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Sid Patterson Grand Prix - IM
Darebin International Sports Centre, Australia, March 26, 2005
Kiwi takes Sid Patterson
By Mal Sawford in Melbourne
The final Cyclists International carnival for the season, the Sid Patterson Grand Prix, is named in memory of one of Australia's greatest cyclists. Patterson won four World Championships on the track, while on the domestic front dominated handicap racing winning every major Wheelrace across Australia, including two wins in the Austral riding from the Scratch mark.
The Grand Prix was held at Melbourne's brand new second indoor velodrome, DISC. The long awaited second track provides Victorian cyclists a world class indoor facility for racing and training year round; the existing velodrome at Vodafone Arena is generally configured for tennis or basketball and only available for cycling a handful of times each year. President of the Victorian State Body, Joe Ciavola, was pleased with the success of the first major carnival at DISC, saying "The place has got atmosphere, and I think it's got a great future".
The feature race was taken out by locally based New Zealander Andrew Shannon (Canterbury), in a nail-biting finish that saw the powerful Kiwi hold off the charge from both a flying front marker and the Scratchmen.
How it unfolded
Unlike the traditional Handicap format, riders qualified for the final by virtue of a top six place in a graded qualification race; with the Aces all riding from Scratch in the 2000 metre final, the A Grade finalists from 75 metres and the six B Graders given a 155 metre advantage.
The B Grade Scratch race saw Deaflympic Gold Medallist Reece Van Beek do the lions share of the pace making, before new comer Charles Howlett showed impressive speed over the final two laps to take the win ahead of Stuart Vaughn and team mate Darren Spiteri. Van Beek battled on well after being swamped, and snuck in to the final as the last qualifier.
Shannon found himself at the front of the A Grade bunch in the closing stages of his Scratch Race, and tried to hold the entire bunch on his hip for the final three laps. Alexander James (Fitzroy Cycles) had no trouble flashing past to take the win ahead of Adrian Salter (Salter Cycles) and Master's Aggregate winner Laurie Noonan; but once again the front runner had done enough to qualify, with Shannon fourth home.
The Aces fought out an elimination race to decide their qualifiers. Crafty New South Wales rider Madison specialist Peter Fitzpatrick (Bates Bikes) was a shock early elimination, while reigning Australian Keirin Champion Joel Leonard also found the pace too hot. The top two places went to the winning team from the Bendigo International Madison, with Nic Sanderson (VIS) holding off team mate Simon Clarke and Tim Decker (Decked Out Coaching). Also through was previous winner Tommy Nankervis, who was introduced to racing as a junior by the late Sid Patterson.
All three bunches were quickly off the mark and worked well, and for the first two laps the outmarkers held their own. At the half way mark the A Grade bunch had closed in, while the Scratch men had shed a couple of riders and weren't guaranteed of reeling in the charging A Grade bunch.
James made his move with three and a half laps remaining, scorching around the outside of the front bunch as the catch was made. Shannon fought his way onto the wheel, while Howlett looked to be floating as he danced across the split. The Scratch survivors finally caught the main group at two to go, but the leading trio had opened a thirty metre advantage.
Sanderson set off in what looked like hopeless pursuit, as Shannon moved into the lead at the bell. The big sprinter was digging holes, however, and Howlett began to overtake in the back straight before Shannon found something extra, to keep Howlett on his hip. Around the final turn, Sanderson flashed into contention, but with a desperate throw the big sprinter kept his wheel in front to claim the win, inches ahead of Howlett and Sanderson.
Shannon had qualified for many finals over the past few years, without breaking through for a win, and was understandably jubilant with his win. He was lost for words describing his emotions, saying "It's unbelievable mate! It's unexpected, I'm speechless!" Cyclingnews asked him whether he had changed his preparation after so many near misses, and he revealed that he had taken a week off before the carnival "and come back fresh, and sharp". That, and his decision to up his gear from his usual 92" to 94" "could have made all the difference."
Joel Leonard rode a three race omnium against former Junior World Champion Daniel Thorsen (Drapac Porsche Development Program), and had too much speed for his younger opponent in the Motor Pace and Sprint legs, leading out both races powerfully and riding away to comfortable wins. He also claimed the track record for the flying lap with an impressive ride of 13.73 for the 250 metre journey.
The Australian Champion was a shock non-qualifier for the Keirin final, however, falling foul of the Commissaires. After crossing the line a clear first in his heat, judges ruled he had illegally improved his position on the inside in the opening laps, and disqualified him - much to his obvious disgust!
