December 28, 2021
Hobart's Wilson-Haffenden rode off a handicap of 250 metres at the Launceston Silverdome. What transpired next left the 16-year old searching for words through bouts of surprised laughter, winning the Launceston wheel race by just under two seconds in 2:07.69, as Amy Wright finished 2nd in 2:09.03.
Wilson-Haffenden prevailed over the likes of Olympians Georgia Baker and Alex Manly, both finishing 5th and 6threspectively off scratch handicaps.
After a fourth place finish in the Hobart wheel race yesterday, Wilson-Haffenden was eager to make tactical adjustments.
“I came so close yesterday, and I thought if the group got together today, I had a good chance to win” said Wilson-Haffenden.
The newcomer took up cycling in 2020, first riding a track bike in November of 2020. Now riding on the same track as Olympians Baker and Manly, Wilson-Haffenden was ecstatic.
“It’s crazy, when you’re sixteen and racing Georgia Baker… she’s a bit of an idol, so it’s crazy, so cool!”
Wilson-Haffenden was initially drawn to cycling through the sheer speed of the events, explaining a preference for the individual responsibility a cycling race involves. Having “fallen in love” with track cycling by her own admissions, Wilson-Haffenden will line up next in the Burnie wheel race.
Australian Cycling Team member Graeme Frislie provided the loudest crowd roar of the evening, taking the Men’s wheel race by two thousandths of a second. Hailing from Bacchus Marsh, the Victorian Frislie was quietly confident crossing the line.
“I thought I had it from the second I crossed the line, but from what they were saying from the commentary area it turned out to be pretty close, so I’m glad to get there in the end.”
Following a win in the Hobart scratch race yesterday Frislie knew he was in form traveling to Launceston. Upsetting Australian teammate and Silverdome local Josh Duffy from claiming his third successive Launceston wheel race win, Frislie joked that at least the title would stay amongst housemates.
Having joined the Australian team at the start of 2020, Frislie was excited to return to the TasCarnivals for the third time.
“It fits really well, we get some really good base fitness in before the series, this really ramps up the intensity with day after day after day of racing. It sets us up really well for road nationals in Ballarat at the start of next year.”
In the Men’s Keirin Tokyo Olympian Matt Richardson stormed home over the final lap to take the Keirin win over Tom Cornish, 2:18.01 to 2:18.08. The Women’s Keiren went to Kristina Clonan in 2:00.02.
The Scratch races highlighted the strength of Tasmanian cycling within the national team, as locals and crowd favourites Georgia Baker and Josh Duffy both found the finish line first in respective races.
Download vision here and photos here.
______________________________________________________________________Searoad Devonport Carnival Preview
The 83rd Devonport Gift shapes as a spectator’s delight, as Australia’s Olympic athletics and cycling teams line up.
Stewart McSweyn returns to the TasCarnivals the fifth fastest 1500m runner in 2021 (3:29.51), with a seventh-place finish in the 1500m at the Tokyo Olympic Games. McSweyn’s form over the mile in 2021 has improved, adding the Oceania mile record to a resume including Oceania records at 1500m and 3000m. A time of 3:48.37 ranking McSweyn second in the world in 2021 over the distance. McSweyn will have his eyes set on his 2019 race record (3:57.79), as he chases down local talents James Hansen, Sam Clifford and Paralympic medalist Deon Kenzie.
The Devonport Gift welcomes back Ash Moloney, a 21-year old who spent the year stamping his authority on the decathlon. Moloney took bronze in Tokyo, rewriting his own Oceania decathlon record to 8649 points, a top 25 all-time performance. Moloney has a 400 metre best of 45.82, combined with a 100 metre best of 10.34, the Queenslander’s speed and strength will be a sight to behold. Moloney will face healthy competition from Ian Halpin and Jordan Sarmento. Australian 4x400m representative Halpin, holds a personal best of 46.39, whilst Sarmento has clocked 46.45 for 400m.
The Women’s 70 metre handicap pits Queenslanders, and TasCarnivals regulars Torrie Lewis and Hilal Durmaz against each other. Lewis has shown phenomenal form in 2021, a run of 11.33sec over 100m ranks the 16 year old 3rd in the world this year for athletes under 18 years of age. Durmaz has continued to improve in 2021, an 11.66sec personal best placing her just outside the top 20 under 18’s globally this year.
The Devonport Men’s and Women’s wheel races will provide a series of rematches from the Launceston wheel race, as the Australian cycling team flocks to Devonport. 2017 wheel race winner Maeve Plouffe returns to Devonport having represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games in the team pursuit. She’ll be joined on the cycling track by fellow Tokyo Olympians Georgia Baker, Alex Manly, Luke Plapp and Matt Richardson.
Timetables for all carnivals are available at www.tascarnivals.com.au.
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Runners, riders and choppers - take your marks and take part in the upcoming Tasmanian Carnivals series. Entries for the 2022/2023 season open soon.2022/23 entries open soon