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Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals
Tasmania, December 20, 2008 - January 19, 2008
Burnie Carnival - January 1, 2009
By Rod Morris in Burnie, Australia
The loyalty and persistence of emerging West Australian rider Doug Repacholi was rewarded when he won the lucrative Burnie New Year's Day Wheelrace.
Despite the presence of four scratchmen in the 3000m final, Repacholi off the middle mark handicap of 120m, held on for a gutsy win from newly-crowned Mersey Wheel winner, Glen O'Shea (scratch) and defending Burnie Wheelrace champ, Mark Jamieson (scratch).
Repacholi, a member of the WA Cycling Federation's elite squad, has been a regular visitor to the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals in recent years and until now, a major victory had eluded him. His victory in Burnie's showcase event means he became the first West Australian-based rider to win since Ian Campbell in 1967.
Campbell, who also won the time-honoured Latrobe Wheel in 1964, now resides in Launceston, Tasmania, and maintains a keen interest in track cycling.
The scratchmen - O'Shea, Jamieson, Matt Goss and Nathan Clarke - were able to bridge the gap to the main bunch with three laps remaining, and at the bell looked almost certain of claiming victory. But Repacholi was able to dig deep into his steely resolve and find something extra special in the final sprint to the line on the tight egg-shaped West Park track.
"We had a good group in the middle and we knew we would have to work hard to hold the scratchies out," said Repacholi. "We made them work to catch us and then I had the legs to get over them. The wind in the final wasn't as strong as it had been in the heats, so it was probably a good thing for us," he added.
Repacholi said the victory was the biggest win of his career and his race went according to plan, although he explained that, "We had to really keep it humming to keep them at bay." Repacholi qualified for the Latrobe Wheel earlier in these Christmas Carnivals, and at the two-night Devonport Carnival finished third in both of the two 2000m handicap wheelraces. "It's been a bit quiet until now, so this is definitely the highlight of my week and my career," said Repacholi.
In mid-2008, Repacholi raced in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, where he was named rider-of-the-year and in 2007 he was a member of the West Australian 4000m pursuit team - along with Peter Dawson, Benjamin King and Cameron Meyer - which finished with the bronze medal at the Australian Track Championships.
Windy conditions helped the back markers in most of the heats, making it a tough day on the track for any lightly built or inexperienced rider. The final was much the same and it was Aussie international Matt Goss and former Latrobe Wheel champ, Nathan Clarke, who helped Jamieson and O'Shea bridge the gap. O'Shea and Jamieson made their final move on the back straight during the final lap, but Repacholi was able to resist their attack over the closing 200m.
Repacholi justified his Burnie Wheelrace win by coming out later in the carnival program to finish second to Nathan Clarke in the 16,000m A grade scratch race.
The support handicap events at Burnie saw Victorian Adrian Hanson win the 2000m race and former Tasmanian, now Victoria-based, Michael Maine win the lightning over the 1000m sprint distance. In the UCI series, conducted at all of the Christmas Carnivals, Jason Niblett continued his dominance of the sprints, while he also claimed victory in the keirin.
Laura McCaughey, who had suffered a nasty fall at the opening night of the Devonport Carnival returned to the track to win the UCI women's points score, while the women's Burnie Wheel was won by front marker Kayla Salopek (240m) from Briannon Maloney (250m) and Isabella King (170m). Cari Higgins won the A Grade Scratch.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com
Men's 1000m handicap 1 Michael Maine 2 Aaron Cooper 3 Roy Martin 4 Maddisson Hammond Men's 2000m wheelrace 1 Adrian Hanson 2 Jame Carney 3 Will Robinson 4 Andrew Dolan Men's 3000m wheelrace 1 Douglas Repacholi (120m) 2 Glen O’Shea (Scratch) 3 Mark Jamieson (Scratch) 4 Adrian Hanson (75m) Men's A grade scratch race 1 Nathan Clarke 2 Douglas Repacholi 3 Luke Davison Men's B grade scratch race 1 Andrew Dolan 2 Brandon Stewart 3 Will Robinson 4 John Rayner Men's C grade scratch race 1 Aaron Box 2 Aaron Cooper 3 James Joshua Men's D grade scratch race 1 Justin McMullen 2 Michael Maine 3 Steve Martini 4 David Abraham Men's E grade scratch race 1 Jason Bounday 2 Darrel Galpin 3 Nick Morgan 4 Roy Martin Elite men's sprint 1 Jason Niblett 2 Andrew Taylor 3 Joel Leonard 4 Ben Sanders Elite men's keiren 1 Jason Niblett 2 Scott Sunderland 3 Joel Leonard 4 Paul Fellows Elite women's points race 1 Laura McCaughey 14 pts 2 Tess Downing 10 3 Isabella King 9 4 Fatehah Mustapa 6 Elite men's team sprint 1 Australia 2 NSW 3 Malaysia Women's 2000m wheelrace 1 Kayla Salopek 2 Briannon Moloney 3 Isabella King 4 Emma Lawson Women's A grade points race 1 Cari Higgins 2 Tess Downing 3 Laura McCaughey 4 Isabella King Women's A grade scratch 1 Cari Higgins 2 Laura McCaughey 3 Fatehah Mustapa 4 Isabella King Women's B grade points race 1 Janelle Smith 2 Rebecca Werner 3 Kate Depaoli 4 Emma Lawson Women's B grade scratch race 1 Janelle Smith 2 Holly Williams 3 Naomi Pinto 4 Emma Lawson Women's C grade points race 1 Bethany Coleman 2 Keira Hernandez 3 Kayla Salopek 4 Melzy Felthem Women's C grade scratch race 1 Kiera Hernandez 2 Kayla Salopek 3 Monica Bonasera 4 Melzy Felthem