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Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals

Tasmania, December 22, 2007 - January 19, 2008

Burnie Carnival - January 1, 2008

Jamieson takes record pace Burnie Wheel

Edges one step closer to dad's record

By Paul Verkuylen at Burnie in Tasmania

Mark Jamieson
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Mark Jamieson came one step closer to eclipsing his father Kevin's two wins at the Burnie wheelrace in 1971 and 1972 when he took the race in emphatic style, catching the leaders in the final lap to take the sprint from Todd Wilsch and Ben Sanders. Jamieson, the winner of the 2002 Burnie wheelrace, was ecstatic to nab another hard-fought victory six years later.

"Nothing was going to stop me today, I wanted that one more than anything," he said shortly after winning. "This is amazing, I have had good form all Christmas carnival but haven't been able to pull it off until now."

"This one is for my family who couldn't be here tonight," he said referring to his grandparents whom have been ill over the past twelve months. "My grandfather has had emphysema and grandma has had breast cancer," he explained.

"I couldn't have done it with out my father, he is the one who told me where and when to go, I could hear him yelling from the sideline," said a delighted Jamieson.

The scratch markers had a huge task ahead of them as they had 300 meters to make up in the six lap race. But with the likes of Ben Kersten, Nathan Clarke and Darren Young off scratch alongside Jamieson, as well as Sean Finning and Glenn O'Shea just 20 meters ahead of them, they were quickly able to make up the substantial gap to the leaders. With four laps remaining they were sitting just 50 meters behind the leaders. Strong efforts by those in the front group tore the race apart as Kersten hit the front of his group in an effort to bridge the final gap.

Coming into the final lap it was two against two, as the rest of the field except for Jamie Crass and Ben Sanders out front, and Jamieson and Wilsch chasing, had been blown away by the pace. Jamieson, displaying the speed that has brought him a world championship gold in the past, set about picking off the front markers. Passing them in the back straight, he and Wilsch began the sprint for the line to determine the winner, with Jamieson only just inching out Wilsch on the line to win in a new record time of 3.12.31. Sanders hung on for third.

A new face tops podium in women's wheel

Emma Smith
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

The women's wheel saw a fresh face at the top of the podium in the form of Jamieson's club-mate, sixteen year old Emma Smith. Smith rode a tactically smart race, working with the rest of the front and middle markers to hold off a quality group of scratch riders, and then sprinting to her first ever sash in a track race. The Launceston local took the tight sprint from Kate Depoli and Julia Bradley after working hard to hold off the scratch markers during the 2000-meter event.

"I had pretty sore legs today," explained Smith before receiving her prize. I had a 10 meter gap to close at the start and then we had a pretty good group of middle markers. I got a good wheel and just kicked for the line," was her version of events that lead her to the biggest victory of her career.

Smith has been racing for just five years, in the same club as men's wheel winner, Mark Jamieson. "I prefer the road, but track racing is fun. I like the social aspect," she said.

The race was fast from the start, with three groups quickly forming. Once the second group had caught the first, the pace picked up again as they did their best to hold off the back markers. But with one lap to go race favourite, Laura McCaughey hit the front of her group and did her best to close the gap to the leaders. It was a case of too little to late however, as the win had escaped her when the leaders began their sprint to the line.

Smith was too strong for Depoli and Bradley over the final 100 meters, while Esther Pugh D'Ren did enough to secure fourth.

Palmer gets better with time

Thomas Palmer
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

A week of tough racing was the perfect build up to the final event, the men's A grade scratch, for eventual winner Thomas Palmer as he first made sure he was part of the winning move and then set himself up to take the sprint Leigh Howard.

"This is my second year at the carnivals and I have had a tough time. I have been getting better as the week has progressed so it has worked out well that I would win at the end of it," Palmer explained.

The ex-junior world champion has his sights set on defending his title later this year and has used the carnivals to hone his form before the national titles in February.

A group of six riders escaped from the main field early in the race and shortly after, most likely due to a lot of sore legs after a tough few days racing, the field was depleted to just four riders in the break and two riders chasing.

Nathan Clarke, Howard, Palmer and Glenn O'Shea were the four riders who had caused all the carnage out front, while James Langedyk and Sean Finning were chasing the four around half a lap behind.

With three laps to go, the four riders began looking at one another as there was no chance that the now lone rider chasing, Langedyk, was going to catch them. As the bell rang it was O'Shea who reacted first with Howard on his wheel. From half a lap to go Palmer started his sprint with Howard unable to come around him no matter how hard he tried. O'Shea did enough to clinch third, with Clarke finishing fourth and Langedyk fifth.

