Victorian Institute of Sport

Young guns dig deep at Austral Wheelrace

Monday, 21 December 2015

A huge crowd at Hisense Arena was treated to exciting racing on Saturday night at the 118th edition of the Austral Wheelrace Carnival.

In the men's madison championships young VIS riders Matt Ross and Kell O'Brien were not deterred by the presence of two time world champions Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard and took the fight to them from the start.

O'Brien and Ross were the first team to strike, gaining a lap on the field in the early part of the race. creating an avalanche of counterattacks from the likes of Meyer and Howard.

Howard and Meyer joined O'Brien and Ross on the leading lap with around 80 of the 200 laps remaining, and these two teams seemed destined to fight it out for the Australian Men's Madison title.

But in an unexpected turn of events in the last 20 laps Kell O'Brien cramped up in a hamstring and was clearly struggling. Despite this, however, the young duo held on for third place, just a mere point off silver.

In the women's events, Ruby Roseman-Gannon placed fourth overall in her first madison and was fourth in the prestigious Women's Austral wheel race. Ryan Schilt was fourth in the Austral Men's wheel race.

In the sprint events Shane Perkins won the men's keirin and placed third in the sprint, while Tom McFarlane won the U19 men's keirin.

Courtney Field finished second in both the women’s sprint and keirin, with Caitlin Ward placing third in the sprint.

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