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November 10, 2002

Toowoomba Velodrome Reopening Carnival

By Craig Eiszele

Today saw dignitaries from the Toowoomba Council and local MP's gather for a reopening ceremony at the local velodrome. The Toowoomba Velodrome has been out of action for a couple of years but the council has invested in resurfacing this historic venue.

Cycling Queensland vice-president and Toowoomba Cycling Club's life member John Osbourne spoke at length during the reopening ceremony and reminisced about days when the venue was used for Olympic track training by Australian and World Champions including Danny Clark and Kevin Nichols.

The official cutting of the ribbon was immediately followed by an exhibition match race between local Toowoomba champions Darren Rolfe and David Kemp. Rolfe has been the Australian time trial champion as an under 19, senior and also under 23 year old rider while Kemp is the current Australian club road champion as well as the Queensland state criterium champion. Kemp finally got the better of Rolfe in a very close fought out match race that bought the local crowd to their feet.

A full program of track events followed, including scratch races, sprints, eliminations and handicaps.

Junior racing was well represented by riders from Brisbane, Gold Coast City and Logan. Daniel Peach from the Broncos was a stand out in the U13's winning the scratch race, sprint and elimination. Tarquin Wallace from Balmoral took out the "John Osbourne" U15 handicap from Teresa McAulliff (Balmoral) and Matt Simonelli (Broncos). A special mention should go to Todd Dawson (Cats) from Ipswich who won not only the U17 scratch race but also his elimination race.

Veterans came from as far away as the Sunshine Coast and Caboolture as well as Brisbane, Ipswich and Gold Coast City. Local Toowoomba track "legend" Jon Longbottom fought off all and sundry to eventually take out the sprint derby in his division. It was a hard day at the barracks for Jon.

Another of the day's highlights included the appearance of Czech International Olympic Disabled Champion, Juri Jezek, who arrived late as a result of a vehicle breakdown. He managed to secure 2nd place in his elimination Race and his accomplice Tony Russell from Caboolture had a win in his elimination race.

Toowoomba Cycling Club thank all that made the trip up the range and look forward to holding more track races at the Velodrome in future. Please stay posted for more track racing in Toowoomba.


Images by Dion Collins

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