Anderson takes a deserved win in women's scratch

Michaela Anderson
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Michaela Anderson finally secured herself a win in the Tasmanian Christmas carnival series after spending much of the carnival attacking. In her very first event for the 2008 season, she out sprinted Laura McCaughey to take out the women's scratch race by three bike lengths.

"I knew McCaughey was a better sprinter than me, so I started the sprint early to make it more of an endurance sprint," Anderson explained.

The 15-year-old from Perth, who, although allowed to rider on senior gears during the senior events, chose to ride an in between gear as she is still not strong enough to push the bigger gears.

"I have to attack to try and win the races, my gears are too small to match the other women," she said. "I have been feeling a bit off the past few days, I had a bit of cold last night in the criterium, but am starting to feel better now. It's a shame, because the carnivals are almost over."

The 3000 meter event held on the brand new blue track surface began with a steady tempo. After a few short digs, Anderson attacked the field with five laps remaining of the 444 meter track. By the time she had reached four laps remaining, McCaughey, sensing the move was dangerous, had joined her out front and promptly set about extending their lead over the main field.

With two laps to go, the lead had grown to over 100 meters as the main field fell still, as everyone began looking at one another, no one wanting to take up the chase. On the bell the lead was now 200 meters as McCaughey lead them over the line. Starting the sprint from about 300 to go, Anderson was too strong for McCaughey as she came around the outside to sprint away and take the victory by three lengths, with Josephine Butler leading the field over the line to take third.

Hills makes himself known in handicap

Jeremy Hills
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Tasmanian Jeremy Hills made a name for himself in the men's Lightning handicap, taking the sprint from Adrian Sansonetti and American Kelyn Akuna after starting off a mark of 95 meters. The 19-year-old from Hobart has only been racing the track for a short time before tasting success in Burnie.

"I have only been riding competitively for the past two years, and am a better track rider than a roadie, I am not that good on the hills," he said after the race.

Ben Kersten was the only scratch marker to make it to the final, but starting just 25 meters behind Sansonetti proved to much for the ex-world champion as he gave up the fight with just over a lap remaining. With 13 riders starting within 40 meters of each other, a large group quickly formed and began chasing the leaders. The American duo of Dean Tracy and Akuna, who have been struggling so far in the handicaps, seemed to have finally worked out how to ride for the win here as Tracy was powering to the front of the field in the final lap.

With just over half a lap remaining, Akuna started his sprint into the headwind. He soon had a lead of around a bike length, but his move had come too soon as the rest of the field pounced on his wheel in the final 100 meters.

Hills came up on Akuna's right hip, and behind him Sansonetti was also carrying a lot of speed as they edged closer to the line. From here Hills opened up his sprint taking the more well known riders by surprise, besting Sansonetti and Akuna, who had done just enough to hang onto third.

Hills takes the double

Jeremy Hills made it two from two, when he took out the second handicap event of the day, the 2000 meter Top of Town Pharmacy handicap race. Hills once again used his quick turn of speed to take the event from Gary Polak and Keith Thorarinson.

"We had a good group of middle markers, we were swapping off really well," the 19-year-old from Hobart explained. "I did a turn with around a lap to go to get myself into a good position to start my sprint from half a lap to go," he said.

The youngster, who competed in the timber corp road series earlier this year as preparation, explained that he prefers the track to road due to being a self confessed poor climber. Although he went onto explain that he will be competing at the road nationals later this month in Ballarat.

The five scratch markers had a big job ahead of them to close the gap to the main group, who were working well together in an attempt to hold them off. With two laps remaining they were still around 70 meters behind the leaders as Ben Kersten hit the front and lifted the pace, sacrificing himself to try and get the 'scratchies' near the front.

The pace being set by the main field was too high however, and with one lap to go, the back markers still had some ground to make up. Mark Jamieson, coming off Kersten's wheel, wound it up again and was quickly gaining on the leaders, with just 200 meters to go, he began making his way around the back of the leading pack. It was too late as Hills had already begun his sprint to the line, crossing for his second win in 2008 ahead of Polak and Thorarinson in a time of 2.11.96. Steven Rosendell took fourth with Ben Sanders on his wheel in fifth.

McCaughey shows them how its done

Laura McCaughey rode a brilliant race to take out the women's points race in an exciting finish that saw her take the win by three points from another local, Amy Cure. Cure took the second spot on the podium after originally being awarded the win as the judges has miscalculated McCaughey's points. Ireland's Louise Moriarty, who also finished on ten points but with just one sprint win to Cure's two, had to settle for third.

The race started with Moriarty taking the first sprint from hot favourite for the event, Laura McCaughey. The second sprint saw McCaughey take the win with Moriarty in third, moving her into the overall lead.

