The International Track Series (ITS) Melbourne wrapped up at the DISC velodrome on Sunday with several impressive performances from a number of Australia's rising stars.
Melbourne Cup on Wheels
VIS teenager Isaac Buckell became the youngest winner of the prestigious Melbourne Cup on Wheels cycling classic. The 16 year old outsprinted a class field to win the 2000m wheelrace on Saturday night.
Racing off 85m in the handicap event, Buckell won from fellow VIS athlete Godfrey Slattery (55m) and New Zealand star Campbell Stewart (scratch).
The Australian junior team, featuring several VIS athletes, claimed the 2016 Tasman Cup after finishing on 72 points to New Zealand's 56. Australia claimed both the men's and women's team pursuit, with New Zealand taking the women's team sprint and Australia the men's.
Australia's women team pursuit squad of VIS athlete Ruby Roseman-Gannon and team mates Jade Haines (WA), Kristina Clonan (QLD) and Nicola Macdonald (NSW) went out hard in the final, creating an early advantage. Despite a hard fought comeback from the reigning junior world champions, Australia proved too strong, winning in 4mins 46.030secs to New Zealand's 4mins 46.948secs.
In the men’s event, Kelland O'Brien, reigning junior world champion, joined with fellow VIS athletes Thomas McDonald and Godfrey Slattery, and Tasmanian Hayden Di-Cocco Grant to earn a convincing win, leading from start to finish and stopping the clock in 4mins 12.928secs, four seconds ahead of New Zealand (4:17.088).
In the team sprint, VIS athlete Conor Rowley got Australia off to a fast start before Harrison Lodge (SA) and Cameron Scott (NSW) took Australia to the win in 46.302secs ahead of the New Zealand trio's 46.855secs.
In the women's event the New Zealand national team (35.719) narrowly edged out VIS team mates Brit Jackson and Emma Chilton in 35.837secs.
The event provided a crucial opportunity for riders from both nations to prepare in a racing environment for the UCI Junior Track World Championships in July.
In other events
- Former keirin world champion Shane Perkins was second fastest in sprint qualifying on Wednesday with a time of 9.99 secs but sat out Saturday’s racing at DISC Velodrome after coming down with a cold. He was second only to Matthew Glaetzer who rode 9.79 secs and later won their final 2-0. After posting impressive times in Moscow and the US in the past month Perkins says he has done everything he can to be considered for a second Games
- Caitlin Ward continued her rise through the senior ranks, with a strong result to end the week, which saw her finish third in the women's keirin behind Olympic medallists Wai Sze Lee and Kaarle McCulloch
- On the final day of racing, Brit Jackson took her second win in the junior sprint, following her victory on Thursday