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26th Clarence St Cyclery Cup Wheelrace - NE
Dunc Gray velodrome, Sydney, Australia, February 2, 2008
Rathbone makes it two
By Brad Hooker
There was plenty of speculation coming into this year’s Clarence St Cup as to whether JL Rathbone could pull off the win two years in a row or whether the duo of Glenn O’Shea and Leigh Howard from Victoria would rock the boat. But before the final showdown, all riders had to qualify through scratch heats or vie the Repecharge handicaps.
O’Shea and Howard had a dream ride in their heat; finishing one-two to put them straight into the final. Unfortunately for Rathbone this meant he would have to try his luck through the Repecharge. With questionable fitness, due to a year of injuries, Rathbone had his work cut out for himself but was still able to make it through the Repecharge.
As the gun went off for the start of the main event Howard and O’shea worked together quickly, unfortunately for the duo Rathbone also quickly got together with the young New South Wales riders who were at one stage pulling away from the Victorian Institute of Sport riders. Howard and O’Shea slowly clawed their way forward, picking up the slower riders one by one before spitting them out the back.
The middle bunch of Rathbone, Andrew Taylor, Luke Davison, Alex Carver and Aaron Donnelly formed a great working group, but it still took the group four laps to catch the leading bunch. With no time to spare the middle group started to work around the riders at the rear of the lead bunch, but just 50 metres behind the two lone figures of the VIS riders - busting themselves to catch whomever they could - were closing in. Howard finally left O’Shea behind, chasing the pack down and tacking on to the front group with two laps remaining.
All this time Rathbone was keeping out of the wind, doing as little as possible in behind his team mates. But with two laps to go and 15 riders to pass, everyone started to thinking they were in contention for victory. The NSW riders were slowly working around and coming into the bell Rathbone took a quick look over his shoulder only to discover that Howard was on the bunch and was starting to come around. Rathbone wasted no time in hitting out, taking to the high road to get around the riders ahead.
As they hit the line for the bell the riders were 10 wide across the track - all the way to the fence. This gave Rathbone the launch pad he needed to unleash his speed, however the riders down the bottom of the track had nowhere to go and were being squeezed out as the pushing and shoving started. Luckily everyone kept the rubber on the track.
Despite the troubled year with injury Rathbone swept pass the limit riders in turn three to claim his second consecutive Clarence St Cup win. As Rathbone came across the line he gave the slam-dunk signal to his other place getters - Alex Carver (Lidcombe) in second and Leigh Howard (VIS) in third.
Dunn claims women's Cup
With a strong showing of NSW team riders in the Elite Women’s race the win was always going to be someone in blue. Exactly who that would be, however, was anyone’s guess - with the home state's contingent including Rochelle Gilmore, Skye-Lee Armstrong, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Megan Dunn.
The scratch riders didn’t have time to mess around in the five lap race and quickly caught the outmarkers. But with the road riders - Gilmore and Dunn - pulling good turns, the victory was going to come down to one of these two women. As the riders hit the last lap it was Ankudinoff trying to steal it from the others, but unfortunately for the rider Dunn had tacked on to her wheel with Gilmore on hers.
As they started going down the back straight Dunn strolled around he run around Ankudinoff, but the rider ran a touch high leaving the door open for Gilmore to possibly force her way through. Dunn was able to close the door on Gilmore, forcing the professional to hit the brakes and start again. The disruption to Gilmore’s sprint allowed Dunn a clear run for the line, where she claimed win by half a bike length.