As the pace picked ahead of the next sprint, Cure was seen moving closer to the front of the field. As the whistle sounded for the second to last sprint, Cure, who still had no points on the board, hit the front. Gradually picking up the pace over the course of the lap, no one was able to come around her as she took maximum points and moved herself to within striking distance of the win.

There were just four laps remaining in the race as four riders moved clear of the bunch. But with some contenders for the win still in the main field, it didn't take long for the race to come back together again as they started thinking about the final sprint.

Coming around the final bend with 150 meters remaining, Cure was once again too strong for the rest of the field, taking the final five points giving her ten points in total. With McCaughey's second place in the third sprint, she had done enough to secure the win, and opted not to contest the final sprint. Moriarty finished second in the sprint, but needed Cure to finish behind her to take second place the race.

Wong Wan Yiu finished on equal points with Kate Cullen of the UK and after a count back she was awarded fourth, with Cullen in fifth.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mark Gunter/www.pbase.com/gunterphotograph


Junior 3 Handicap
1 Ronin Munro           1.26.00
2 Nickolas Lockett             
3 Travis Hinkley               
Junior 2 Handicap
1 Jordan Matthews       1.15.80
2 Jesse Kerrison               
3 Jacob Langham                
Junior 1 Handicap
1 Brody Baker           1.09.75
2 Darren Robinson              
3 Dylan King                   
E Grade Scratch
1 Steve Martini         7.00.10
2 K. Thorinson                 
3 Joel Stearnes                
4 Trent Deacon                 
Junior 3 Wheel Race
1 Ronin Munro           1.22.90
2 Nickolas Lockett             
3 Travis Hinkley               
Junior 2 Wheel Race
1 Carmel Loft           2.39.50
2 Callum Munro                 
3 Laura Harman                 
4 Nathan Hinkley               
Junior 1 Wheel Race
1 Dylan King            2.23.75
2 J. Apolony                   
3 Scott Bransden               
4 Gerald McDonagh              
Women's C Grade Scratch
1 Emma Lawson           4.43.39
2 Belinda Mason                
3 Alita Laskey                 
4 Emma Wensing                 
Women's B Grade Scratch
1 Esther Pugh U'ren     4.37.49
2 Kate DePaoli                 
3 T. Morton                    
4 Colleen Gulick               
Women's A Grade Scratch
1 Michaela Anderson     1.12.03
2 Laura McCaughey              
3 Josephine Butler             
4 Wong Wan Yiu                 
Lightning Handicap
1 Jeremy Hills          1.04.33
2 A. Sansonetti                 
3 K. Akuna                     
4 T. Dite                      
Junior 3 Scratch
1 Macey Stewart         2.01.55
2 Andrew Hinkley               
3 Emma Apolony                 
4 Braydon Bennett              
Junior 2 Scratch
1 Jesse Kerrison        3.10.87
2 Nathan Hinkley               
3 Jordan Matthews              
4 Kayla Salopek                
Junior 1 Scratch
1 Luke Ockerby          5.45.81
2 Sam Brett                    
3 Dale Parker                  
4 T. Griffiths                 
Men's 2000m Handicap
1 Jeremy Hills          2.11.96
2 Gary Polak                   
3 Keith Thorarinson               
4 Steven Rossendell            
Women's C Grade Pointscore
1 Emma Lawson           8.39.00
2 Belinda Mason                
3 Justine Ruckert              
4 E. Gaul                      
Women's B Grade Pointscore
1 Esther Pugh U'ren     7.32.44
2 Rebecca Barwick              
3 Kate DePaoli                 
4 K. Baker                     
Women's A Grade Pointscore
1 Laura McCaughey              
2 Amy Cure                     
3 Louise Moriarty              
4 Wong Wan Yiu                 
Men's C Grade Scratch
1 Matthew McDonagh      6.26.50
2 Michael Freiberg             
3 Jordan Van Der Togt          
4 Thomas Richards              
Men's B Grade Scratch
1 Douglas Repacholi     6.19.41
2 Ben Grenda                   
3 Simon Price                  
4 Steven Hall                  
5 Matthew Meisel-Dennis        
Women's 2000m Wheel Race
1 Emma Smith            2.26.11
2 Kate DePaoli                 
3 J. Bradley                   
4 Esther Pugh U'ren            
5 R. Barwick                   
Men's 3000m Wheel Race
1 Mark Jamieson                
2 Todd Wilsch                  
3 Ben Sanders                  
4 Gary Polack                  
Men's A Grade Scratch 
1 Thomas Palmer                
2 Leigh Howard                 
3 Glen O'Shea                  
4 Nathan Clarke