Support Events- Australian Madison Championships 2010
Marianne Vos and Kaarle McCulloch race
The local Melbourne crowd were treated to a real international flavour when Dutch superstar Marianne Vos turned up for the support events at the Australian Madison Championships.
Also in attendance was world team sprint champion Kaarle McCulloch. Both riders had stayed in Vitoria following the first round of the world cup track last weekend.
McCulloch was up first against the local Victorian riders to to compete in the heats for the Victorian Keirin Championship final. Despite starting towards the back behind the derny, McCulloch never really looked troubled. She hit the front at the bell and held her line to the finish.
In the final, local riders, Apryl Eppinger (CAR) and Shannon McCurley riding in the Irish colours tried to box McCulloch in on the back straight but could not stop the speed of the world champion.
The handicap race over 6 laps was exciting. McCulloch decided to line up against Vos and her team mate Amy Pieters along side the other local riders. Vos and McCulloch were off at the scratch mark, while Pieters started at 130m.
At the gun, McCulloch used her power and blasted off, leaving Vos standing. Despite all efforts, Vos could not catch McCulloch and had to work hard to get herself up to the leaders. At the bell, McCulloch had the inside line, while Vos was still working her way from the back of the bunch.
At the line, McCulloch was the clear leader ahead of McCurley and Vos.
In the final race, Vos did not want to take any chances and attacked with three laps to go. No one could match the speed of the former world champion and Vos was the clear winner. In the chase for second, McCurley just beat Pieters.
Kaarle McCulloch (NSW_Australia) who is in a big training block right now in the run up to the next round of the world cup, was very happy to have two wins at the end of the night, Reflecting on the Keirin, McCulloch said "This was really great for the local riders and for the young riders coming up. They are the stars of the future. Imogen [Jelbart] and Adele [Sylvester] are the bright star of our future and and would be looking at Rio [olympics] I suppose, so it is good to see them giving it a go out there. It was great to race against them and take the win."
In the handicap race, McCulloch was the strong winner ahead of local rider McCurley and Vos. "That was a bit faster than I am used to, my legs are burning a lit a the moment." said McCulloch after the race. Asked if she was nervous having Vos on her wheel, McCulloch added, "Marianne is a great athlete and I had said to myself that I needed to be in front of her coming into the finish and I did that tonight. I am very happy."
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) stayed in Melbourne after the track last week to spend some time in the warmer weather and get some good km's under her belt. Racing her first ever handicap race, Vos did not really know what to expect. She watch the men race just prior to her to figure out what to do. Vos enjoyed the race, "I had not raced a handicap before. I thought I would be able to sit on Kaarle's [McCulloch] wheel at the start but she was just too fast. I was beaten from the start. She took nearly half a lap. It was hard, I had to work really hard to get back into the race," said Vos.
After the scratch race, Vos was much happier, "It is always good to win. There are some great spectators and it was fun to race here. It is great to end my racing time here in Melbourne with a win," said Vos.
Shannon McCurley (Ireland) was very happy with her improvement in form, "I did not think about who I was racing before the race as I did not want to sych myself out. I had the wrong wheel in the race. I sat on Pieters wheel instead of Vos," said McCurley.
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