In the final, Jason Niblett (VIS) pounced on the derny, and was not challenged for the lead until the derny swung off. Fitzpatrick had second wheel, but faced a tough battle to hold his position as Sanderson and Clarke tried to muscle in. Crossing the line at the bell, Niblett looked to have things well under control and he wound up, with Sanderson perfectly positioned.
Fitzpatrick hadn't given in, however, and stayed glued to Niblett's back wheel, before somehow making his way through the tiniest of gaps to draw level with the leader, and with a perfectly timed throw pinch the win. Fitzpatrick has been a regular competitor in Melbourne, and almost certainly wrapped up the win in the STAR National Track Series Handicap category tonight despite not qualifying for the final. He told the crowd that he "loves coming to Melbourne, because there's great riders here, you just don't get racing like this in Sydney".
Leonard was still seething after his DQ, and channelled all his aggression into the final race of the night, the Aces Scratch race. Although the race was made tough by the constant attacking from Clarke and Sanderson, and a late attack by Sean Pontelandolfo, Leonard suffered through, and found his way to third wheel at two to go.
He made his move at the bell, and instantly pulled five lengths out of the shell shocked bunch, accelerating away to an impressive win which gave him plenty of time to salute the appreciative crowd. "I had that much adrenalin pumping through my blood; I wasn't going to lose that one! I hit out 100% bell lap, and wasn't going to ease up, but looked around and they were a fair way behind so I sat up; got my just desserts. Threw my hands up and had fun!"
With a number of the leading women non starters, it was a chance for some new faces to burst through. Briana James (BikeNOW) took out the opening Scratch race with a convincing win over Hannah Bush and Livia Gluchowska (Telstra), before the Howlett sisters took over.
Seventeen year old Aimee (Fortress) came up trumps in the 1500 metre Handicap, sprinting well clear in the straight to take the win ahead of Bush and James. Not to be outdone, nineteen year old Kylie (Fortress) made the most of her first call up to the Keirin ranks by snatching the win from James, after the Scratch Race winner had looked to have her second win wrapped up.
Peter Johnstone (O'Mara Cycles), who won the Scratch Race silver medal on this track at last week's Australian Junior Championships after initially missing selection in the Victorian team, dominated junior racing tonight.
He looked completely in control in the Motorpace, sitting comfortably in second wheel for the final two laps and waited for any challengers to make their move, before sprinting to an authoritative win. He was caught out in the Scratch Race by a phalanx of Bendigo riders, with Anthony Rix and Glenn O'Shea relegating him to third, before bouncing back with a perfectly executed ride in the Elimination to win ahead of Ricky Peoples and O'Shea.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mal Sawford/Cyclingnews.com
Australian Abalone Exports B Grade Scratch Race 1 Charles Howlett (Latrobe City) 6.27.00 2 Stuart Vaughan (Hawthorn) 3 Darren Spiteri (Latrobe City) 4 Leon Sims (Carnegie Caulfield) 5 Lawrie Naughton (Bendigo) 6 Reece Van Beek (Geelong West) John Beasley Cycles A Grade Scratch Race 1 Alexander James (Brunswick) 6.23.00 2 Adrian Salter (Footscray) 3 Laurie Noonan (Brunswick) 4 Andrew Shannon (New Zealand) 5 Evan Corry (Bendigo) 6 Dean Stewart (Northcote) Drapac Porsche Development Program Aces Elimination 1 Nic Sanderson (Ararat) 4.21.00 2 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield) 3 Tim Decker (Bendigo) 4 Tommy Nankervis (Carnegie Caulfield) 5 Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton) 6 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield) Jefferson Ford Women's Scratch Race 1 Briana James (St Kilda) 4.01.00 