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By Rod Morris
A former Hobart weightlifter has found his sporting niche as a track cyclist.
Jason Johnson (32) upstaged his better known - and more fancied - rivals to win both major wheel events at the Devonport Athletic Club's first carnival of the 2001-2002 summer cycling season.
Once ranked high in the sport of weightlifting, Johnson has now turned his attention to cycling and - in just his second season - is already making his mark.
The Hobartian won the Lightning Handicap over 1000m early in the programme - and then to prove it was no fluke, backed up to win the 2000m Oval Wheelrace.
Pencilled in as one of the wheelrace front markers, Johnson (220 m) was quick off the pedal and in a desperate sprint to the finish line, held off a fast finishing Dane Leedham, world junior track star Belinda Goss, who is mixing it with the boys as good as any of her male rivals - and in most cases, with better results.
Michael Skeggs off 80m was the lone backman after his fellow "backies" had struggled in the heats and he although he caught the peleton in plenty of time, could not find a way through the large group at the bell lap.
Winners of the cycling scratch races included John Abblitt (A), David Oliver (B) and visiting Victorian Aaron Bingham (C).
Abblitt also won the Invitation Elimination race, while Somerset rider Todd Parnell caught his rivals napping in the A Grade Derby, racing away with 700m left to travel and end up winning by the length of the home straight.
The Tasmanian Carnival season continues next weekend with racing at George Town followed the week after with the third and final round of the Tasmanian Criterium Championship at Ulverstone on December 14 and the annual Rosebery Carnival on December 15.
Oval Wheelrace, 2000m 1 Jason Johnson (220) 2.30.75 2 Dane Leedham (160) 3 Belinda Goss (210) 4 Jarrod Burr (150) Other finalists: Michael Skeggs (80), Josh Simpson (140), Nathan Hingston (150), David Klyne (150), John Kingston (160), Aaron Brown (160), David Oliver (160), Ryan Sullivan (180), Ron Crawford (180), Ryan Johnson (180), Michael Johnson (190), Darrell Eaves (200), Aaron Bingham (220), Michael Wood (220). Open 1000m Handicap 1 Jason Johnson (120) 1.09.21 2 Ron Crawford (90) 3 Ryan Sullivan (90) 4 Michael Johnson (95) Other finalists: John Abblitt (25), Michael Skeggs (40), Todd Parnell (45), Josh Simpson (70), David Klyne (75), Nathan Hingston (75), John Kingston (80), David Oliver (80), Andrew Loft (80), Dane Leedham (80), Ryan Johnson (90), Darrell Eaves (100), Belinda Goss (105), Trent Deacon (110). Invitation A Grade Derby 1 Todd Parnell 14.72 (last 200m) 2 John Kingston 3 John Abblitt 4 Michael Skeggs 5 Luc Gilmore Invitation Elimination 1 John Abblitt 14.17 (last 200m) 2 Luc Gilmore 3 Josh Simpson A Grade Scratch 1 John Abblitt 6.39.46 2 Todd Parnell 3 Michael Skeggs B Grade Scratch 1 David Oliver 5.08.98 2 Ron Crawford 3 Jason Johnson C Grade Scratch 1 Aaron Bingham 5.42.40 2 Paul Maxwell 3 Michael Wood
Junior 1 2000m Handicap 1 Matthew Goss (scr) 2.40.59 2 Wesley Sulzberger (60) 3 Ty Winduss (scr) Junior 1 1000m Handicap 1 Matthew Goss (scr) 1.21.20 2 Wesley Sulzberger (30) 3 Daniel Cameron (30) Junior 1 Scratch 1 Matthew Goss 4.55.85 2 Jason Bellchambers 3 Ty Winduss Junior 2 2000m Handicap 1 John Rayner (scr) 2.47.65 2 Jarrod Harman (60) 3 Josh Myers (80) Junior 2 1000m Handicap 1 Grace Sulzberger (70) 1.20.01 2 Angela Klyne (80) 3 Aaron Jones (90) Junior 2 Scratch 1 John Rayner 3.38.94 2 Will Robinson 3 Ben Fielding Junior 3 1000m Handicap 1 Edward Robinson (140) 1.29.06 2 Thomas Robinson (50) 3 Carrie Price (60) Junior 3 1000m Handicap 1 Sarah Eaves (50) 1.24.17 2 Alex Holden (scr) 3 Edward Robinson (140) Junior 3 Scratch 1 Alex Holden 2.16.22 2 Thomas Robinson 3 Carrie Price