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January 8, 2004

Americans fly flag

By David Oliver

Thursday night's club racing was dominated by visiting American cyclists. The feature event of the evening, the Tasmanian Keirin Championship, was an American quinella. Only a small field contested the heats, with top Tasmanian riders unavailable due to Bay Series, Perth Criteriums, Tour Down Under training camps and many freshening up before Sunday's prestigious Mersey Valley Wheelrace at Latrobe.

The final consisted of four local Launceston City Cycling Club members, Nathan Hingston, Ryan Johnson and former Launceston Wheel winners Andrew Loft and Brendan Geale, with Americans Dave Wiswell and kieren specialist Kevin Belz. Brendan Geale drew position 1 and followed the motorbike early, before Belz moved into pole position. With Wiswell and Hingston throwing headbutts fighting for the wheel of Andrew Loft, Johnson stayed out of trouble at the rear. When the pacebike left the track at two and a half to go, Geale hit out but Belz showed his speed to hold him on the hip, until the bell when Wiswell rounded up the field and hit the front. Belz followed his teammate but couldn't find enough to come over him. Loft finished strongly to take bronze and be the first Tasmanian home.

In other racing, American Olympian Jame Carney was unbeatable, taking out all A grade events and almost lapping the remaining riders in the Elimination race. Norwood's Dwayne Smith showed good form in the B grade events, along with another American, Becky Conzelman. In junior racing, Tom Robinson was dominant in the Under 17 divsion, while in Under 15, Devonport's Brendan Sutton and Scottsdale's Ben Grenda, son of 1984 Olympic gold medalist Micheal, had a great tussle over the evening, Grenda taking two wins and Sutton one.


Tasmanian Keirin Championship
Gold - Dave Wiswell (USA)
Silver - Kevin Belz (USA)
Bronze - Andrew Loft (Bruno's Bodyworks)
A Grade Scratch
1 Jame Carney (USA)
2 Kevin Belz (USA)
3 Brendan Geale (Bruno's Bodyworks)
A Grade Elimination
1 Jame Carney (USA)
2 Brendan Geale (Bruno's Bodyworks)
3 Kevin Belz (USA)
A Grade Scratch
1 Jame Carney (USA)
2 Gui Neilesen (USA)
3 Dave Wiswell (USA)
B Grade Scratch
1 Dwayne Smith (Praties Prospect)
2 Becky Conzelman (USA)
3 John Rayner (MVDCC)
B Grade Elimination
1 Dwayne Smith (Praties Prospect)
2 Becky Conzelman (USA)
3 Sarah Hammer (USA)
B Grade Derby
1 Jarrod Harmon (MVDCC)
2 John Rayner (MVDCC)
3 Becky Conzelman (USA)
Under 17 Scratch
1 Alex Holden
2 Clay Murfet
3 Samantha Hellyer
Under 17 Keirin
1 Tom Robinson
2 Alex Holden
3 Clay Murfet
Under 17 Scratch
1 Tom Robinson
2 Clay Murfet
3 Alex Holden
Under 15 Scratch
1 Ben Grenda
2 Brendan Sutton
3 Matt Laskey
Under 15 Keirin
1 Brendan Sutton
2 Ben Grenda
3 Ed Robinson
Under 15 Scratch
1 Ben Grenda
2 Brendan Sutton
3 Dave Lyons 

Local results 2004