Track Race Report 8/7/20

by Trevor Scallopini

Track racing returned this week and so did Trevor Scallopini. After stowing away on a container ship from Italy, our intrepid cycling correspondent was seen lurking in the shadows of Smith Park to cover all the velodrome action…

It was a beautiful return to racing at Smith Park last Wednesday. With so many other places in the world unable to hold events, there was no more majestic sight than a full sized bunch in full flight against the backdrop of a clubhouse rising from sacred ground. (that’s quite poetic Trev – Ed.)

Riders seemed to have lost little of their fitness with fast paced and competitive races all night.

After the derny warm up, the keirins set the scene with 4 divisions and a win on debut for Gino Richter. Gino used his new found cycling speed and power to claim victory, and begin his career as a track cyclist. Nic Holt and Jim Larcombe filled the minor placings. In division 3 “Disco Donny” showed that sandbagging for months on Zwift really paid dividends as he rounded up the field for a win over Gavin Scott and Miguel Groth.

The Pieman pulled his foot at the beginning of the Div 2 Keirin to unsettle his opponents with a false start and it worked a treat with the dark lord of donuts edging out a win over Gaby Thomasz and John Thompson. Son Brandon was relegated to the back in a big Div1 field but it was still easy pickings as the champ swept to another easy win while Thomas Beddome surfed off the back to keep it interesting at one to go.

Once again the Bates handicapping left much to be desired with the backmarkers set unreachable targets in the chase. With such a strong field of middle makers, the winner was bound to come from this lot, and Thomasz finished the 3 lapper off nicely from the ever consistent Gavin Scott and John Thompson. Kane Hodge and Beddome both made good ground but it seems some mark adjustments will be required to level the playing field to let the big boys in next week.

The final points rides were entertaining races with breakaways featuring and the enduros stretching their legs.

Ricky Groth got the chocolates in C grade and watch for this young man and his brother Migual over the coming months; two very talented young athletes with a lot to offer cycling. In B grade the smug Disco Donny did it again with a nice solo breakaway to finish, and more than enough points to bring Jonesy to fever pitch. A grade went to Brandon but not before another great individual performance from Luke Azzopardi. Luke narrowly missed a vital early minor point that could have given him the win – No matter, Azzo will be back to break their hearts on the road in the coming weeks.

The junior racing was a delight with Atticus Richter emulating his father with a win on debut. This young man had some great battles with Chloe Buckley on the night, sharing honours over a couple of races. Likewise, young Finn Thambayah thrilled us with his bike skills and tenacity fist time out against the experienced Thomas Huyser who posted a double like Opa. Rhiana kept Liam and Aiden honest in the Junior A’s with very little between the finishes in most of their races. Aiden and Liam both came away with wins but will need to stay focused as new challenges arrive on the scene, perhaps Atticus? Niamh and Liam combined well to take out the final team sprint in a solid and skilful display from all riders.

A big shout out to caretaker Mick for a tasty BBQ to end the night..