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NSW Winter Track Titles (NE)
Dunc Grey Velodrome, Sydney, Australia, September 10, 2004
Inaugural winter champ's a big success
By Paul Craft
The inaugural NSW Winter State Track Title proved to be a resounding success with good sized fields and outstanding racing in all divisions.
The first title to be contested was ridden at an even pace, which was playing into the hands of bunch sprint specialist Graham McClymont. With 6 laps to go Graham moved to the front to control the speed and proceeded to up the pace each lap. With 1.5 laps remaining Jim Gray saw an opportunity to launch an attack and didn't hesitate. Jim received the bell with a 20m lead and maintained that distance to take the first NSW Winter Track Gold Medal.
Rebecca Ellis went into this race as a clear favorite having won a swag of medals in NSW and Australian titles previously. With 2 laps to go she moved to the front with her little sister Jessica planted firmly on her wheel. Try as she might, Jessica could not hold out Kelly Fury (Port Stephens) who claimed the silver but never challenged the clearly stronger Rebecca Ellis.
This field boasted many of Australia's best U17 riders and the race started with an immediate aggressive attack from Matthew Pettit. The violent start put many of the field into difficulty included Australian Medalist and pre race favorite Dale Scarfe. However Dale fought back to rejoin the bunch after 2km of hard chasing and immediately moved to the front to chase another attack by Pettit. With 3 laps to go the bunch was still mostly intact and it was clear that a bunch sprint would decide the podium. At this point Patrick Bolan moved to the front but was surprised by the pace of Canberra's Daniel Ellis who started his sprint with 1.5 laps remaining. Bolan was at his limit to hold Ellis who took the victory. Immediately after the race as per NSWCF regulations the U17 bikes were checked for roll out distance.
Unfortunately for Ellis, an error in cog selection had put him over the limit and he was relegated to last position, handing the title to young sprint sensation Patrick Bolan.
The race was run at a blistering pace with Richard Vollebregt launching a multitude of vicious attackes. This formed many splits in the bunch and set the race up for Tim Rice to counter one of the big surges. Pre race favorite Roland Lang was at his sprinting limit but could not bring back the lead of Rice who took a worthy State Gold.
This race was combined with the Elite race, however it was the U23's and U19's who shined. Early in the race Peter Spencer (U19) was keen to get a break going and on his third attempt he succeeded with Chris Pascoe (U23). The two managed to lap the field. These two classy riders then stayed out of trouble avoiding the two falls that occurred with 5km and 3km to go. In the Final Sprint Pascoe positioned himself best on the back of Shaun Hopkins (Elite) who challenged Phil Stokes (U19) for the sprint win.
After allowing Pascoe and Spencer to take a lap Hopkins had a lot to lose as he is the current Australian Scratch race champion and was eager to show all in attendance why. Hopkins made no mistakes by staying towards the front over the last 10laps of a bunch that was in self destruct mode, with riders cracking from the pace every lap. In the final Hopkins had no challengers for the Elite Gold medal but did have a battle to get over the top of U19 Phil Stokes in a photo finish.
NSWCF President Alex Fulcher (OBE) was on hand to present the medals and congratulate the new champions. Also present applauding the action were two other Sporting greats in the form of 1952 Olympic Gold medalist Lionel Cox and the current 400m Hurdles World Champion and super star Jana Pitman.
Masters 5+, 5km 1 Jim Gray (Waratah Vets) 6.49 (44.1km/h) 2 Steve Dixon (Bicisport) 3 Graham McClymont (Waratah Vets) 4 Geoff Worthington (Waratah Vets) Women, 5km 1 Rebbecca Ellis (Parramatta) 7.24 (40.8km/h) 2 Kelly Fury (Port Stephens) 3 Jessica Ellis (Canberra) 4 Penny Rowbotham (Waratah Vets) U17M, 5km 1 Patrick Bolan (Bicisport) 6.39 (45.1km/h) 2 Stuart Lane (Southern Cross) 3 Dale Scarfe (Central Coast) 4 Matthew Pettit (Parramatta) Masters 2-4, 8km 1 Tim Rice (Sydney) 10.23 (46.2km/h) 2 Roland Lang (Waratah Vets) 3 Michael Popplewell (Manly) 4 Ivan Colig (St George) Men U23, 12km 1 Chris Pascoe (Dubbo) 14.56 (48.3km/h) 2 Peter Spencer (CATS) 3 Phil Stokes (Penrith Panthers) 4 Matt Brown (Port Stephans) Elite Men, 12km 1 Shaun Hopkins (Marconi) 15.12 (47.4km/h) 2 Duncan Crosby (Bicisport) 3 Mark Jewell (Illawarra) 4 Brett Johnston (Bicisport)