|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
2006 Australian Senior Track Championships - CN
Adelaide, South Australia, February 6-11, 2006
Day 6 - February 11: Women keirin, Men keirin, Men U19 team sprint, Women U19 20km points, Men U19 30km Madison, Men 40km points
Crashes and controversy in thrilling national championship finale
By John Michael Flynn at the Adelaide Superdome
As trips to the track rate it had just about everything; controversy, crashes and a couple of fairy tale endings. Such was the dramatic conclusion to the final night of racing at the 2006 Australian Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide.
Billed as an important lead-up event to the Commonwealth Games, the final race programme featured several class performances from Australian team members and few were more impressive the Kerrie Meares' ride in the keirin. But it was controversy and high drama which reigned supreme at the Adelaide Superdrome and it largely centred on an action packed men's keirin event.
The men's keirin
The first major incident of the night occurred in the second round of the men's keirin when the ACT's gun sprinter Kial Stewart suffered a heavy fall, which also took out American rider Ben Barczewski. Stewart hit the deck hard, and remained where he fell for the next half hour before being transported to hospital by ambulance with a suspected shoulder fracture. Commissaries placed the blame for the incident squarely on the shoulders of Victorian sprinter Joel Leonard who was subsequently disqualified, with the Victorian team coach offering no excuses. "It was a racing incident - one of those things with a lot of adrenaline out there," Victorian coach John Beazley told Cyclingnews. "One of those 'blood rush' sort of moments; it looks on the video footage that he [Leonard] crowded the American and didn't give him any track."
The controversy flowed over into the final of the men's keirin.
On the track Ben Kersten produced yet another impressive sprint to rocket home ahead of his rivals and the New South Wales cyclist looked to have his fourth gold medal for the championships safely secured. But commissaries had other ideas, and subsequently disqualified both Kersten and Victorian Shane Perkins for an incident early in the race when it was claimed the aforementioned riders tried to force the ACT's Alex Bird off the track.
"Just confused really, we didn't know for about ten minutes why [they were disqualified], because we both rode a clean race," Kersten said of the disqualification. Kersten's appeal of the disqualification was upheld and his fourth gold medal for the National Championships re-instated. It was a fine all-round effort from the Commonwealth Games track team member, who is hitting form at the right time. "It's alright for a down phase in my Comm. Games preparation," said Kersten. "It's pretty confidence boosting, but it's just been a heavy workload."
Kerrie wins women's keirin
In a performance which could spell danger for her Commonwealth Games rivals, including sister Anna, Rockhampton's Kerrie Meares showed her turn of speed is nearing its best once again, by winning the women's keirin at the Australian Track Cycling Championships.
Meares had to do it the hard way, recording a mediocre heat result, before qualifying for the final via the repechage. Once there, the elder of the Meares sisters displayed perfect execution, hitching a ride on younger sister Anna's wheel on the bell lap, then storming home in the finishing straight with a perfectly timed kick. "That's the thing with keirins; you can't go out there with a plan, you just have to go out there with an idea and see if it works," Kerrie said of her race tactics. "It's a very stressful event for me and I'm glad that I won."
Meares has another tough week of hard training in front of her before tapering for the Melbourne Games. The national's coming amid a a solid block of strength training. "My legs were still hurting from the sprint last night," Meares admitted. "After that race it was probably a good thing I went through the repechage's because I felt like a million dollars afterwards - I was warmed up and ready for the final."
Western Australians win under 19 sprint
Continuing to build on their impressive medal haul, the under 19 men's sprint team of Jason Holloway, Duane Johansen and Scott Sunderland continued the gold rush for Western Australia on the final night of the national championships. Matched up against Queensland in the final, the WA boys were expecting a strong challenge from the team of Byron Davis, Jeremy Hogg and Lachlan Plane and they weren't let down.
With Sunderland riding second, it took one almighty effort from Duane Johansen to bring the race home for Western Australia on the final leg. The under 19 teams pursuit gold medalist managing to just edge out Queensland's Jeremy Hogg by a few fractions of a second. "It's awesome, the team was great," Sunderland said after the finish. "Jason [Holloway] had an awesome start, then also Duane [Johansen]; he was versing the guy that was our third wheel at junior worlds [Jeremy Hogg], and didn't put a foot wrong," he continued.
And the Madison too!
Proving beyond any doubt that their state is home to the best junior track cyclists in the country, Western Australia then unleashed its team of Travis and Cameron Meyer in the under 19 men's Madison. Following their record breaking efforts in the pursuit, the Meyer brothers used their endurance skills to great effect, knowing they had to keep the tempo high against a Victorian team featuring lightning quick sprinter Leigh Howard.
