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Wangaratta Carnival - NE

Wangaratta, Australia, January 28, 2006


Bendigo's Moroni claims Wangaratta Wheel

Kate Cullen strong in Comm Games warmup

By Barry McNaught

The 78th Wangaratta Carnival attracted 93 Senior entries, for racing on Saturday, January 28. The 13 women included Scots Kate Cullen and Katherine Hair. Kate in Commonwealth Games mode, rode exceptionally well. She took the women's scratch race, the points score from her handicap of 0 pts and then the open 1000m handicap, riding off 140m. Todd Wilksch was the scratchmarker. On the front with 200m to ride, and the backmen coming around, Kate held on for a super gutsy win.

In the very hot, humid conditions, the first round of the 2000m Wheelrace heats were contested from 3pm, with the first three riders going through to the final. The five heat winners were Brett Perez (GBr), Kate Cullen (Scotland), Tim Hucker (Bendigo), Jarrod Moroni (Bendigo) and Dean Taylor (Ballarat).

The last senior event of the afternoon session was the elimination and it proved to be just that. With 11 riders remaining, rain intervened and the race was stopped for five minutes. A very warm track surface allowed the resumption. Unfortunately Gary Mueller tangled with another rider in the sprint for the second last elimination and fell. He had qualified for the wheelrace with a third to Moroni, but his bike frame was broken and he had to withdraw. Tim Decker won the race to add to his Friday evening criterium victory.

It rained from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, when athletics and the tea break were scheduled. The D grade scratch race started the evening session on time at 6.30pm, with the second round of heats at 7pm. The first two from each went through, and the winners were: Tom Bastian (Bendigo), Sam Ward (Cobram Barooga), Josh Gundry (Bendigo) and Mark Bergamin (Adelaide).

Scratchman Todd Wilksch qualified third to Dean Taylor and was 6/4 favorite for the final. Amazing, when he had a 70m gap to Bergamin and former winner Aaron Salisbury. 12 riders were to race from marks 110m to 180m, with the winner expected to come from that group.

At the gun, Kate Cullen (280) from limit and local Vaughan Mudge (230), moved out hard, but they were not able to hold the lead for long. The five riders from 200 - 225m caught them just as the favoured bunch came around the outside, full of steam, coming up to get two to go. At the back Wilksch had chased hard, but had to surrender. Both in white, Dean Taylor and Darren King worked like trojans to place the Bendigo trio of Gundry, Ben Rix and Moroni (in the new colours of Decked Out Coaching green), in a favorable position at the bell, on the big 492m track. Gundry and then Rix led along the back before being swamped by Perez and seasoned campaigner Dean Stewart (Northcote).

They were dicing at the front, as they straightened for the drive to the line, trying to hold off tow Bendigo riders in Bastian and Tim Hucker. With just 20m to travel and in front of a roaring crowd in the grandstand, suddenly green emerged! It appeared as though he had been lost in traffic on the turn, but the timing of his sprint was perfect - Jarrod Moroni a convincing winner.

The Sid Patterson Memorial A grade 20 laps (just short of 10km) scratch race was fast. Three secret lap prizes of 410 all went to Bendigo riders - Sean Pontelandolfo, Toby Lennon and Glenn O'Shea. The latter had launched at five to go and was joined with three laps to ride by Ricky Peoples (Shepparton). They were able to hold on with O'Shea winning the coveted sash and trophy presented by George Underwood. Todd Wilksch outsprinted the remaining riders for third. Wilksch had won the Aces Heartstarter and Keirin.

The track focus now turns to the famous Austral Wheelrace, this Saturday night at Vodafone Velodrome Melbourne.


1 Jarrod Moroni (Bendigo)             2.10.35
2 Brett Perez (Gt Brit)
3 Dean Stewart (Northcote)
4 Tim Hucker (Bendigo)
5 Tom Bastian (Bendigo)
6 David Stallan (Albury - Wodonga) 

Final field of 23, including marks and odds

Todd Wilksch 6/4 Fav (Horsham) Scr
Gary Mueller (Brunswick) 35m = Fell late afternoon / Broke Frame so could not start)
Mark Bergamin 6/1 Horsham and Aaron Salisbury 6 (Carnegie - Caulfield) 70m
Josh Gundry 3 (B'go) 110
Dean Taylor 10 (Ballarat) and Darren King 3(C-C) 120
Ben Rix 10 (B'go) and Jarrod Moroni 10 (B'go)
Ewin Williams 12 (Brunswick) 140
Alistair Jack 20 (St Kilda) 150
Dean Stewart 12 (Northcote) 160
Tim Hucker 8 (B'go) 165
Sam Ward 12 (Cobram - Barooga) 170
Brett Perez 6 (Gt Brit) and David Mann 12 (Alb-Wod) 180
David Stallan 8 (Alb-Wod) and David Mannix 12 (B'go) 200
Tom Bastian 12 (B'go) 210
Anthony O'Connor 12 (Cootamundra) 220
Greg Featonby 8 (Lavington Panthers) 225
Vaughan Mudge 12 (Wangaratta) 230
Kate Cullen 6 (Edinburgh Scotland) 280.