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Devonport Christmas Carnival - IM
Devonport, Australia, December 29-30, 2002
Day 1 - December 29
Meares taken out in Devonport scratch race
By Gerard Knapp
The final event on day one of the two-day Devonport Christmas Carnival saw Australia's female track cyclist of the year, Kerrie Meares, suffer a frightening spill at over 50kmh as the field in the C Grade scratch race launched into the bell lap.
As the mixed field which included juniors, women and wily veteran riders sped past the finish line, Meares front wheel was clipped, putting her onto the track and hard up against the steel panelled fencing. The St John's Ambulance medical staff were on hand immediately and officials warned away riders who came sprinting in for the finish of the race as Meares lay motionless only metres past the line.
Initial prognosis was that no bones were broken, although a neck brace was fitted as precautionary measure before she was taken to hospital for further tests.
It was a dramatic end to what had been another day of brilliant performances on the slightly banked, 485 metre concrete track, as the Tasmanian Christmas Carnival series had moved to the outdoor Devonport Oval on Sunday, December 29, for the first of two days of competition.
The Devonport Carnival is organised by the local athletic club and as such, there is an equal program of athletics and cycling (among other activities), creating a solid program of events which requires two days of competition. The highlight for the crowd was seeing young Tasmanian Institute of Sport junior rider Matt Goss taking out the biggest event of the day, the 2000 metre Kym Stoker Memorial - Mersey Wheelrace ahead of Michael Ford and Ryan Johnson, as well as a much more experienced field.
The 16 year-old Goss rode off a handicap of 130 metres and worked with other middlemarkers David Olivery and Laurie Venn to overtakee the frontmarkers and then maintain the pace to hold off scratchmarker Nathan Clarke. The other scratch rider for the evening, Tasmania's Darren Young, put in some strong early turns but eventually dropped off the back of the field.
After the race, Goss said he was "very pleased to win such a big race ... " but was then called away only minutes after winning the event, as he had to contest the B Grade scratch race which followed the wheelrace. This event was taken out by visiting Japanese rider Annorie Koh, from Damien Kierl and Laurie Venn.
The longest cycling event for the evening was the 16km A Grade Scratch Race, and the Devonport crowd was treated to the Matthew Gilmore/Brett Aitken double-act, following on from their win in the Madison coming sat the end of the previous evening's racing at the Launceston Silverdome. The two super track endurance riders controlled the field throughout the race. Aitken attacked with only a handful of laps completed in the 33 lap event, but was pulled back into the main field. Several riders attempted to get away but they were always brought back and the race came down to a torrid final lap.
Mark Jamieson powered the field past the finish line on the bell lap and held them at bay for half a lap, until the field just wound it up even harder. Coming on to the main straight there were six riders stretched across the track throwing for the win, but it was Six Day rider Matt Gilmore who got his wheel just head of Aitken, with Todd Wilksch taking third. The A Grade field set a fast pace from the outset and they covered the 16km race distance in 20.11.93
The drama-filled C Grade scratch race was won by Cameron Wise from David Oliver and Rochelle Gilmore showed her class by taking third in a heavily contested race.
The only event for women competitors on the day - although they did compete in the mixed scratch races and wheelraces - was the 2000 metre Women's Handicap, taken out easily by Rochelle Gilmore ahead of Kerrie Meares and Liz Williams of New Zealand, in 2.38.45.
In an email received by Cyclingnews, Gilmore said "There was only one women's race on the program last night, when we questioned the organisers they told us that there will be no women's racing at the famous Tasmanian Christmas carnivals next year! How disappointing, we (the women) plan to put up some kind of a fight!"
Images by Gerard Knapp/Cyclingnews.com
Kym Smoker Memorial Mersey Wheelrace 1 Matt Goss (130) 2.06.80 2 Michael Ford (90) 3 Ryan Johnson (180) 4 Stephen Pearce (90) 5 Cameron Wise (185) 6 David Oliver (160) Other finalists Scott Callow, Ian Leighton, Rochelle Gilmore, Jason Bellchambers, Brett Lehman, Nathan Kean, Robert Wilson, Daniel Cutting, Nic Sanderson, Darren Young, Nathan Clarke, Brenton Crawley, Andrew Simpson, Laurie Venn, Gareth Atkins, Kouji Yoshii, Todd Wilksch, David Klyne 1000 m Lightning Handicap 1 Damien Keirl (70) 1.06.72 2 Clint Johnson (80) 3 Annorie Koh (65) 4 Laurie Venn (85) Other finalists Damian Ladd, Neil Campbell, Andrew Simpson, Jason Niblett, Matt Goss, Stephen Rossendell, Carlo Barendilla, Jason Johnson, Adam Hartley, Michael Ford, Cameron Wise, Karl Menzies. Women's 2000 m Handicap 1 Rochell Gilmore (scr) 2.38.45 2 Kerrie Meares (scr) 3 Liz Williams (90) 4 Belinda Goss (20) A Grade Scratch, 16,000 m 1 Matthew Gilmore 20.11.93 2 Brett Aitken 3 Todd Wilksch 4 Jame Carney B Grade Scratch 1 Annorie Koh 6.07.47 2 Damien Keirl 3 Laurie Venn 4 Stephen Pearce C Grade Scratch 1 Cameron Wise 6.28.35 2 David Oliver 3 Rochelle Gilmore 4 Clint Johnson D Grade Scratch 1 Michael Johnson 5.06.00 2 Brenton Crawley 3 Brett Lehman 4 Jason Bellchambers E Grade Scratch 1 Nathan Kean 5.20.77 2 Garry Polack 3 Adam Hartley 4 Liz Williams Invitation Match Sprint, Round 1 1 Sean Eadie 12.79 2 Jeff Labauve Invitation Match Sprint, Round 2 1 Jeff Labauve 12.06 2 Sean Eadie Invitation Match Sprint, Round 3 1 Sean Eadie 11.89 2 Jeff Labauve Flying Lap 1 Sean Eadie 29.64 2 Jason Niblett 29.90 3 Neil Campbell 30.15 4 Mark Jamieson 31.41 JUNIORS J1 Devonport Wheelrace 1 Matthew Bonham (50) 2.31.68 2 Ty Winduss (20) 3 Kaiden Homan (90) 4 Jarrod Harman (90) J2 Devonport Wheelrace 1 Clay Murfett (120) 2.40.00 2 Sean Oliver (110) 3 Angela Klyne (160) 4 Ben Laskey (180) J3 Devonport Wheelrace 1 Jason Bounday (115) 1.25.09 2 Jacob Fielding (125) 3 Carissa Ling (195) 4 Jack Stokes (140) J1 1000 m Handicap 1 Josh Myers (20) 1.14.05 2 Adam Davis (30) 3 John Rayner (10) 4 Jarrod Harman (45) J2 1000 m Handicap 1 Carrie Price (115) 1.16.83 2 Sarah Eaves (125) 3 Daniel Jamieson (125) 4 Sean Oliver (55) J3 1000 m Handicap 1 Jacob Fielding (125) 1.24.46 2 Jason Bounday (115) 3 Jake Laskey (105) 4 Peter Loft (75) J1 Scratch 1 Kaiden Homan 4.35.88 2 Adam Davis 3 Josh Myers 4 Cameron Flint J2 Scratch 1 Alex Holden 3.35.94 2 Will Robinson 3 Sean Oliver 4 Aaron Jones J3 Scratch 1 Brenden Sutton 2.16.03 2 Ed Robinson 3 David Lyons 4 Matt Laskey