Victorian Institute of Sport

VIS steal the show

Thursday, 20 December 2018

A crowd of more than two thousand fans filled Melbourne Arena on Saturday for the 121st Austral Wheelrace Carnival, and they were treated to some world class VIS track cycling.

The Victorian Institute of Sport walked away with 10 gold medals, 2 silvers, 2 bronze medals and an unofficial world record with thanks to Emily Petricola.

The VIS scholarship holder shocked the para-cycling world when she broke the pursuit world record in qualifying, unofficially bettering her existing mark of 3:54.501 by close to three seconds clocking a time of 3:51.974.

“My goal today was to go out and manage myself throughout a ride, I tend to get a bit excited on race day, so I wanted to control myself today,” Petricola said.

“Meg (Lemon) got off to a flyer in the final, and I could hear the commentators saying she was up. But I thought to myself “trust my coach Shane (Kelly), watch him.”

“And with four laps to go, I thought let’s have a crack and see what happens.”

But, that was just the beginning of a successful weekend. In arguable the highlight event on the program, the Men’s Team Pursuit thrilled the Victorian home crowd with VIS’ world record holders Leigh Howard and Kell O’Brien, dual world champion Luke Plapp and Godfrey Slattery defending their national title.  The

 four scholarship holders crossed the line in a national championship record time of 3:56.588, a time which would have placed the VIS quartet inside the top four at the 2018 World Championships.

“Last year we broke a ten-year drought so to go back-to-back is super special. We went out with a pretty aggressive tactic, more than qualifying, and the younger riders Luke and Godfrey really pulled it off. I am so proud of them - and of course Leigh - he really showed his class." O’Brien said.

O’Brien didn’t stop there, pairing up with Leigh Howard in the elite men’s madison final, a late surge from the VIS boys saw them claim the Australian Madison title.

“We decided that we would wait until halfway through and then make a decision to keep sprinting or go for the lap… Coming in with three or four sprints to go, they [Team TAC- Sam Welsford & Cam Scott] started to edge away and Kelland had had the crash earlier on and wasn’t feeling as comfortable, so we decided to sit out a couple of sprints and put all of our eggs in the basket of going for the lap and it worked… just!” Howard said.


Victorian Institute of Sport rising stars Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Ashlee Jones performed exceptionally well, securing the bronze medal in the elite women’s madison category.

Under the guidance of VIS sprint Coach Shane Kelly, Victoria's Jacob Schmidt, Conor Rowley and Tylah Meunier powered to the Australian Team Sprint title in a slick 44.184 seconds, just 0.04 seconds ahead of the ACT.

Whilst the VIS duo of Maddie Janssen and Caitlin Ward also impressed finishing in second to secure the silver medal.

Jess Gallagher with her teammate Janssen showed the country that they were still the best Tandem cyclists winning both the 1km Tandem Time trial as well as the sprint.

The recent VIS para athlete of the year, Alistair Donohoe, showed everyone exactly why that was the case as he crossed the line in  first in the 4km Individual Pursuit and second in the 1km time trial.

Results Summary

Para – cycling

Emily Petricola - 1st 500m Time Trial, 1st 3km Individual Pursuit (unofficial World Record)

Jess Gallagher/Maddie Janssen – 1st Tandem 1km Time Trial, 1st Tandem Sprint

Alistair Donohoe – 1st 4km Individual Pursuit, 2nd 1km Time Trial


U/19 & Elite Omnium

Ashlee Jones – 1st U/19 Women Omnium

Graeme Frislie – 1st U/19 Men Omnium

Kell O’Brien – 3rd Elite Men Omnium


Team Sprint & Team Pursuit

Elite Women Team Sprint

2nd - Maddie Janssen & Caitlin Ward

Elite Men Team Sprint

1st - Conor Rowley, Tylah Meunier & Jacob Schmidt

Elite Men Team Pursuit

1st - Kell O’Brien, Godfrey Slattery, Luke Plapp, Leigh Howard



Elite Women Madison

3rd - Ruby Roseman-Gannon & Ashlee Jones

Elite Men Madison

1st - Kell O’Brien & Leigh Howard


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