Turning up to a track carnival with no track time is a respectable effort for any competitor, but for the Townsville Cycle Club to walk away with the following results demonstrates their level of resilience.
The club was well represented at the Cairns Cup on Wheels over October 1-2.
The young trio of Sienna Monteith, Imogen Kerswell and Mikayla Gibbs represented our junior riders, competing in a combined u15 girls and boys division.
They were off to a flying start on night one (Friday 1 October) kicking off proceedings with a six-lap scratch race. The girls worked together early but the screws were tightened by visiting Gold Coast rider, Madison Smith, causing small splits in the bunch.
Monteith started her sprint with a lap to go (400m) but was pipped on the line as she finished second.
Their second event of the evening, the two-lap handicap, saw Monteith start with the backmarkers with a lot of ground to cover to reach the front markers.
The midfield worked well as Mikayla Gibbs crossed the line in second place.
Their final race for the first night was a six-lap tempo as Monteith set a blistering pace to stay close to the front. Unlucky to be rolled on the line for the first few laps, she eventually collected enough points to finish third.
The girls then opened the second night of racing with another six-lap scratch race, where Monteith picked up her third podium, this time in first place.
They then moved onto their main event, the combined U11/13/15 2-lap handicap. Monteith coming from the backmarkers once more, with Kerswell and Gibbs handicapped kindly in the midfield.
Gibbs climbed her way back onto the podium, bettering the previous night’s result with an impressive first place!
Monteith was the only club representative in the u15 girls Keirin final – where she rode a very impressive race, managing to get around the outside and cross the line to take first place honours.
They closed out their track carnival racing with another 6-lap tempo, which unfolded near identically to the night before, as Montieth claimed her second bronze medal.
Briana McDonald (A Grade), Hannah Kerswell (B Grade) and Amanda Gibbs (C Grade) represented the club in the open women’s racing. All but the Keirins were combined races – however each grade received their own podium.
Gibbs rode an impressive and determined weekend, taking to the podium in every event she entered. Walking away in third place in the 8-lap motor pace and the elimination; second place in the keirin; and winning the 6-lap scratch race and 6-lap tempo.
Kerswell continued her comeback to racing after only a few weeks of training, and put in the most respectable efforts as she sported the old, retro, McDonald’s club kit.
McDonald was joined by Scody Racing Team p/b Balmoral Cycle Club teammate, Keeley Henderson, to take it to Cairn’s resident track speedster, Gabrielle Thomasz.
In what was a very even contest, McDonald managed to take first place honours in the A Grade Women six lap scratch race. She earned second place honours in the eight-lap motor pace, eight lap scratch race, and six lap tempo; she walked away with a third in the Keirin. In the main event, the combined A/B/C Womens 3-lap handicap, she managed respectable second, coming from a 10 metre handicap.
Henry Goodwill, Harry Preston and Jon Kerswell took to the start line for the Men’s C Grade events – where Goodwill displayed Brisbane 2032 potential – winning almost everything.
Goodwill took a clean sweep on the first night, winning the 8-lap motor pace, combined A/B/C Men’s 2-lap handicap, and the elimination.
Come to the second night, he finished second in the opening scratch race and he was unlucky in the main event, the Cairns Cup on Wheels 4-lap handicap (combined Men’s A/B/C), where he lead throughout and was only caught by the backmarkers in the final 50 metres.
In what was potentially the closest finish of the weekend, Goodwill finished second in the C Grade Men Keirin, before storming home for first in the final event, the tempo.
Kyle Gibbs and Jake Kerswell represented the club in the B Grade Men. The boys worked well together, and Gibbs put his Ernie Yates winning form on display coming second in the 8-lap tempo and the elimination; and third in the 8-lap scratch race and 8-lap motor pace.
Euan Kerswell, Kobe Ormes, and Callum McDonald were our representatives in the A Grade Men, and it was a tale of two nights for the young trio.
They didn’t get off to the start they wanted, achieving a reverse trifecta (third last, second last and last) in the opening event, the 10-lap motor pace.
The trio didn’t get anywhere near the front in the A/B/C Men’s combined 2-lap handicap before McDonald and Ormes went on to be the first and second riders eliminated in the elimination. Kerswell however was self-admittedly surprised with himself as he finished third to salvage the boys’ opening night.
The second night was a complete turn of events. Picking up where they left off, Kerswell claimed third place in the 10-lap scratch race.
Ormes was able to capitalise on the fast-moving train of backmarkers in the Cairns Cup on Wheels 4-lap handicap (combined Men’s A/B/C), motoring his way into second place.
Kerswell was the only club representative in the A Grade Keirin, going head-to-head with the likes of Hamish Wright, the Hutton Brothers, Mackay A Grade Keirin winner, Josh Rayner, and NRS rider Duncan Allen.
He drew second wheel, but was forced to take the motorbike after the lead rider swung off to move to the back. What followed can only be described as a severe under-estimation of the quality of rider that is Euan Kerswell.
Leading into two laps to go, the bunch lulled off the back of Kerswell by 20-30 metres. Kerswell kept on the motorbike’s wheel.
As the motorbike pulled off with two laps to the finish, Kerswell slowly built on his ‘breakaway’ lead, as the bunch continued to watch each other.
Receiving the bell, now with a solid 50+ metre lead, Kerswell committed to a long ranged 400m drive to the line.
Cheered on by his Townsville Cycle Club compatriots, the chasing bunch couldn’t get anywhere near Kerswell, as he rolled across the line in first place still with at least a 20-metre lead.
PUT SOME RESPECT ON HIS NAME!
Ecstatic with his victory, Kerswell could not quite comprehend what had just happened,
“That was the longest 800 metres of my life after the (motor)bike pulled off with two to go,” he said.
“I didn’t want to willingly go back to the bunch, and they just never really came after me, I knew I just had to bury myself and never look back once that bell rang.
“Shout out to my coffee roll crew, next ride is on me!”
McDonald closed out the A Grade campaign as he managed to sneak his way into third place in the 12-lap tempo, the final race for the weekend.
It must be noted however that all riders put in a truly impressive effort considering how long they’ve been starved from track training – well done to you all!
Watch Euan Kerswell win the A Grade Keirin below.