2 Hannah Bush (Shepparton) 3 Livia Gluchowska (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Kylie Howlett (Ararat) Bernie Cook Timber Pty Ltd (Preston) Ominium Round 1 - Motor Paced Sprint 1 Joel Leonard (Footscray) 0.10.93 2 Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton) Cyclesport Victoria M17 Motorpace 1 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula) 2.42.00 2 Mannon Houssaye (Wangaratta) 3 Ricky Peoples (Shepparton) 4 Luke Gooley (Shepparton) Bernie Cook Timber Pty Ltd (Preston) Invitation Sprint Derby 1 Nic Sanderson (Ararat) 0.11.07 2 Jeremy Mclay (Chelsea & Peninsula) 3 Kouji Yoshi (Japan) 4 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield) Bernie Cook Timber Pty Ltd (Preston) Ominium Round 2 - Sprint Match 1 Joel Leonard (Footscray) 0.11.16 2 Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton) Bernie Cook Timber Pty Ltd (Preston) Ominium Round 3 - Flying Lap Time Trial 1 Joel Leonard (Footscray) 0.13.73 2 Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton) 0.00.45 Inaugural M15 Flying 200M Attempt 1 Patrick Drapac (Brunswick) 0.12.484 John Beasley Cycles M17 Scratch Race 1 Anthony Rix (Bendigo) 3.27.00 2 Glenn O'shea (Bendigo) 3 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula) 4 Luke Gooley (Shepparton) Reuters Women's Handicap 1 Aimee Howlett (Ararat) 115m 1.58.00 2 Hannah Bush (Shepparton) 80m 3 Briana James (St Kilda) 80m 4 Emma Waldron (Castlemaine) 130m Patterson Family Sid Patterson 2000M Wheelrace Finalists Lawrie Naughton (Bendigo) 155m Leon Sims (Carnegie Caulfield) 155m Stuart Vaughan (Hawthorn) 155m Charles Howlett (Latrobe City) 155m Darren Spiteri (Latrobe City) 155m Reece Van Beek (Geelong West) 155m Evan Corry (Bendigo) 75m Dean Stewart (Northcote) 75m Laurie Noonan (Brunswick) 75m Andrew Shannon (New Zealand) 75m Alexander James (Brunswick) 75m Adrian Salter (Footscray) 75m Tommy Nankervis (Carnegie Caulfield) Scratch Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield) Scratch Tim Decker (Bendigo) Scratch Nic Sanderson (Ararat) Scratch Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton) Scratch Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield) Scratch Final 1 Andrew Shannon (New Zealand) 75m 2.08.78 2 Charles Howlett (Latrobe City) 155m 3 Nic Sanderson (Ararat) Scratch 4 Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton) Scratch Drapac Porsche Development Program M17 Elimination 1 Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula) 2.55.07 2 Ricky Peoples (Shepparton) 3 Glenn O'shea (Bendigo) 4 Ryan Pontelandolfo (Bendigo) Vodafone Kierin Series Aces Kierin Heats Heat 1 1 Simon Clarke (Carnegie Caulfield) 0.12.00 2 Adrian Sansonetti (Northcote) 3 Tim Decker (Bendigo) Heat 2 1 Nic Sanderson (Ararat) 0.11.91 2 Peter Fitzpatrick (Nsw) 3 Steve Sansonetti (Norhcote) Heat 3 1 Jason Niblett (Horsham) 0.12.07 2 Mitchell Docker (Brunswick) 3 Tommy Nankervis (Carnegie Caulfield) Australian Abalone Exports B Grade Elimination 1 Darren Spiteri (Latrobe City) 5.08.00 2 Charles Howlett (Latrobe City) 3 Reece Van Beek (Geelong West) 4 Michael Maine (Tasmania) Eva's Caulfield Florist Women's Kierin 1 Kylie Howlett (Ararat) 0.13.71 2 Briana James (St Kilda) 3 Nicole Holt (Blackburn) 4 Hannah Bush (Shepparton) Vodafone Kierin Series Final 1 Peter Fitzpatrick (Nsw) 0.12.04 2 Jason Niblett (Horsham) 3 Mitchell Docker (Brunswick) 4 Nic Sanderson (Ararat) Assos B Grade 20 Laps Points Race 1 Laurie Noonan (Brunswick) 11 pts 2 Alexander James (Brunswick) 4 3 Adrian Salter (Footscray) 5 4 Evan Corry (Bendigo) 6 Cyclists International Cup Aces Scratch Race 1 Joel Leonard (Footscray) 7.24.19 2 Tim Decker (Bendigo) 3 Aaron Salisbury (Carnegie Caulfield) 4 Mitchell Docker (Brunswick)
Sid Patterson GP 2004 Todd Wilksch (Horsham Cycling Club) 2003 Darren Young (Tasmania) Scratch Sid Patterson Champion of Champions 2004 Daniel Thorsen (Shepparton Cycling Club) 2003 Darren Young (Tasmania) Scratch