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Fundraiser to help Aussie Junior Hopefuls

Celebrity Track Evening at Melbourne's DISC in Thornbury

Held last Friday, 16th June at 'DISC'

Tess Downing  (Champion of Champions Australian Track Nationals 2006, Ladies Diamond Stakes Winner 2005) and  Peta Mullens Australian U19W Pursuit Champion) are trying to raise funds for the Junior World Championships in Belgium in August.

They held a fundraiser at DISC, the home of Victorian Cycling last Friday night, in Thornbury. The atmosphere was great, with "Crackers Keenan" joined by Melbourne's 'voice of cycling' namesake, Matt Keenan, to keep the crowd entertained.

There was a good show of celebrity racing, with the Malaysians who re currently in Melbourne training with John Beasley, opening the evening with a 4-up match sprint.

The other speed for the evening was provided by some famous names from the past teaming up under the banners of Team Downing and Team Mullens. The two whose evening it was had their coaches (John Beasley and Dave Sanders) up on the boards along with 2 team-mates each to race a team sprint. This really was something to watch - "you lose speed but never lose style" - as the saying goes and the 6 game-for-a-laugh competitors proved that! Prior to the event, John Beasley was given a quick fitness examniation and throughout the event, there was oxygen and a drip on the inside of the track, for emergencies.

Perhaps the best race event of the evening was the trackstand competition, which was in essence a slow race from the pursuit startline to the finish line. The event took over 8 minutes and there were no rules. Zac Dempster started with his running shoe strapped to his handlebars - this was launched at Shane Perkins at one point in an attempt to distract Perkins. Later on, the 'runner' was used unsuccessfully as a 'gas mask' to put Gary Neiwand off his standstill. Various of the competitors managed to wedge their back wheels against the track fence and stand perfectly still for minutes, until noticed by their fellow competitors, at which stage, they were shoulder barged from their positions by the others. A lot of jumping, bumping and various other tricks, including taking a rest with one foot on the track meant the event was more than entertaining for the spectators who helped raise more money for Tess and Peta by placing bets on the final outcome. 

After the racing, a raffle and an auction of cycling-related goods donated by local cycle shops took place. Tess and Peta were interviewed by Crackers Keenan. A cheque was presented to the riders to assist them in their fundraising. Their club - the Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club handed over $2000 towards their costs.

Anyone still wishing to contribute to the fund should contact them at  downing@aapt.net.au

 

Photos - click on any image to enlarge >>

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