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2006 Australian Senior Track Championships - CN

Adelaide, South Australia, February 6-11, 2006

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Day 5 - February 10: Men U19 keirin, Men team sprint, Women U19 keirin, Women 25km points, Men 15km scratch

Points race gold for Bates - Australian road champion completes track double

By John Michael Flynn in Adelaide

Australian Road Race Champion, Australian Scratch Race Champion and now Australian Points Race Champion, and all in the space of a month!

Kate Bates salutes
Photo ©: John Flynn
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As Katherine Bates runs out of coat hangers in her eclectic and rapidly expanding wardrobe of green and gold striped jerseys, her rivals must be starting to wonder what they can do to keep up in the fashion stakes. The answer will surely be to get a whole lot faster and a whole lot stronger, as Bates looked a cut above her opponents in tonight's 25 kilometre points race at the Australian Track Cycling Championships.

The New South Wales cyclist set herself the objective of winning the scratch race-points race double at the Adelaide Superdrome and there was never any stage during the event when that result appeared in doubt.

In similar circumstances to her scratch race victory, Bates waited patiently during the early stages of the points event, then pounced with 68 laps remaining, taking another four riders with her as she lapped the field. In the process, the National Road Champion was able to procure a sizeable points advantage, and with a couple of sprints remaining in the 25 kilometre race, the gold medal was already decided.

"The points race was really important to me," Bates told Cyclingnews. "It's an event that I've been consistent in, but never on the top step. I've had a lot of frustrations in it, for me it's the carrot that's dangling on the stick."

Alexis Rhodes (SA)
Photo ©: John Flynn
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With the Commonwealth Games looming, Bates made it her mission to win the points race in emphatic style. Fortunately, her fellow competitors ensured Kate would at least get a decent workout, with Alexis Rhodes and Anouska Edwards, among others, giving it their best.

"For me its not enough to just win by winning the sprints, I think that's a soft way to win a bike race," Bates commented on her style. "Not only can you get victories but it makes you better for the future ones."

Bates also reserved special praise for South Australian Alexis Rhodes, who picked up her second bronze medal for the championships.

"Alex rode absolutely amazingly tonight," Bates said "She's really strong, she pretty much made the race, without her it would have been pretty boring."

'Grunter' grabs gold for Queensland in scratch race

Grant Irwin (QLD)
Photo ©: John Flynn
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In what could only be described as a 'major upset' unheralded Queenslander Grant Irwin scored the biggest win of his cycling career in the 15 kilometre men's scratch race at the Australian Track Cycling Championships. Irwin was part of a three man breakaway (also containing Tasmanian Nathan Clarke and Victorian Michael Ford) which established a one lap gap on the field in the early minutes of the race.

The Rockhampton cyclist, who earlier in the night had guided Queensland to a silver medal in the team sprint, once again showed off his turn of speed in the finishing straight. "Yeah, awesome eh? Chasing that for a while, it's come off, awesome," an elated Irwin said in his northern drawl accent.

The rider who goes by the nick-name of 'grunter' was definitely not short of a word. "Felt good at the start, the objective was to work for Ashley (Hutchinson), so a move went, so I covered. And yeah, there were three of us away, I just felt awesome eh and I just tacked on."

It was a credit to the emerging Queensland talent that he came home at the pointy end of a world class field, one containing the likes of Ben Kersten, Peter Dawson and his teammate Ashley Hutchinson. The latter could easily have entertained thoughts of bridging across to the breakaway group, but with the risk of dragging other riders across, decided to stay with the main bunch. His role, in the end, providing much needed advice for the younger Irwin.

"About five to go when the Viccies went, he said 'go with that, go with that,'" Irwin revealed.

The Rockhampton Cycling Club product, who has spent the past three years developing his talents under the watchful eye of coach Ken Tucker, had plenty of people to thank for his breakthrough win. None the least, the family of his close friend and Queensland teammate Miles Olman.

"Oh everyone, Q.A.S, James Victor's helped me out, he's given me a big hand this year," Irwin said. "I'd like to thank Ken Tucker, he's helped me through the years, I've wanted this title for a while and also the Olman family for putting me up in Rocky."

Gold...Gold...Gold for Kersten

Ben Kersten (NSW)
Photo ©: John Flynn
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He may be looking to a future in track endurance, but New South Wales kilo specialist Ben Kersten again showed his superior sharpness as the New South Wales team rocketed to victory in the team sprint. Matched up against Queensland in the final, it was always going to be anyone's race and the team of Kersten, Shaun Hopkins and Sean Dwight made the most of the opportunity.

Perhaps it was the workout (or working over) he received from the Queenslanders in the previous night's tandem event which inspired Hopkins in the team sprint. Whatever it was, the New South Wales team was on song.

"It's probably one of the top ones that we've had for this year," Hopkins said of the gold medal effort. "I've been busy racing the tandems for the last six months so it's good to get together with a great group of guys here.

Kersten had little time to celebrate the win as he prepared for the scratch race. The lengthy and highly successful National Championships campaign, leaving him tired and weighed down with three gold medals.

"Harder than I would have liked, I'm getting a bit weaker and weaker every day now and Shaun did a great ride," Kersten told Cyclingnews. "I wasn't going to draw too much out of the bank, but when we were going for gold I had no choice."

Ellis edges out Sunderland in keirin

Daniel Ellis wins
Photo ©: John Flynn
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The Under 19 men's keirin event saw the continuation of a long term rivalry between two of Australia's best young sprint talents in Scott Sunderland and Daniel Ellis. Sunderland, who has enjoyed a decorated national championships campaign, went into the final a clear favourite, but strong heat rides from Ellis and Queenslander Byron Davis suggested the Western Australian might not get things all his own way.

