Aileen Loe
 7. Alura Emery
 8. Cynthia Mommsen
 9. Belinda Heerwagen
10. Odessa Gunn

Started: 30

Melbourne, Carnegie-Caulfied Criteriums, February 14

The Sunday morning criterium drew a fantastic field of 172 riders. Included in the A grade bunch were the Great Britain track endurance team composed of Bradley Wiggins (18) winner of the World Jnr pursuit, Paul Manning (24) 10th 1996 World espoirs TT and Phil West (21) who all race together in the UK based addidas-Level 4 team. The remaining GB team riders are James Taylor (22), James Notley (21) and Harlow CC’s Rob Wood (20). Manager Simon Jones advises that the group represent the new World Class Performance team backed by a UK lottery. Returning from his efforts in the recent Tour of Tasmania, Amore e Vita pro Daniel Moore was seen to pay close attention to the activity of the national team riders. The Brits had representation in the early breaks, two were involved in the most significant, however the large bunch of experienced "critters" had them back for the finale. At the bell, all six GB riders massed at the front, their efforts nullified in the end by an in form Stephen Pate fresh from winning the 101st Austral wheelrace the previous evening. Following Pate across the line was seasoned road rider Luke Weir, tuning up before returning to Belgium, third place to Bendigo’s Brent McCaig from Robert Tighello.

B grade’s result came from a group of four who held a significant lead for the latter part of the race, former Sun Tour rider David Sturt was beaten in the desperate sprint by German visitor Thomas Campana of Cologne. Footscray’s Colin Morris was third with World RR silver medallist Liz Tadich riding with the Victorian Institute of Sport succumbing to the strength of her breakaway companions fourth.

The result in C grade was a remarkable demonstration of the old and the new, 16 year old state rep. Mark French stormed out of the bunch to easily take the victory from Matthew Young (another youngster). Veteran Tim Nuttal (late 40’s) was third with the 1974 Austral winner Ivan Collings (59) fourth.

Speedskater Simon Walker (17) had his first taste of cycling victory in D grade over Marlon Quinn, Walker’s father John was third with Blackburn’s Emma Phillips taking fourth. The strength of young Walker sees him promptly promoted to C grade, fourth in last years World 15Km point score speedskating title the lad is attempting to combine two Olympic sports looking to excel in both.

A grade:

 1. Stephen Pate
 2. Luke Weir
 3. Brent McCaig
 4. Robert Tighello

Started: 54

B grade:

 1. Thomas Campana
 2. David Sturt
 3. Colin Morris
 4. Liz Tadich

Started: 56

C grade:

 1. Mark French
 2. Matthew Young
 3. Tim Nuttall
 4. Ivan Collings

Started: 46

D grade:

 1. Simon Walker
 2. Marlon Quinn
 3. John Walker
 4. Emma Philips

Started: 26