It was another race packed with incidents, including a crash which briefly took out Travis Meyer. But the incredibly talented pair managed to hold themselves together, mirroring their efforts from earlier in the week. "That was absolutely brilliant, it was tough the whole way through," Travis Meyer admitted to Cyclingnews. "We kept going at em, we did our changes perfectly so we could attack them after the sprints. I just hung on; Cam was motoring again tonight like he has the whole week."
Cameron (18) and Travis (16) are both looking towards a future in road cycling, with their efforts on the track this week, in particular those of elder brother Cameron, exceeding all expectations. "Never thought I'd win four gold medals and a silver and an Australian championship record," he admitted, before adding, "It's unbelievable - I just never dreamed of it coming true, it's really awesome."
Downing wins champion of champions
It took a lot of determination, but Victorian under 19 Tess Downing proved a worthy recipient of the Champion of Champions trophy at the Australian Track Cycling Championships. As if her achievements throughout the week weren't already enough, Downing's effort in picking herself back up after a nasty crash in the women's points race then going on to win it, proved the talented young Victorian's mettle.
Downing was one of several riders to take a tumble on the banking coming out of turn one of the Adelaide Superdrome. At first it appeared that may be the end of her national championships campaign, but a teary Downing climbed back in the saddle and powered on to the finish.
Olman makes dream return
Twelve months ago, Rockhampton Cyclist Miles Olman was lounging at home, wondering if he would ever return to the sport which brought him three world championships as a junior. Tonight Olman's questions were finally answered when the Queenslander rode brilliantly to claim the senior points race title in the final event at the National Track Cycling Championships.
Organisers could not have scripted a better finish to the six day carnival of racing than to see one of Australia's most promising young cycling talents re-emerging on the national and soon-to-be international stage. Olman's ride in the points race was first class, pushed all the way by Victorians Richard England and Sean Finning, who deserved an equal share of the credit in making the event a spectacle.
"Oh mate, that's absolutely unreal," Olman said as the championships wound to a close. "I didn't know where I was at because I hadn't done any track racing, just done a bit of road because of my health in the past twelve months. "To come out and do that it's unbelievable, one of my best rides, I think up there with the junior world titles."
Olman is still on the comeback trail from a virus related heart ailment which almost destroyed his cycling career. The prodigiously talented Rockhampton cyclist revealed how tough things became as he awaited doctor's approval for a return to racing. "Mid last year I was sitting at home doing absolutely nothing," Olman recalled. "I had guys I was racing tonight overseas tearing themselves apart going to the next level and I was sitting at home doing nothing, it was pretty hard for the head."
"I have to thank the A.I.S., they've stuck by me, just given me every opportunity."
Promising signs for Commonwealth Games
Overall, Australia's National Track Coach Martin Barras believes the situation is looking 'satisfactory' heading into the Commonwealth Games, and two athletes in particular stand out as near certainties for gold medals. "Mactier [Katie] I think is a standout ," said Barras. "Kate Bates would be right next to it - after that everything else we're going to have to fight for." Barras was also impressed with the performances of the Meares sisters, and is confident Australia's track endurance riders will lift to another level once their current heavy training phase comes to an end.
While Australia's teams pursuit riders didn't exactly stand out at the National Championships, Barras believes their performances will lift significantly. "We've got good depth, we've got good riders, quite a few riders that we've been preparing and training for quite a few years to take over from the big names," Barras said. "But we're also meeting the very stiffest opposition in the world when we go to the Commonwealth Games. The Brits are coming with their very best their strongest team, with the exception of Wiggins, so we need to be good, we need to be ready just to be a close match."
The concern at this point is Australia's stocks in the men's sprints, with concerns still over Shane Kelly (who didn't race at the National Championships) and Ryan Bayley, who is yet to find anywhere near top form. "He's got a lot of refining to do in terms of his preparation and he knows that and he understands that," Barras said. "What I was saying about the men's sprint applies to him specifically; there's a lot of work that needs to be done between now and the Games."
