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Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals

Tasmania, December 26, 2003 - January 4, 2004

Devonport Carnival, December 29-30 - Day 2

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Former junior world champ Jamieson lands the big one at Devonport

By John Stevenson in Devonport

Mark Jamieson celebrates
Photo ©: Shane Goss

Former junior world champion on the track Mark Jamieson joined the elite ranks of the scratchmen in Devonport this evening when he won the $8,000 Matthews Constructions Devonport Wheelrace over 6,000m in the second evening of racing in the Devonport carnival.

Riding from the 60m mark, Jamieson was part of a powerful coalition of middle-markers that made it hard for the scratchmen to make contact, despite the largest and most powerful scratch group we've seen so far at these carnivals.

Working with Latrobe Wheelrace winner Bradley Payne among others, Jamieson's group controlled the final stages of the race, and as Payne and scratchman Graeme Brown made their charges in the final 200m, Jamieson incredibly found an extra gear and pulled away from them in a final surge that had the crowd on its feet and cheering wildly for a local victory.

The scratch group of Darren Young, Jame Carney, Wouter Van Mechlen, Peter Dawson and Graeme Brown went out hard in pursuit of the front markers. Brown was hungry for the big win that has so far eluded him in these carnivals and the scratchies were clearly working together to get up the front. With a lap to go the scratch group survivor Brown made contact after a massive effort and after dangling just off the back of the lead group for an entire lap.

An awesome scratch line-up for the wheelrace
Photo ©: Shane Goss
Wheelrace action
Photo ©: Shane Goss
Jamo does the media thing.
Photo ©: Shane Goss

The race was now down to Brown, Jamieson and Bradley Payne as Payne led into the last half lap and as both Brown and Jamieson started the final surge, the young Tasmanian pulled away from the reigning world team pursuit champion.

"It's the best win of my life," said Jamieson. "Home crowd! I know everyone in the crowd, I've got my dad down the back straight, my uncle's in the front straight, my mum and the rest of my family down there as well, it's unbelievable!"

As has been the case so many times in the last few days, the appearance of a rapidly-approaching Graeme Brown was the inspiration Jamieson needed to get him moving in the finals. "I got on the back [straight] and saw Brownie was there and though 'this guy's going, I've gotta get round him' and when I went it was awesome, I was floating." Jamieson made the surge away from Brown and Payne look effortless and even had time to raise his hands in victory as he crossed the line.

Jamieson is from the Tasmanian 'town' of Nook ('town' being fewer than a dozen or so houses), close to Devonport, so this was a particularly sweet home-town victory. "Devonport's always been a favourite of mine because I'm a home-town boy. I've got a local bike shop Noel Van Bever looking after me this year, I've got the TIS {Tasmanian Institute of Sport] who work out down here a fair bit. It's good to win at home."

Jamieson has been faster every day of this week, and knew his form was improving coming into Devonport. "I always get better as the week goes on. As my dad always says, you do the road kilometres coming in [to the carnivals] and you keep getting better all week." [Jamieson's father Kevin was a useful track racer in his day, winning several major events.]

As at Launceston two nights ago when a vocal crowd practically shouted Matt Goss across the line, Jamieson acknowledged the support of the packed grandstand at Devonport. "I could hear 'Go Jamo!' all the way around. It just motivates you more and more every time you hear your name."

Second-placed Bradley Payne has been one of the revelations of the carnivals. The Australian junior criterium champion was very happy with second, although the handicapper will make him work all the harder for subsequent successes. "It wouldn't surprise me if I'm riding off scratch at Burnie, but I've won my money and gained some unbelievable experience, so I'll go home very happy," said Payne, who will actually find himself with a 15m per thousand handicap at Burnie.

After a fast start, Payne had no answer when Jamieson came round him in the finale. "I got stuck on the front just before the back straight and had to go from a long way out. I tried to hang on for as long as I could but Mark just got over me. It was a very well deserved win for him."

Brown lands A grade scratch

Graeme Brown
Photo ©: Shane Goss

The night's final major race, the A Grade scratch, followed immediately from the wheelrace, and ended in an uncontroversial Carney/Brown showdown. Kristian House started the action in the closing stages with a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to escape.

Bradley Payne was the next to hit out, but he was clearly tired after the wheelrace and then it was the turn of Alan Lancaster to move to the front, taking Brown with him.

At a lap and a half to go Brown appeared to be struggling to hold his lead-out man's wheel, but the duo soon got organized and as they came into the final half-lap, Brown catapulted off Lancaster's wheel. Jame Carney tried to challenge, but Brown was not to be trifled with this time and powered over the line, waving a hand in triumph.

Payne gains in Atkinson Gibson Handicap

Earlier in the day, Bradley Payne's trip down from Queensland to the Tasmanian carnivals gained an extra boost when he took out the evening's first major event, the Atkinson Gibson Handicap. Riding from 70m, a substantial change in his handicap since his first major victory at the Latrobe wheelrace a few days ago, Payne worked with the other middlefielder to hold off the back-markers.

With 200m to go, Payne and Ben Price both kicked and tried to run along the same line round the final bend. After soloing up from the scratch group, Graeme Brown looked like he might just make contact, but in front of him Price and Payne were literally rubbing shoulders as they tore into the finish straight. Payne just edged out Price and the rapidly-closing Brown took third.

"I'm really happy with the win, we worked really hard so the backies couldn't get up," said Payne. "The big tracks suit me, there's no real straights, you just keep turning. It's good, I'm enjoying it."

Next up for Payne is the evening's feature event, the Devonport Wheelrace. "I'm looking forward to it. I've been moved back a bit on my mark, but I'm handling it well so I'll be there hopefully."

Payne played down the clash of shoulders with Ben Price. "It wasn't much, a bit of boxing in and hitting each other. I think it started at Latrobe when we went first and third. I just wanted to win; there's a bit of rivalry there but it's all racing."

Hoy fastest in flying 200m

For BBC Scotland Sports personality of the year Chris Hoy, Australia is a second home. Hoy has based himself in Perth while his native land is in the grip of its grey and dank winter and says he prefers the heat to the cold, "even though I'm from Scotland!" he laughs. "Perth gets to 40 degrees and that gets a bit uncomfortable but it's a dry heat, so it's not so bad."

Hoy set the night's fastest time in the flying 200m competition, recording 11.07s, a quick time for the dry and windy conditions, but well short of Sean Eadie's record here of 10.47, set in humid conditions last year.

The big Scot was in Perth earlier this year when he heard he'd been awarded the BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the year, an honour he modestly describes as "a surprise" as he doesn't think his 2003 was as strong as 2002.


Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com



Matthews Constructions Devonport Wheelrace final, 3000m
1 Mark Jamieson (Aus) (60m)                   3.12.46
2 Bradley Payne (Aus) (105m)                         
3 Jason Johnson (Aus) (195m)                         
4 Graeme Brown (Aus) (scr)                           
5 Miles Olman (Aus) (30m) 
Flying 200m record attempts
1 Chris Hoy (GBr)                              0.11.07
2 Craig Maclean (GBr)                          0.11.14
3 Ross Edgar (GBr)                             0.11.15
4 Roberto Chiappa (Ita)                        0.11.15
5 Grant Irwin (Aus)                            0.11.37
6 Kevin Belz (USA)                             0.11.39
Atkinson Gibson Handicap final
1 Bradley Payne (Aus) (70m)                    2.13.15
2 Ben Price (Aus) (160m)                              
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) (scr)                            
A Grade scratch 
1 Graeme Brown (Aus)                           9.53.61
2 Jame Carney (USA)                                   
3 Darren Young (Aus)                                  
Complete results