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Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals

Tasmania, December 22, 2007 - January 19, 2008

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Devonport Carnival, December 29-30, 2007 - Day 2

By Paul Verkuylen in Devonport

Devonport women's scratch race: McCaughey catches them by surprise

Laura McCaughey
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Laura McCaughey's hard work over the past few days finally paid off today in the scratch race when she crossed the line to take her first victory of the carnival season.

After attacking with Michaela Anderson shortly after they crossed the halfway point, she attacked her breakaway companion in the final half lap to hold off the fast finishing field by a few bike lengths.

"It was a good tough race," McCaughey said after the event.

"There were moves going and it looked like a good one, so I went with it," she said of her attack, which was not something that she had planned. "It wasn't a tactic, but the opportunity presented itself so I took it," she explained.

Riders got off to a quick start in the race, with Jessica Berry, who has shown a lot of good form this carnival period, setting the early pace as favorite Kirsty Broun was happy to sit at the back of the field.

With four laps remaining Anderson attacked down the front straight, with only McCaughey reacting to the move. The pair quickly built up a 50 meter advantage as the Berry lead the main field. As Berry swung up after a strong turn on the front, no one wanted to take up the chase and the two leaders advantage grew to 75 meters.

As the bell sounded for the final lap, Broun, sensing that the race was getting away from her, attacked the main field in an attempt to close the gap to the leaders. Broun's turn of speed was quickly closing the gap to the leaders, but with half a lap remaining McCaughey came around Anderson and started her sprint to the line. Broun was closing the gap to one of her biggest rivals over the past few days, but she left her effort too late as McCaughey was too strong and held the main field, who had by this time swamped Broun in the final bend, to the line. Japan's Satomi Wadami, one of the strongest sprinter in the field easily took second.

Men's UCI Sprint final: French too strong for Watanabe

It was pretty close
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

After Risal Tizin was disqualified in his heat, which he won, for collusion, Scotland's Marco Librizzi made his first final of his Tasmanian tour when he joined Mark French and Scott Sunderland (both of Australia) and Kazunari Watanabe of Japan in the final.

French looked the strongest on paper, and as a result his three fellow finalists began fighting for his wheel early in the race.

The speed had wound up to a fast pace as the four riders crossed the line for one lap of the 500 meter circuit remaining. French was leading the four as they headed down the back straight, by the time they hit the 200 meter to go mark, Watanabe had opened up his sprint and was holding French's right hip.

Lining up for the final 150 meters Sutherland had also moved up on the outside and was looking strong. With 100 to go, French opened the afterburners as he sped away from Watanabe and Sutherland to cross the line for his first sprint win of the UCI series.

UCI Women's points race: Luck of the Irish prevails as Moriarty wins

The Women's Points race
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Louise Moriarty of Ireland rode a tactically great race to take the UCI points on offer. Moriarty beat Laura McCaughey for the prize courtesy of her win in the second sprint of the event, where she edged out the Tasmanian by the smallest of margins.

Of the five sprints in the race, each had a different winner which amplified the quality in depth of the women's field assembled in Tasmania.

Amy Cure showed an inkling of the form that would come later in the evening as she spent some time off the front of the main field after crossing the line first in the third sprint. She was swallowed up a number of laps later as no one wanted to give her the chance to take another sprint win.

Last night point's race winner, Kirsty Broun, had a relatively quite race after clipping out of her pedal shortly before the first sprint, due to some tussling for positions down the back straight. After losing a number of bike lengths she was able to regain contact with the field but seemed content to sit in and not contest any of the sprints for the remainder of the event.

Shorty after the points had been tallied up, McCaughey did contest the decision as she firmly believed that she won the second sprint, the judges decision was final on this one, however, and Moriarty was declared the winner ahead of McCaughey and Amy Cure.

Men's Wheel 2000 meter handicap: O'Shea defends 2006 title

Glenn O'Shea successfully defended his 2000 meter handicap win from last year as he took out this years final in a tight sprint with Steven Rosendell and Malaysian Azizul Hasni who was competing in his very first handicap event.

"Wheel races are always good to win, especially here in Tasmania where the atmosphere is great," O'Shea said after his win.

It was a fast start as the back markers quickly grouped together and set about catching the front makers. Not a single rider off scratch made the final which allowed for a much more open event, with no one standing head and shoulders above the rest. It would take the back markers just two laps to bridge the gap to the main group, with the race falling still on the line as they all bunched up, waiting for the first rider to make a move.

Alex Carver took control of the race with two laps to go as he drove it on the front to line out the field. From there O'Shea made his way towards the front of the field as they made their way down the back straight. Rounding the final bend, it was still anyone's race as no one was able to gain a large enough advantage coming into the final 100 meters.

As the field spread out across the finishing straight, in full flight with their sprints, it was O'Shea, who started of a mark of 30 meters, who was able to surge clear of the rest to take the race. A photo was needed to decide second place as the result changed twice before it was awarded to Rosendell ahead of Hansi.

Men's UCI Team sprint final: Japan by an inch

Once again the Japanese riders
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Just two teams made it through to a second race as, third place, taken out by Malaysia was decided on the times from the heats. It was to be the Victorian Institute of Sport team lead by Shane Kelly taking on the Japanese team of Nagai Kiyofumi, Kazunari Watanabe and Kitasuru Tsubasa. Just four tenths of a second separated the two teams in the heats with Malaysia just a further half second behind in third.