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
Images by John Veage
Round 1 Heat 1 1 Anna Meares (QLD) 12.316 2 Rahna Demarte (VIC) 3 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (ACT) 4 Kerry Cohen (WA) 5 Kate Scott (SA) Heat 2 1 Elizabeth Georgouras (NSW) 12.399 2 Kerrie Meares (QLD) 3 Sophie Cape (WA) 4 Jessica Berry (VIC) 5 Jennifer Loutit (ACT) Heat 3 1 Jennie Reed (USA) 12.316 2 Kristine Bayley (WA) 3 Skye-Lee Armstrong (NSW) 4 Chloe Macpherson (QLD) 5 Laura McCaughey (TAS) Round 2 1 Kerrie Meares (QLD) 12.139 2 Kristine Bayley (WA) 3 Rahna Demarte (VIC) 4 Skye-Lee Armstrong (NSW) 5 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (ACT) 6 Sophie Cape (WA)
Final 1 Kerrie Meares (QLD) 12.559 2 Anna Meares (QLD) 3 Jennie Reed (USA) 4 Kristine Bayley (WA) 5 Rahna Demarte (VIC) 6 Elizabeth Georgouras (NSW)
Round 1 Heat 1 1 Ben Kersten (NSW) 11.383 2 Ben Barczewski (USA) 3 Alex Bird (ACT) 4 William Draffen (QLD) 5 Jordan Roberts (SA) 6 Stuart Warren (NT) Heat 2 1 Ryan Bayley (WA) 11.082 2 Josiah Ng Onn Lam (MAS) 3 Shane Perkins (VIC) 4 Benjamin Simonelli (QLD) 5 Gary Ryan (ACT) 6 Daniel Robb (SA) Heat 3 1 Giddeon Massie (USA) 11.383 2 Joel Leonard (VIC) 3 Kial Stewart (ACT) 4 Fairoz Izni Abd Ghani (MAS) 5 David Miller (SA) Round 2 1 Josiah Ng Onn Lam (MAS) 11.722 3 Shane Perkins (VIC) 4 Alex Bird (ACT) DSQ Joel Leonard (VIC) DNF Kial Stewart (ACT) DNF Ben Barczewski (USA)
Final 1 Ben Kersten (NSW) 11.090 2 Shane Perkins (VIC) 3 Josiah Ng Onn Lam (Mas) 4 Ryan Bayley (WA) 5 Giddeon Massie (USA) 6 Alex Bird (ACT)
Men U19 team sprint
Qualifying 1 Jason Holloway (WA) 47.7 Duane Johansen Scott Sunderland 2 Byron Davis (QLD) 48.3 Jeremy Hogg Lachlan Plane 3 Patrick Bolan (NSW) 48.8 Geoff Hopkins Nicholas Spratt 4 Hayato Iizuka (JPN) 49.6 Akito Sekine Takahiro Matsukawa 5 Jack Bobridge (SA) 49.8 Mark Glowacki Jack Rhodes 6 James Langedyk (VIC) 50.8 Abe Macdonald Anthony Rix Final Final for 1st and 2nd 1 Jason Holloway (WA) 47.502 (56.84 km/h) Duane Johansen Scott Sunderland 2 Byron Davis (QLD) 47.834 Jeremy Hogg Lachlan Plane Final for 3rd and 4th 3 Patrick Bolan (NSW) 48.51 (55.66 km/h) Geoff Hopkins Nicholas Spratt 4 Jack Bobridge (SA) 49.57 Mark Glowacki Jack Rhodes
Women U19 points race
1 Tess Downing (VIC) 23 pts 2 Josephine Tomic (WA) 19 3 Courtney Le Lay (QLD) 15 4 Peta Mullens (VIC) 11 5 Jessica Hume (NSW) 9 6 Grace Sulzberger (TAS) 5 7 Carlee Taylor (SA) 1 8 Tiffany Cromwell (SA) 9 Therese Rhodes (SA) 10 Laura Meisel-Dennis (ACT) 11 Kylie Hansen (WA) 12 Rebecca Macpherson (WA) -20 DNF Loren Rowney (QLD) DNF Kira Mason (SA) DNF Josephine Butler (WA)
Men U19 30km Madison
1 Cameron Meyer (WA) 21 pts Travis Meyer 2 Leigh Howard (VIC) 17 pts Alexander Smyth 3 Jack Bobridge (SA) 11 pts Travis Frisby 4 Duane Johansen (WA) 6 pts Douglas Repacholi 5 Angus Morton (NSW) 3 pts Dale Scarfe 6 Justin Tomlinson (NSW) 2 pts Blair Windsor 7 William Ford (VIC) 1 James Langedyk 1 lap down 8 Joshua Edwards (QLD) 5 pts Hayden Josefski 9 Jeremy Hogg (QLD) Joel Lewis DNF Reuben Meneaud-Young (SA) Christos Winter DNF Thomas Robinson (TAS) Aaron Jones
Men 40km points race
1 Miles Olman (QLD) 42 pts (48.39) 2 Richard England (VIC) 36 3 Sean Finning (VIC) 23 4 Yoshii Koji (Jpn) 4 5 Nathan Clarke (TAS) 2 6 Robert Lyte (NSW) 1 7 Zakkari Dempster (VIC) -2 8 Peter Dawson (WA) -3 DNF Brenden Savage (ACT) DNF Joel Stewart (ACT) DNF Gavin Bates (NSW) DNF Stephen Fitzpatrick (NSW) DNF Ashley Hutchinson (QLD) DNF Grant Irwin (QLD) DNF Russell Gill (SA) DNF Sean Hennessy (SA) DNF Matthew Goss (TAS) DNF Darren Young (TAS) DNF Amirrudin Jamaludin (Mas) DNF Fairoz Izni Abd Ghani (Mas)