For Ellis it was a case of believing in his own ability. When Sunderland cranked up the pace with a lap to go, the ACT cyclist hung in and waited for his moment. "Oh it was awesome, it was great fun, I love keirins," Ellis said after winning gold. "I told myself I'm faster than everybody else, I just yelled in that back straight and wanted to get my bike in front of everybody else."

Non-sprinter wins under 19 women's keirin

Tess Downing winds it up
Photo ©: John Flynn
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Victorian Tess Downing might consider herself a 'non-sprinter' but her coach John Beasley may have an entirely different view after his young charge stormed home to win the under 19 women's keirin at the Australian Track Cycling Championships. Downing, who picked up gold in last night's under 19 scratch race (in a sprint finish), overcame a bad dose of pre-race nerves, to take the race in a lunge on the line.

"Very happy with this one, I'm not a sprinter so I just wanted to have a go," Downing said of her win. I've never been that nervous in my life."

The result came after some words of encouragement from her coach. "He (Beasley) keeps telling me I've got really good speed and that just motivates me," Downing revealed. "He just told me to relax tonight."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by John Flynn/Cyclingnews.com

Images by John Veage

Images by John Flynn/Cyclingnews.com


M19 Keirin
Round 1
Heat 1

1 Scott Sunderland (WA)       11.340
2 Alexander Smyth (Vic)               
3 Daniel Ellis (ACT)                  
4 Lachlan Plane (Qld)                 
5 Jack Rhodes (SA)                    
DSQ Nicholas Spratt (NSW)             
Heat 2

1 Byron Davis (Qld)           11.480
2 Patrick Bolan (NSW)               
3 Jason Holloway (WA)               
4 Akito Sekine (JPN)                
5 Abe Macdonald (Vic)               
6 Matt King (NT)                    
Fell: Mark Glowacki (SA)             
Heat 3

1 Takahiro Matsukawa (JPN)    11.710
2 Leigh Howard (Vic)                
3 Jeremy Hogg (Qld)                 
4 Oliver Saare (WA)                 
5 David Trott (NT)                  
6 Jeff Hopkins (NSW)               
Round 2
1 Daniel Ellis (ACT)          11.355
2 Leigh Howard (Vic)                
3 Alexander Smyth (Vic)             
4 Patrick Bolan (NSW)               
5 Jeremy Hogg (Qld)                 
6 Jason Holloway (WA)


1 Daniel Ellis (ACT)          11.065
2 Byron Davis (Qld)             
3 Scott Sunderland (WA)         
4 Takahiro Matsukawa (Jpn)      
5 Alexander Smyth (Vic)         
6 Leigh Howard (Vic)     

W19 Keirin


1 Tess Downing (Vic)          12.865
2 Josephine Butler (WA)           
3 Kaarle Mcculloch (NSW)          
4 Samsiah Rice (WA)               
5 Jessica Hume (NSW)              
6 Josephine Tomic (WA)            
7 Kira Mason (SA)                 
Men Team Sprint
1 Christian Stahl (USA)       46.687 (57.83 km/h)
  Michael Blatchford                 
  Ben Barczewski                     
2 Mohd Rizal Tisin (Mas)      47.830
  Junaidi Mohd Nasir                 
  Josiah Ng Onn Lam                  
3 William Draffen (Qld)       48.003
  Grant Irwin                        
  Benjamin Simonelli                 
4 Sean Dwight (NSW)           48.172
  Shaun Hopkins                      
  Ben Kersten                        
5 Richard England (Vic)       48.418
  Joel Leonard                       
  Shane Perkins                      
6 Alex Bird (ACT)             48.538
  Gary Ryan                          
  Kial Stewart                       
7 David Miller (SA)           50.442
  Daniel Robb                        
  Jordan Roberts                     
For gold and silver
1 Sean Dwight (NSW)           47.504 (56.84 km/h)
  Shaun Hopkins                      
  Ben Kersten                        
2 William Draffen (Qld)       47.751
  Grant Irwin                        
  Benjamin Simonelli                 
For bronze
3 Richard England (Vic)       48.127 (56.10 km/h)
  Joel Leonard                       
  Shane Perkins                      
4 Alex Bird (ACT)             48.347
  Gary Ryan                            
  Kial Stewart                         
Women 25km Points Race
1 Katherine Bates (NSW)           52 pts
2 Amanda Spratt (NSW)             38
3 Alexis Rhodes (SA)              31
4 Uracca Leow Huay Sim (Mas)      25
5 Leeanne Manderson (WA)          24
6 Anouska Edwards (Qld)           24
7 Belinda Goss (Tas)              11
8 Noor Azian Alias (Mas)           7
9 Skye-Lee Armstrong (NSW)         7
10 Liz Young (Qld)                 5
11 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (ACT)        2
12 Jessica Berry (Vic)             2
13 Kerry Cohen (WA)                1
DNF Rahna Demarte (Vic)           
Men 15km Scratch Race
1 Grant Irwin (Qld)          17.57
2 Michael Ford (Vic)              
3 Nathan Clarke (Tas)             
4 Darren Young (Tas)              
5 Zakkari Dempster (Vic)          
6 Ashley Hutchinson (Qld)             
7 Richard England (Vic)               
8 Peter Dawson (WA)                   
9 Stephen Fitzpatrick (NSW)           
10 Kyle Bateson (Qld)                 
11 Ben Kersten (NSW)                  
12 Stephen Rossendell (Tas)           
13 Yoshii Koji (JPN)                  
DNF Brenden Savage (ACT)              
DNF Joel Stewart (ACT)                
DNF Gavin Bates (NSW)                 
DNF Sean Hennessy (SA)                
DNF Daniel Robb (SA)                  
DNF Amirrudin Jamaludin (Mas)         
DNF Fairoz Izni Abd Ghani (Mas)       

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