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2002 Australian National Track Cycling Championships

Dunc Gray Velodrome, Australia, April 17 - 21, 2002

Men's Sprint    Women's Individual Pursuit    Men's Teams Pursuit     Women's 10km Scratch

Day 3: Gilmore takes scratch title easily; dead heat for second

By Karen Forman

Photo: © DCV
Click for larger image

IT was the classic bunch sprint seen too often in women's scratch races, but there was nothing ordinary about NSW rider Rochelle Gilmore's winning ride.

Gilmore won the women's 10km scratch race at the 2002 Australian national track championships on Sydney's Olympic Dunc Gray velodrome this week with a superb sprint from second wheel that left no questions unanswered about which female Australian rider has the quickest, the smoothest and the most powerful sprint.

The question left unanswered is why didn't any of her opponents, who must surely by now be familiar with her unfailing ability to win bunch sprints (hark back to the Australian crit championship in Geelong, as just one example) try to do something - like an attack, perhaps?

Maybe they all thought the Australian title was a foregone conclusion for speedy Gilmore, who had team-mates racing for her win. Katie Brown (NSW) stayed on the front of the bunch, keeping the pace high for the last six laps, with Gilmore sitting patiently in third wheel. With no attacks forthcoming, the race was handed to Gilmore on a plate.

Pace for most of the event was set by the likes of Canberra rider Rebecca Ellis, Irish visitor Sarah White, NSW riders Brown, Gilmore and Toireasa Ryan, Queenslander Sasha Harvey and Tasmanian, Emily Williams, who swapped turns smoothly and kept the cadence high.

Gilmore was placed by her team-mates into the perfect position for her trademark sprint from second wheel. She made her move as she usually does - as the field rounded the final turn, and was never in doubt for the winner's jersey as she crossed the line clearly ahead of the rest of the field.

The real interest for the evening was second-place, with two Westerna Australian riders, Kerry Cohen and Leeanne Manderson crossing in a dead heat and both were awarded second place. It appeared the WA riders had decided a fight for silver was a safer bet than actually challenging Gilmorefor the gold.

Gilmore joins previous 10k scratch race winners Sandra Smith, Karen Barrow, Lyndelle Higginson and Kerrie Meares.

Photography courtesy Tom Balks

  • Dead heat - as close at it gets in the Women's 10km Scratch race
  • Rochelle Gilmore - cruises across the line to win the Women's 10km Scratch
  • Sitting in - Gilmore in the field during the 10km Scratch
  • WA riders encircle - the favourite during the Women's 10km scratch

Full Results