Mark French got the VIS team off to a great start, but his effort was matched by Tsubasa as they swung off to let their two other team-mates ride the remaining lap to the finish. As Shane Perkins swung off the front to let Kelly take them to the line, still nothing separated the two teams.

Coming into the final 100 meters it was still too close the say who was in front, with the official times for the teams needed to separate the two as it was too close for the eye when they hit the line.

It was to be Japan who would be declared the winners in a time of 46.24 seconds against the VIS' 47.01. The two teams have enjoyed a friendly rivalry all week and today's race would turn out in the visitors favor after French was too strong for Watanabe in the sprint final earlier in the day.

Women's wheelrace

Satomi Wadami
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Japan's Satomi Wadami took her second consecutive wheelrace in as many nights when she out sprinted Amy Cure by the smallest of margins to take out the big money race. Wadami is "enjoying Tasmania a lot," as she continues her preperations for the Olympic games in Beijing next year.

The two back markers, Kirsty Broun and Kate Cullen had their work cut for them as they were faced with the difficult task of bridging a substantial gap to the ladies in front of them. Neither was able to gain any ground as the rest of the field quickly bunched up and sped away from the pair.

By the time the main field reached one lap to go, all the women were with in a fighting chance of the win.

Local favorite, Amy Cure, was sitting nicely on the wheel of Wadami as they came down the back straight for the final time. Into the bend Wadami opened up her sprint in the middle of the track as Cure attempted to come past her on the right. Cure however, ran out of track as Wadami hit the finish line just a tyres width ahead of Cure and Harriet Kossman.

Keirin Final: Kelly takes final UCI points on offer in Tasmania

Shane Kelly leads
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Nagai Kiyofumi did what is called Senko in Japanese Keirin racing by attacking from the start of the final lap in the men's final, but although his move was enough to get him onto the podium, it wasn't enough to secure him the top spot.

That honor went to Australian Shane Kelly who pounced on Kiyofumi's wheel in the final lap before speeding past him in the final 150 meters to take the win. Ben Kersten who finished very quickly, made up the five meter gap to the leaders in the final 100 meters to storm past a fading Kiyofumi to claim second.

"That was tough," was all Kelly had a chance to say of the race before being whisked off to the podium to receive the cheers of the strong crowd.

Mark French, Scott Sunderland, Jason Niblett, Ben Sanders and Azizul Hasni were the other five riders who made the final, but were simply out classed by the Japanese riders move on the final lap.

Men's Wheel race: Howard powers to win

Leigh Howard
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Leigh Howard took his first wheelrace of the 2007/2008 Tasmanian series in fine style as he outsprinted Nathan Clarke and an impressive Jamie Crass to take the title.

"Its great to win a big wheelrace like this," He said after the race. "I have been over in Europe racing some of the six day races and have been working with Matt Gilmore, who is a real inspiration and someone I learn a lot from."

Five riders lined up on the scratch mark with 17 riders ahead of them. Gary Pollack was a huge 300 meters ahead of them which needed to be made up in just six laps.

The start was furious as the Mark Jamieson took the lead of the scratch markers and after just one lap, a big bunch had formed with only two groups, one of four riders the other three left out front. As they came around for two laps to go, it was Ben Kersten who was setting the pace on the front as they reeled in the remaining riders who still had a small gap over the field.

For a moment it looked as though Kersten was strong enough to take the race as he rode a few meters off the front with a lap to go, having caught the remaining riders out front. But once Howard started his sprint, Kersten was relegated to chasing as He powered away with Clarke and Crass trailing in his wake.

Men's scratch race: O'Shea takes two for the night

Glen O'Shea in action
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Glenn O'Shea took his second win of the night when he outsprinted Mark Jamieson to take out the scratch race. Five riders spent the majority of the race ahead of the field, eventually relegating all bar two to the stands as they demolished the field with their pace.

"It's been a good day," O'Shea said. "It was a long hard race and we were away for a long time. Jamieson was pulling some big turns," he explained.

"I am doing the Bay crits next week and then I will be going to the L.A. World Cup, so it's going to be a long month," he said.

The race started out at a steady pace as all the riders were surely feeling the effects of the past few days. Just as the whistle blew to signal a preme the next time they crossed the line, Jamieson moved to the head of the race and once he crossed the line to take out the preme he simply kept going taking O'Shea, Jamie Crass, Daniel Cutting and Sean Finning with him.

From here the five riders began an extended team pursuit as they ticked of the remaining 20 laps. Behind these five the main field tried desperately to close the gap but could do nothing to close the gap.

With six laps to go the main bunch had been completely demolished by an attack by James Langedyk and Leigh Howard while Crass was feeling the effects of the effort of trying to keep up with Jamieson and was sitting on the back of the lead group.

Langedyk and Howard closed the gap to the leaders by half, but the race was gone as Howard set about closing the final 150 meters on his own with four laps to go.

At two laps remaining the front group was being held together by O'Shea and Jamieson with Howard still chasing behind on his own. All the other riders had long since retired to the stands, preferring to watch the race for the win than suffer any longer.

On the bell Jamieson and O'Shea started their wind up to the line, with the rest of the front group not standing a chance. O'Shea drew level with Jamieson in the final bend and had enough left in the tank to take the victory from Jamieson, while Daniel Cutting held on for third.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

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


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