Gilmore claimed second after moving around Ankudinoff, in the process pulling through Armstrong and Davina Summers for the minor places.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Brad Hooker/www.cyclingimagesonline.com
Women Tandem Standing Start 500m Time Trial 1 NSW 2 NZ Womens Warm up Scratch Race 1 Megan Dunn (Dubbo) 2 Sinead Cosgrove (Goulburn) 3 Rochelle Gilmore (Bankstown) Mens Clarence St Cup Qualification Scratch Race Heat 1 1 Glenn O’Shea (Bendigo) 2 Leigh Howard (Geelong) Mens Clarence St Cup Qualification Scratch Race Heat 2 1 Neil Skipper (Tuggeranong) 2 Max Halstvedt (Kooragang) Mens Clarence St Cup Qualification Scratch Race Heat 3 1 Andrew Mclean (Parramatta) 2 Warren Bennett (Lidcombe) Mens Clarence St Cup Qualification Scratch Race Heat 4 1 Simon Niemeyer (Bicisport) 2 Nosh Mistry (St George) Mens Clarence St Cup Qualification Scratch Race Heat 5 1 Kieran Heffernan (Illawarra) 2 Allan Bontjer (Tuggeranong) Women Tandem Sprint Derby Round 1 1 NSW 2 NZ Junior U15 & U17 Miss ‘n’ Out 1 Jackson Law (Illawarra) 2 Thomas Regan (Wagga Wagga) 3 Jack Bennett (Lidcombe) Mens Invitation Keirin Heat 1 1 Richard Lang (Lidcombe) 2 Luke Davison (Sydney) 3 Dale Scarfe (Central Coast) Mens Invitation Keirin Heat 2 1 Leigh Howard (Geelong) 2 Paul Fellows (Wagga Wagge) 2 Jason Roberts (ADF) Mens Invitation Keirin Heat 3 1 Andrew Taylor (Dubbo) 2 Glenn O’Shea (VIS) 3 Alex Carver (Lidcombe) Women Tandem Sprint Derby Round 2 1 NSW 2 NZ Clarence St Cyclery Cup Wheelrace Repecharge Heat 1 1 JL Rathbone (Penrith) 2 Michael Popplewell (Bicisport) 3 Luke Davison (Sydney) 4 Peter Barnard (Bicisport) Clarence St Cyclery Cup Wheelrace Repecharge Heat 2 1 Keith Oliver (Parramatta) 2 Merrick Law (Illawarra) 3 Aaron Donnelly (Illawarra) 4 Ben Harvey (Bankstown) Clarence St Cyclery Cup Wheelrace Repecharge Heat 3 1 Simon Llewellyn (Dulwich Hill) 2 Gary Mandy (Illawarra) 3 Mark Harris (Canberra) 4 Matthew Brown (Central Coast) Womens “Cycling NSW Shop” Invitational Derby Heat 1 1 Cassandra Kell (Central Coast) 2 Ashlee Ankudinoff (St George) 3 Trudy Van Der Straaten (NSCC) Womens “Cycling NSW Shop” Invitational Derby Heat 2 1 Rochelle Gilmore (Bankstown) 2 Skye-Lee Armstrong (Parramatta) 3 Sinead Cosgrove (Goulburn) Womens “Cycling NSW Shop” Invitational Derby Heat 3 1 Megan Dunn (Dubbo) 2 Elizabeth Georgouras (Bicisport) 3 Lauren Kitchen (Port Macquarie) Womens Consolation Sprint Derby 1 Emily Williams (Dubbo) 2 Melanie Law (Illawarra) Mens Miss ‘n’ Out 1 Bill Laing (Tuggeranong) 2 Andrew Mohr (Tuggeranong) 3 Mitch Law (Illawarra) Womens “Cycling NSW Shop” Invitational Derby Repecharge 1 Skye-Lee Armstrong (Parramatta) 2 Lauren kitchen (Port Macquarie) Mens Points Race 1 Glenn O’Shea (VIS) 2 Leigh Howard (VIS) 3 Robert Lyte (Bankstown) Mens Invitation Keirin Repecharge 1 Paul Fellows (Wagga Wagga) 2 Alex Carver (Lidcombe) 3 Glenn O’Shea (VIS) Women Tandem Sprint Derby Round 3 1 NSW 2 NZ Mens Masters Invitational Sprint Derby 1 Andrew Mclean (Parramatta) 2 Grant Law (Illawarra) 3 Peter Barnard (Bicisport) 2008 Womens 26th Clarence St Cyclery Cup Wheelrace 1 Megan Dunn (Dubbo) 2 Rochelle Gilmore (Bankstown) 3 Skye-Lee Armstrong (Parramatta) 4 Davina Summers (Northern Districts) 5 Ashlee Ankudinoff (St George) 2008 Mens 26th Clarence St Cyclery Cup Wheelrace 1 JL Rathbone (Penrith) 2 Alex Carver (Lidcombe) 3 Leigh Howard (VIS) 4 Mark Harris (Canberra) 5 Simon Llewellyn (Dulwich Hill) Mens Scratch Race Div 4 1 Ross Harding (Central Coast) Mens Scratch Race Div 3 1 Neil Skipper (Tuggeranong) 2 Andrew Mclean (Parramatta) 3 Keith Oliver (Parramatta) Womens “Cycling NSW Shop” Invitational Derby Final 1 Ashlee Ankudinoff (St George) 2 Elizabeth Georgouras (Bicisport) 3 Megan Dunn (Dubbo) Mens Invitational Keirin Final 1 Leigh Howard (VIS) 2 Paul Fellows (Wagga Wagga) 3 Andrew Taylor (Dubbo) 4 Richard Lang (Lidcombe) Womens Combined Scratch Race 1 Megan Dunn (Dubbo) 2 Ashlee Ankudinoff (St George) 3 Skye-Lee Armstrong (Parramatta) Division 1 & 2 Scratch Race Time Blaster (Record to break - 8min 36sec) 1 Glenn O’Shea (VIS) 2 JL Rathbone (Penrith) 3 Richard Lang (Lidcombe) 4 Leigh Howard (VIS)