15 Mar 2008 - Vodafone Arena, Melbourne
Stars Double Kilo Dash W18
and Shannon McCurley were neck and neck on points in the Future Stars series
at the start the event. In the kilo dash it was McCoombe who held a great
inside line going into the final lap to win ahead of Amy Cure and McCurley.
A small but
talented field of women started the scratch race. Monique Handley (BBN) was
the first to stir things up with an attack at 10 laps to go. She could not
hold the pace and was counter attacked by the Malaysian Fatehah Mustapa.
Mustapa held off the field for 5 laps before a reaction from Nicole Whitburn
(VIC) strung the bunch out and gained half a lap. At 3 laps to go Tess
Downing (VIS) decided it was time to make a move and managed to catch
Whitburn with 2 laps to go. Livia Gluchowski (CAR) tried to react but could
not hold the pace of Downing. At the bell Downing was the clear winner.
Lisa Friend (DPC) managed to get round Whitburn for second, Whitburn finished third.
Stars Motor Paced W18
The pace was
high as the riders switched off behind the Derny. A surprise win by the
Tasmanian Amy Cure forced the favorites McCoombe and McCurley to fight out
for second and third place on the line.
Race 20 Laps
points on offer for the final sprint, Tess Downing made sure she was in a
position to take the win. Gaining a few points as the race completed the
sprints, it was Whitburn who attacked with 8 laps to go but she could not
hold her pace. With 6 to go Downing attacked and managed to gain half a lap.
She held on to take the win ahead of the Malaysian Mustapa and Lisa Friend.
Stars Elimination W18
race is always a lottery and even more so in this race because Natsha
Langedy created an extra dimension when she picked up the pace, forcing the
rest of the bunch to chase hard. She could not hold the pace and was
counterattacked by Kendelle Hodges. Hodges got caught on the line leaving
McCoombe, Amy Cure and Shannon McCurley to fight for the final. At the bell
McCurley led but could not hold off the power of McCoombe as she rounded the
final bend in the lead. Cure just managed to cross the line for second ahead
Mustapa outpowered Downing to win the Keirin. Downing looked like she would
wrap up the evening with a clean sweep as she tried to attack at the bell.
Downing could not hold off the power of Mustapa on the back straight as the
Malaysian sped past her to take the win. Downing held on for second ahead of
Liz Georgouras (SA).
SEN Scratch 20 Laps
2XU Future Stars Double Kilo Dash
2XU future Stars Motor Paced W18
2XU Future Stars Scratch W18
2XU Future Stars Elimination
SEN Keirin Final
SEN Points Race
Downing (VIS) was
very happy with her evening of racing. “I love racing this track and it
is great to practice new skills” said Downing, referring to her
attack in the points race. “I did not make the same mistake as last time. I knew there was double
points for the final sprint and kept that to myself and saved some energy
for the final sprint” she added. Downing is heading in the winter
Road season hoping to gain some form for the early season track races when
the season restarts in November.
Friend (Drapac Porsche)
is just returning to the track after riding the criterium season over the
summer. “I am pleased with tonight,
I don’t have much track from but managed to be up there so I am happy” said
Friend. Like Downing Friend will be riding the National Road series over the
winter, the Mt Baw Baw Classic race and racing in the US to gain some form
for next seasons World Cup series on the track.
Whitburn (Carnegie Caulfield)
is just returning to racing after breaking her collarbone at the Bay Series
in early January (Click
here for coverge).
enjoyed tonight, I didn’t have much form so pleased with forth in the
points race” said Whitburn
McCoombe (VIC) secured
overall victory in the Future Stars series with a commanding performance in
all events during the final date in the series. Going into the event
McCoombe and Shannon McCurley we equal on points, with 100 each. During the
series points were awarded for 1st place down to 8th,
with 20 points down to 6. McCoombe secured a 1st, 2nd
and 1st in the three events while McCurley could only manage
three 3rd places. In recognition of her success McCoombe was
awarded a brand new frame. “I
am so happy” said McCoombe. “My
form was unexpected tonight so I am very happy. I knew we were on equal
points, so I just made sure I was up there every time. I am so happy to win
a bike frame too” added McCoombe.
John Beasley is coach to many of the Australian riders but is more know these days for the work he is doing with the Malaysian track team. He has transformed a number of promising riders into talented competitors on the world stage over the last few years. His major successes have come from the men's team but he is starting to make progress with some of the women. Fatehah Mustapa was in good form at the Austral event and managed to secure one win for the night in the Keirin. John chatted about how things are going. “Fatehah is progressing really well. I am really pleased. She was very raw when I started working with her but she has good potential. I am happy with her progress. She has some Malaysian Games [coming up] which are the biggest thing for her in the short term. Azian Alias still has a chance of making the Olympics on the road. She is ranked 86 in the UCI ranking and the top 100 as at the end of May have a chance of being picked in the one-per-country rule, so she has a real chance of being picked. Uracca [Leow] is still going well. She is at University and she was second in a criterium the other day so she is coming along nicely now” added Beasley.
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