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SA track stars go through their gears in Manchester
- Updated: October 30, 2013
Our track cycling stars had the opportunity to take part in the invitational Revolution Series, which kicked off in Manchester at the weekend. The national team is currently finalising their preparations ahead of this coming weekend’s opening round of the UCI Track World Cup series.
The only woman representative, Maroesjka Matthee, kicked off the day’s proceedings in the 200m Sprint, qualifying in eighth place.
The two sprinters, Jeanne Nell and Jean Smith, were next on the blocks, both posting personal best times of 10.417 and 10.614 seconds respectively.
Evan Carstens and Kellan Gouveris followed in the endurance competition, riding the Points race for Rouleur, a bicycle magazine. According to Cycling SA Track Cycling Commission Director and team manager, Roger Bouton, both men rode a highly commendable race for the first third of the bike race.
ÔÇ£Unfortunately, the monkey climbed on Kellan’s back when he tried to take a lap,ÔÇØ said Bouton. ÔÇ£At this stage, Kellan was actually on top of the leader board with eight points, whilst Evan had three points. Evan finished with the bunch, whilst Kellan, who never gave up, was lapped a couple of times.ÔÇØ
Neither Nell nor Smith made it through to the final qualification of the Keirin, whilst Carstens rode the flying lap on behalf of the endurance team in a time of 14.021 and was placed fifth overall.
The evening’s session commenced with an electric atmosphere as it filled up with enthusiastic spectators and supporters. The Rouleur invitation team was made up of two elite riders (Carstens and Gouveris), two future stars girls and two future stars boys, all under 17 years of age. There were 10 teams in total, with each category earning points for their team.
Matthee, who wasn’t feeling her best, was the first athlete to be eliminated from her elimination race. The Elite men Minor Sprint finals followed, where Nell had qualified in eighth place, and had a sudden death ride-off against Matt Crampton.
Then came the Men’s Elimination. After a heavy two weeks, both athletes had made the decision to save their legs for the up-coming two events of the 1km Madison and Scratch races, opting out early in the race.
ÔÇ£The Keirin ended off an evening of racing for the sprint duo, which provided an awesome and much needed experience for our young sprinters,ÔÇØ said Bouton.
Matthee’s Scratch race provided a better result as she finished behind the main bunch. Thereafter, the 1km Madison saw the duo of Carstens and Gouveris, who were competing together for the first time, post a credible time of 58.4 to be place second in their heats and fourth overall.
The men’s Scratch race was a fast and hard event. Carstens had an awesome ride, finishing fifth overall and was the second non-pro rider home receiving a nice surprise of some prize money.
ÔÇ£We extend a very special thanks to Phil West and James Pope for facilitating our invitation, as well as Sarah Fletcher for arranging our accommodation. Thanks to the Revolution organisers for the awesome experience and hospitality that you have afforded us.ÔÇØ
Photo credit: Roger Bouton