DESPITE a smaller field than the past two years’ record entries, tomorrow’s Trackpower Cycling Carnival has lured some quality cyclists, among them members of the Australian team.
A clash of dates with a state title event on the normal January weekend forced Goulburn Cycle Club officials to look for another date. However, club president Adam Lambert says the quality of the field is exceptional.
In honour of the city’s birthday, the feature event at the Dunc Gray track will be the Goulburn 150th Birthday Wheelrace.
Four heats will decide the makeup of the final field of 16. With only four riders going through from each 2,000 metre heat, the competition will be fierce with the younger brigade expected to be making the pace.
The clear favourite is 16-year-old young gun Jack Edwards from Lidcombe Auburn, who’s just been selected in the Australian junior track team to contest the upcoming world titles in Glasgow.
Edwards has been impressive since stepping up to the under 19 division and mixing it with the men. He was a decisive winner of last weekend’s Wagga Golden Wheelrace and although off scratch for Trackpower, is certainly the one to beat.
Also stepping up to the seniors is Goulburn’s Mark Gibson. After making last year’s NSW Under 17 track team, Gibson has been stepping up his road training but his strength on the track should put him in the mix.
Wagga’s Max Housden is also in his first year in the seniors and a member of the NSW track team.
However, with handicap conditions it’s not unusual for an outmarker to sneak in. Goulburn’s other hopes will be Craig Moller and Chris Berry contesting their first open carnival and with handy marks could be in the final.
Adam Kiss has returned to the track and is in good form, setting the pace at club racing. Adam Lambert hasn’t had a lot of recent racing but has the experience to compensate in big events. Brian Rawlinson has been training strongly and given a good run could surprise. Richard Toparis is a strong rider and has the pace to go with the quicker bunches while the wily veteran Bill White may lack the endurance but will be with the outmarkers looking for a good sit.
In the women’s division, Macarthur Collegians under 19 rider Josie Talbot is a hot favourite for the Atkinson & Stalker Dental Women’s Wheelrace title.
Talbot has also been included in the national team after some strong showings this season. Her main opposition looks to be the Canberra duo of Louisa Lobigs and Emma Wensing, who’s no stranger to the Goulburn track.
In the juniors the standout is Illawarra’s Cameron Scott who although still an under 17 rider has already amassed a swag of national and state medals including a clean sweep of his division.
The Mullaney sisters, Natasha (under 15s) and Bridget (under 17s), from Illawarra both have state titles this season and as members of the NSW team will be the favourites in their divisions.
The Jackson boys, Mitchell and Campbell, have both stepped up a division and will face some stiff opposition in their age groups.
Mitchell will race in the under 17s division and Campbell in the under 13s. Both have been training hard and are looking to impress.
Young Tasmin Davies is the local hope in the under 13 girls.
Tassie is starting to come into form with a strong showing at Wagga last weekend.
She’s preparing for next month’s state titles and is really starting to show some form. Her training times have been improving and the same form tomorrow should see her in the prizemoney.
Carnival directors believe tomorrow’s 55 event program will have something for everyone.
The Neville Smith Memorial Roller Derby is a crowd favourite with riders pitched against each other on the rollers only an arm’s length away from the fans.
Goulburn will be represented by Mark Gibson and Adam Kiss. The competition will be tough with Jack Edwards the number 1 seed and Canberra’s Tom Clark at 2.
Two time winner Gavin White of St George may be in the Masters now but still a very good roller rider. Max Housden is number 4 with Gibson at 5, Hunter Districts’ Ben Young at 6, young Harry carter from Bathurst at 7 and Kiss seeded 8.
Local business houses and cycling friends have again been very generous with their sponsorship allowing the club to plan a big carnival providing plenty of racing for all competitors.
The junior carnival kicks off at 2pm with the seniors starting at 5pm and continuing under the new lights to around 9.30pm.
Entry to Trackpower is free and a well stocked canteen will be in operation.