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Friday Night Winter Track Racing #17

Dunc Gray Velodrome, Sydney, September 19, 2003

By Paul Craft

Friday night was the penultimate night for FNWTR and the last chance for riders to qualify for the final wheelrace. (STOP PRESS: winners of W'up races Sept 26 will qualify). Once again, as the whole series has been, the night was full of fun and action.

The feature race of the night was the Ernie Smith Photography 1.25km wheelrace won by crowd favourite Keely McNamara. The first big move came from Garry Hines, who received a generous start of 120m. Garry devoured all the limit markers quickly and set about on his long and lonely sprint for the line. In the mass of middle markers Brett Hanson 70m and Keely 60m were wisely using the draft of those in front waiting for their opportunity to launch at Hines. Our Scratchies Michael Leach and Sean Powell had made a pact to work together and quickly caught the middle markers.

With one lap to go, Hines held a diminishing lead. Hanson attacked out after the win, Keely was still waiting for the right moment and Powell was determined to bring Leach into the fold. As they came into the finishing straight it was Hanson who had a commanding lead, however Keely never gave up. She managed to catch and pass Hanson with a least a meter left to race. Ernie Smith was on hand snapping photos all night. The prize for this prestigious race is a portrait of the finish of this race. It should be a fantastic one of Keely just edging out Hanson with here throw for the line. You will be able to view and purchase any of Ernie's thumbnails on the following site: http://users.bigpond.com/erniesmithphoto/

FNWTR Italian Pursuits are always an excitement-building race and this week's had to be viewed to be believed. We split the entire field into 4 equal teams and put them against each other. Team captains organise their riders from fastest to slowest. When the race starts each rider has to lead his or her team for one lap before pulling out. As you can imagine the pace builds along with the excitement until we come down to one rider per team.

In the first race, team Sommers were down 50m from the early stages but fought hard to take the lead with 2 laps remaining. In the end it came down to the two anchormen, Sommers and Browne, with Browne taking the victory for his team by a mere 5 metres.

If the first heat was a nail-bitter the second race was a finger-eater! From the first lap both teams were level pegging. At no stage did either team gain more than a 5 metre advantage. Until they came down to the last two riders on each team. Team Dixon came into the last lap with a 30m lead and Phil was able to hold onto the advantage to defeat team Hopkins.

Next week will be the final edition of FNWTR for 2003 and we plan to go out on a high. First off the Red Bull promotion girls will be along to ensure that we all have enough wings for the night's racing and partying. The final wheelrace has the support of Jade Kitchens, RIDE Cycling Review and Red Bull to make a very healthy prize pool. World Sprint Champion Sean Eadie will be along to offer his special insider commentary and may be persuaded to sign a few autographs for FNWTR Jnr development kids and all the big kids as well.

The Handle Bar Tavern is offering every cyclist a free drink and pasta meal for $6. The presentations of the series winners will take place promptly as well as the big draw to find out who will be taking home a VELOCRAFT Track Frame set. All this and our standard nights action packed racing.

Definitely a great night to bring friends, club mates, parents, wife's, husbands, children and secret lovers along, to what promises to be a fantastic night of fun, action, presentations and PARTYING.

Got to get some sleep before then.

To brew up the excitement for the final wheelrace here are the H'caps:

1 Vanessa Hamilton                            230m
2 Ruth Oxlade                                 220m
3 Cat Croghan                                 200m
4 Keely Mcnamara                              180m
5 Brett Hanson                                170m
6 Sean Powell                                 165m
7 Winner of Div2b + 3 + wom warm Sept 26      160m
8 Andrew Grant                                150m
9 Ivan Colig                                  130m
10 Jim Gray                                   120m
11 Winner of Div2 warm Sept 26                110m
12 Michael Mellish                            105m
13 Shane Wood                                  90m
14 Alex Sommers                                45m
15 Winner of Div1 warm Sept 26                 35m
16 Kevin Aubry                                 25m
17 Second in Div 1 warm-up Sept26              15m
18 Shaun Hopkins                           Scratch


Warm up scratch race winners
Jnr's Chey Howard
Div 1 Michael Lewis
Div 2 Geoff Hopkins
Comb Geoff Worthington
Group H'Cap
1 David Browne
2 Matthew Pettit
3 Aiden Hobbs
Group H'Cap Div 2
1 Michael Mellish
2 Geoff Hopkins
3 Ivan Colig
1km Wheel Race Div 2b + 3
1 Keely McNamara
2 Brett Hanson
3 sean Powell
4 Mike Leache
Group H'Cap Wom
1 Catriona Croghan
2 Penny Rowbotham
3 Ruth Oxlade
Italian Pursuit
1 Team 2 Browne               17.80 sec/lap
2 Team 1 Sommer               17.85 sec/lap
Italian Pursuit
1 Team 3 Dixon                17.70 sec/lap
2 Team 4 Hopkins              18.40 sec/lap
Div 1 point score, 16 laps
1 Shaun Hopkins                  10 pts
2 Phil Dixon                      6
3 Michael Lewis                   6
4 Phil Stokes                     6
Div 2 point score, 16 laps
1 Jim Gray                       10
2 Ivan Colig                     10
3 Michael Mellish                 9
Div 2b point score, 12 laps
1 Jason Frazer                    7
2 Mike Tremaine                   6
3 Joel Chant                      5
Div 3 + Wom point score, 12 laps
1 Cat Croghan                     8
2 Deana Faulkner                  7
3 Penny Rowbotham                 7
Div 1 + Div 2 Combine Sratch, 35 laps
1 Kevin Aulbry (Qfd. For Wheel Race)
2 Brenton Crawley
3 Brett Johnston
Div 2b + Div 3 + wom Combine Sratch, 25 laps
1 Andrew Grant (Qfd. For Wheel Race)
2 Jason Frazer
3 Joel Chant

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