Last night saw the 3rd and final round of PACC’s Sprint Series, held at the Superdrome. Again with the addition of the AIS Sprint Academy riders, there was a full field of top Sprinting talent, including World Champions and Olympians Kaarle McCulloch and Matt Glaetzer, Australian Kilo Champion James Glasspool, Australian Sprint Champion Alex Bird, gold medal winning Paralympian Steph Morton and Junior World Champion Taylah Jennings. That’s an impressive line-up for a local club event! As before, the event commenced with a flying 200m qualifying and the track seemed fast, with quite a few PB’s being set and this time the 70km/h barrier was broken by the flying Matt Glaetzer in a time of 10.26. Based on qualifying times, the field was split into 4 groups and following were a number of rounds of one-on-one Match Sprints and 4-up Sprint Derby repechages, leading up to a final Match Sprint in each of the 4 groups.
Mark Gregory was probably fortunate to make the D-grade final given a photo finish decision in his previous race against Nick Anderson – a judge’s call which could’ve gone either way. However once the call was made, there was no way he was going to waste the opportunity against Mick Young. The mind games began at the start line with Gregory taking a position high up on the track near the fence, looking down at his hirsute opponent. It wasn’t long however, before he decided the front was the place to be and with Young in his usual position , glued to the back of another riders wheel, a series of dives and feints ensued. With a lap and a half to go, in a controversial move, Gregory shut the door hard on Young as they simultaneously entered the Sprinters lane and Young was forced to yield. Young wasn’t giving up and made a last ditch attempt to draw level down the finishing straight, but with a triumphant cry across the line, Gregory was victorious.
The C-grade field was the closest bunched group with only 0.4 separating all 8 riders, so with a bit of luck and the right tactics, any one of the 8 could make it to the final. Breanna Hargrave made up for an early round mistake against Holly Takos to reach the final, as did Peter Davis after being beaten by his nemesis Peter Szegedi in the first round. Hargrave, an NTID rider hailing from a running background and a relative newcomer to the track, was always going to have her work cut out for her against the slightly more experienced Davis. Hargrave wisely kept the pace up, taking heed of the adage ‘when in doubt, lead it out’ and did just that. Davis looked like he might have the pace to come round her in the final straight but a few nervous twitches (or were they cleverly disguised hooks?) seemed to unsettle Davis and Hargrave held on for the win.
The B-grade final was between the two U/17 young guns – Derek Radzikiewicz and Jeone Park. Just over 0.1 separated their qualifying times and they had already met once in the first round where Park had taken first blood, so could the ‘Razor Cabbage’ turn the tables this time? It was a tactical race early and Radzikiewicz was giving Park some distance and taking some height to allow himself a good run later in the race, but gave the advantage away too early and found himself parked on the back of Park’s wheel. With the two Sprint stars of the future riding their limited Junior gearing it was always going to be a ‘spin-off’ down the finish straight and Park was able to hold on by half a bike length. No doubt this will not be the last time these two young Sprinters meet in Match Sprint competition.
James Glasspool again featured in the A-grade final, but this time was up against the experience of Alex Bird, who earlier in the night had taken care of Matt Glaetzer. Bird is one of the cleverest tactical riders going around and many a Sprinter with a faster qualifying time has found himself on the losing end of a Match Sprint against him. All of the Sprint Academy riders are in a heavy training phase at the moment, so perhaps it was that extra bit of endurance from the Kilo specialist Glasspool that allowed him to outlast the wily Bird, who despite dipping into his bag of tricks was forced to concede a hard fought battle and Glasspool was able to ease up over the finish line and take the victory.
Once again, it was fantastic to see such a large field of Sprinters doing what they love on the boards, so much so, we might sneak in another bonus round mid-January, so stay tuned! There are also plans to run a Junior Sprint event in the same format, so when they all grow up, they will want to be Sprinters too and very soon Sprinters will take over the Track cycling world…Mwahahahaha!
A big thank you to the volunteer judge/timekeeper (Paula), commentator and lap counter (Graeme Z), Clerk (Gemma), Commissaire (Will), and to the Sprint Mums for the catering. There were also a few photographers going around last night so keep your eyes peeled for albums appearing on Facebook.
S Farrell d. M Young
N Anderson d. W Hogben
P King d. M Gregory
J Park d. I Dashorst
S Hennessy d. D Radzikiewicz Snr (relegated for coming out of Sprinters lane)
P Szegedi d. P Davis
H Takos d. B Hargrave
A Rendoulis d J Mangahas
T Jennings d. J McWhinney
J Park d. D Radzikiewicz Jnr
K McCulloch d. S Morton
P Constable d. J Angsuthasawit
J Schmid d. A Radzikiewicz
J Glasspool d. A Bird
M Glaetzer d. M Bullen
N Anderson d. S Farrell
M Young d. P King
D Rep: D Botrill, M Gregory, W Hogben
P Szegedi d. J Park
S Hennessy d. H Takos
C Rep: P Davis, B Hargrave, D Radzikiewicz Snr, I Dashorst
K McCulloch d. A Rendoulis
J Park d. T Jennings
B Rep: J McWhinney, D Radzikiewicz Jnr, S Morton, J Mangahas
J Glasspool d. P Constable
M Glaetzer d. J Schmid
A Rep: M Bullen, A Bird, A Radzikiewicz, J Angsuthasawit
M Gregory d. N Anderson
M Young d. D Botrill
D Rep:W Hogben, S Farrell, P King
B Hargrave d. P Szegedi
P Davis d. S Hennessy
C Rep: H Takos, J Park, I Dashorst, D Radzikiewicz Snr
D Radzikiewicz Jnr d. K McCulloch
J Park d. J McWhinney
B Rep: S Morton, T Jennings, A Rendoulis, J Mangahas
J Glasspool d. M Bullen
A Bird d. M Glaetzer
A Rep: J Schmid, J Angsuthasawit, A Radzikiewicz, P Constable (DNF)
M Gregory d. M Young
B Hargrave d. P Davis
J Park d. D Radzikiewicz Jnr
J Glasspool d. A Bird