Melbourne Cup on Wheels - IM

Melbourne, Victoria, December 1, 2001

2000 Results    Results

The program

Kelly King of the Keirin

Pressured Bayley cops a fine

by Karen Forman, correspondent

Newly crowned World Keirin Champion Ryan Bayley got a taste of the unflavoursome side of international competition when he was fined $100 for unsportsmanlike behaviour following the kerin final at the 2001 Melbourne Cup on Wheels Carnival in Melbourne on Saturday night, December 1.

The 19 year old champion from Perth came to the attention of the commissaires after he removed his helmet and flung it onto the track moments after finishing last behind winner Shane Kelly in a very fast sprint to the line. The crowd booed lightly as the helmet clanged to the bottom of the track at Vodafone Arena and a red-faced Bayley made a quick exit as Kelly, showing the evidence of six weeks of quality ergo, gym and track training, took to the podium.

While four-times world kilo champion Kelly - who had not raced since finishing second in the International Keirin Series in Japan in April - was delighted with his result in the six-lap Cecil Walker Cycles Aces Keirin, it was the end of a frustrating and fruitless night of racing for an obviously world-weary Bayley. The normally laid back younger rider had earlier failed to qualify for the title event on the Melbourne Cup On Wheels program and admitted he had felt under pressure to win the keirin because of his world title.

"I'm tired," he said. "I haven't trained since before the World's...I have just been racing - and badly at that. I am a bit disappointed. Last year I made pretty much every final. I thought that maybe I might have a bit of form from doing the six-days overseas, but I guess I haven't had the racing experience."

He predicted Kelly - his hero because "he has knowledge, speed, everything" would take the keirin - and turned out to be right.

The 29 year old Kelly, who had a year out from the AIS to spend time in Melbourne and to race the keirin series in Japan, couldn't have been happier - particularly as he had missed friend Stuart O'Grady's engagement party to compete.

"I surprised myself," he said on the podium. "I have put in six weeks of good training so I was feeling good. But it is certainly a totally different race to the keirins in Japan. There they lock you up for four days, because there is big betting. We were like horses, being brought out to race. The difference is there, you still get prizemoney, whether you win or come last."

But in Melbourne he won, outsprinting former Newcastle rider now living in New Zealand Anthony Peden and Carnegie rider Shaun Collins in a time of 11.5.44. Sydney rider Shaun Hopkins was fourth.

Peden had led out with Bayley firmly attached to his rear wheel with two to go, but it was Kelly, in a dynamic sprint, who got there in the end. Peden was a close second, but Bayley, who appeared to suffer some interference from Sydney 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Sean Eadie, was left to finish last. Eadie was fined $50 by commissaires for his actions.

Peden, who took up residency of New Zealand so he could compete at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, came to the podium a tad red-faced. First, he toppled off the bike, still attached to his clipless pedals, during an interview, then he admitted he had had an embarrassing day all round.

"I got up at 2am to get here, got to the airport to find I had left my passport at home," he said. "But since Shane Kelly is the man, what can I say? A great race."


Event 16 - Aces Keirin Final
1 Shane Kelly (Ararat)                     11.544
2 Anthony Peden (New Zealand)
3 Shaun Collins (Carnegie-Caulfield)
4 Shaun Hopkins (New South Wales)