National Champions Crowned, Madison's Entertain, Now All Roads Lead to Burnie

December 30, 2021

Day two of the 2021 Launceston Carnival saw Madison’s and National Elimination Championships decided as riders sharpened their cogs ahead of a potential big pay day in Burnie tomorrow.

Day two’s final events showcased endurance riders, with the Women’s Madison taking place over 80 laps.

The tactical nouse of Irish Olympian Shannon McCurley was evident early, teaming up with Australian Olympian Maeve Plouffe, winning sprints at the 70 and 50 lap stages.

Trading sprint wins at the 60 lap and double points 45 lap stage with Lauren Perry and Chloe Moran. Plouffe continued riding strongly into the depths of the race, winning the 10 lap sprint, following which Olympian Alex Manly launched an immediate attack.

The crowd roared as Manly surprised the field, peering down at the top bar of her bike and grimacing noticeably. Cheered on by an appreciate crowd lap to lap, Manly won the final sprint.

Launceston local Lauren Perry was ultimately victorious with teammate Chloe Moran on 35 points, as Plouffe and McCurley were 2nd (29pts), with Baker and Edwards 3rd (23pts).

The Men’s Madison was best understood as a tale of two halves. The team of Jenson Plowright and Graeme Frislie cleaned up wins from the 100 to 85 lap sprint intervals, banking an early lead. The wily pair of commentators suggested Plowright’s early investment may prove fatiguing.

A second half assault by the formidable team of Luke Plapp and Josh Duffy saw both teams separated by three points at 50 laps, and five points with 20 laps remaining. A fall for Duffy didn’t dampen enthusiasm, with the Madison coming down to the final sprint between the two teams.

In a rousing final two laps, both teams made changes, with Plowright changed in with half a lap remaining, taking the win for the team in blue. A tie on 55 points ensuring the first team across the line took victory.

The Women’s National Elimination Championship was won in 11:15.49 by Launceston rider Georgia Baker, as Alex Manly took second (11:15.79). Attacking over the top of her Olympic teammate on the final bend, Baker noted.

“An elimination is always a tactically and physically hard race. My plan was just to never get boxed in, and always move forward.”

Baker was humble in victory, refusing to downplay Manly’s skill set.

“Never underestimate my mate Alex Manly, she has a fierce kick and is really good in these races. I think a lot of people can underestimate that, so I made sure I laid off and had a good run at her wheel.”

The Men’s National Elimination Championship went to Launceston Wheel Race winner Graeme Frislie (10:32.86). Frislie has developed a reputation at the TasCarnivals for narrow margins of victory, a precise tactician over the closing stages.

Frislie held out Australian Cycling Team compatriot Jensen Plowright by one hundredth of a second. Whilst a greater margin of victory than the two thousandths that determined the Launceston Wheel Race, Frislie wasn’t sure crossing the line.

“I really wasn't sure about that one! I came across the line and said, ‘no clue who got that one’. But it was an awesome race by everyone, nobody gave an inch, but everyone still looked out for each other and did the right things in that race."

Download vision here and photos here.

Results

Burnie Preview
The 135th Cool Ridge Burnie New Year’s Eve Carnival will feature riders, runners and wood chopper’s from seven countries. The TasCarnivals event is headlined by a host of Australian Olympians.

The Men’s Gift pits Tasmania's 10.12sec 100m man Jack Hale against the Australian Under 20 record holder Jake Doran (10.15sec), and Olympic Decathlon bronze medallist Ashley Moloney.

Devonport saw teenage star Torrie Lewis (11.33sec) win in spectacular fashion over 70 metres, whilst Tasmanian 100m record holder Morgan Gaffney won the 400m Gift. The Burnie Gift sees both athletes face off, with Lewis set to run off the rarely seen mark of -0.5m. Such a mark is indicative of the youngster’s talent, having broken the Under 18 and Under 20 Queensland 100m records, the third fastest Under 18 100m sprinter in the world in 2021.

King Island’s Stewart McSweyn returns to Burnie an Olympic 1500m finalist, the second fastest miler in the world in 2021. McSweyn will face a unique challenge in working through some 53 other Mile entrants. The TasCarnivals have become an essential part of McSweyn’s track season preparation, “It’s definitely different [racing in Tasmania versus Europe], it’s more fun and there is a little less pressure. I love coming here, I’ve started my career here and ever since I’ve run PB’s here. I feel the support, especially from King Island and Tasmania.”

Australia’s fastest junior 800m talent this year, Claudia Hollingsworth will line up in the 400m and 800m. The 16 year old boasts personal bests of 55.37sec and 2:01.60sec over the respective distances.

The Men’s and Women’s Wheel Races continue to attract a flock of Olympic track cycling talent, with additional UCI points on offer. Tasmanian Georgia Baker is joined by her Olympic Team Pursuit teammates Alex Manly and Maeve Plouffe. The trio will face formidable competition in the closing stages from 500m time trial and national sprint champion Kristina Clonan.
The Men’s Wheel Race includes Olympians Matt Richardson and Luke Plapp, set to endure tough opposition in the form of national teammate, Tasmania’s Josh Duffy. World junior record holder over 1000m Tom Cornish will eye off the historic wheel race following an upset win over Plapp in Devonport.

The traditional Wood Chop events will be held on the infield. The Forico 300mm Open Standing Handicap offers a total prize pool of $2,000 at 3:15pm, with the winner taking home $1,000.

Timetables for all carnivals are available at www.tascarnivals.com.au.

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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