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Oceania Cycling Championships - IM
ILT Velodrome, Invercargill, New Zealand, November 14-17, 2007
Race 1 - November 14:
Roulston, Henderson crash to victory
By Nathan Burdon, The Southland Times
The experience of Hayden Roulston and Greg Henderson shone through as the New Zealanders took out the feature madison race, despite a crash at the halfway point, to set the tone for this week's 2008 Oceania Cycling Championships at the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill.
Roulston and Henderson won silver in the event at the 2003 world championships and were sixth at the Athens Olympic Games the following year. With Beijing Olympic Games qualification points riding on the race, there was plenty for the seven-strong field to scrap over.
Henderson and Roulston put on the early pressure, jumping out to an early lead over the crack Australian pairing of dual junior world champion brothers, Cameron and Travis Meyer.
New Zealand fielded three teams, with Westley Gough and Tim Gudsell and Jason Allen and Sam Bewley, while Australia also had a junior team and there were entries from Otago (Joe and Anthony Chapman) and Mid South Canterbury (Shane Archbold and James Fairweather).
Just before the halfway mark the race was marred by a crash in the finishing straight which saw New Zealand riders Roulston and Gough both go down heavily. Both riders were able to get back into the race before the Meyer brothers were really able to make the most of the opportunity and Roulston was able to catch back up with the leaders and take out the next sprint to the crowd's delight.
Going into the final 20 laps, the leading New Zealand team had a five point lead over the Meyer brothers and the win was made safe when Roulston hared away to take the final sprint. The Meyer brothers were second with Gough and Gudsell third.
The three-day track competition proper begins tomorrow with two sessions daily beginning at 10am and 6pm. The action will include sprint qualifying for the women and the first events in the elite men's omnium.
Tomorrow evening's racing includes Invercargill's Eddie Dawkins, the New Zealand record holder, lining up against reigning Oceania champion Scott Sunderland, of Australia, in the 1000m time trial. Dawkins has recently returned from training in Switzerland and will ride the 1000m race, and the team sprint later in the championships.
The racing will conclude with the elite women's 20 km points race.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Barry Harcourt/www.southlandtimes.co.nz
Elite men 40 km madison 1 New Zealand 1 35 pts Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) Greg Henderson (New Zealand) 2 Australia Senior 28 pts Travis Meyer (Australia) Cameron Meyer (Australia) 3 New Zealand 2 6 pts Westley Gough (New Zealand) Tim Gudsell (New Zealand) 4 New Zealand 3 8 pts Jason Allan (New Zealand) Sam Bewley (New Zealand) 5 Otago 8 pts Anthony Chapman (New Zealand) Joe Chapman (New Zealand) 6 Mid South Canterbury Shane Archbold (New Zealand) James Fairweather (New Zealand) 7 Australia Junior 3 pts Peter Johnstone (Australia) Jamie Crass (Australia)