Gaffney, Perry and Marker Taste Success with Cornish

December 28, 2021

After a 2020 hiatus, the Devonport Carnival was gifted stellar weather throughout the day of racing for a 2021 return.

Australian Cycling Team member Tom Cornish, a junior star and world record holder on the track, showed devastating speed over the final lap to steal the Men’s Wheel Race from Olympic bronze medalist Luke Plapp.

A specialist over the 1000m distance, Cornish admitted he was concerned with three laps to go as the backmarkers worked furiously to catch the bunch. With a lap to go it was a race of the backmarkers. Cornish’s first visit to the TasCarnivals a jubilant one,

“It’s such an honour, I’ve heard so much about these races. To actually be here, wearing the sash and experiencing it is definitely something special,” Cornish said.

The Women’s Wheel Race was taken out by Meg Marker (South Australian Institute of Sport) in 2:16.95. Having made the move to Adelaide seven months ago, Marker noted her training had hit a new level under coach Brett Aitken.

A regular TasCarnivals visitor, Marker’s first time racing in the elite category was rewarded with $8000 in prize money. Marker emphasised the quality of the field and visiting Australian Cycling Team.  

“Getting to race some of these ladies is pretty amazing, they’re so fast – so racing in great company is incredible,” she declared.

Somerset local Morgan Gaffney was victorious in the Women’s Gift in 52.93. Gaffney now boasts four Burnie Gift wins and two Devonport Gift’s but holds a healthy respect for the longer 400 metre distance.

“In the 400 you have a lot of time to think, so you have a lot of time to feel that lactic, and feel that pain!”

Gaffney will line up against 70 metre winner, in-form junior sprinter Torrie Lewis in Burnie.

The Men’s Gift was taken out by Melbourne-based 19-year-old Tom Perry in 45.86. Perry was ecstatic post-race.

“I had to dig deep to win that, I’m over the moon right now. I didn’t think I was capable of that.”

The Men’s mile saw Olympic finalist Stewart McSweyn attempt to work through a massive field, as Hobart athlete Gus Tomlinson-Smith won the Men’s Mile in 3:51.63.  An 800 metre runner, Tomlinson-Smith found the mile challenging.

“I tried to shut off for the first kilometre and then come home strong, there’s a few too many laps in the mile, but I’m starting to like it,” said GTS.  

McSweyn was reflective post-race, "I enjoyed running here tonight, I always do – the crowd was great”.  McSweyn continued, “I’m not as sharp at this point in the season [following quarantine after Tokyo], but still think I’m in pretty good shape, I think I can go sub 4min in Burnie and I’ll have to if I’m going to keep up with the front guys.”  

The Women’s Mile went to 16 year old Hobart athlete Sophie Connelly in 4:26.06, “It’s just amazing, I did not think I had a chance whatsoever going into that.”

Download vision here and photos here.


Launceston Madison Preview
In 2021, one carnival in Launceston isn’t enough. Organised by the Launceston City Cycling Club, the Launceston Madison is set to run at the Silverdome on the 30th of December, with an action-packed program running from 12pm – 6pm.

Making it’s Olympic debut this year in Tokyo, the Madison is a relay race event in track cycling, which sees teams aiming to complete more laps than other teams, with teams of two riders competing in Launceston, taking turns completing laps. The program will see cycling races including scratch races, keirins, Italian pursuits, points score and derbies.

The Madison sees a strong team line-up, with big names including Launceston locals Josh Duffy and Lauren Perry and Olympians Luke Plapp and Georgia Baker. With a rare international flavour this year, riders will be lining up from across Australia, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand the USA.

Olympic bronze medalist Luke Plapp has teamed up with Launceston’s Josh Duffy, with those two sure to start the favourite given the form of each.  The key will be to how they gel as a unit on the boards.

Fresh off wins in the wheelraces earlier in the week, the pairing of Hobart winner Jensen Plowright and Launceston winner Graeme Frislie will be amply competitive.

The women’s race will feature Launceston power duo Georgia Baker and Lauren Perry as a pairing.  

Australian Cycling Team members Alex Manly and Chloe Moran will join forces, as will Sophie Edwards and Maeve Plouffe.  While Irish Olympian Shannon McCurley will join up with SASI rider Kat Chung-Orr, with any of the teams capable of victory on the night.

Also on offer in the program are men’s and women’s 18 & 20 lap scratch races, elite women’s sprint derby, as well as the national elimination final.

Tickets are available to purchase at the door, as well as online at Ticketek. Spectators are strongly encouraged to attend the Madison, but are reminded it is a masked event.

Timetables for all carnivals are available at

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get involved in the tasmanian carnivals series

Runners, riders and choppers - take your marks and take part in the upcoming Tasmanian Carnivals series. Entries for the 2021/2022 season are now open.

2021/22 entries now open