Cycing NSW

Cycling New South Wales
About Us Admin Join a club Find a club DGV Coaching & Dev. Commissions Santos NWT Event Calendars Event Entry News Technical
Back:  RacingCalendar2011 Austral Wheelrace

2010 Austral Wheelrace - Review

Ben Sanders has written his name into the history books, joining his father Dave as a winner of the Urban Austral Wheelrace - Australia's oldest and most prestigious track cycling race.

Sanders started the final as second favourite to take the title and riding off 80m in the handicap event was in front at the bell, holding off the challenge from defending champion Shane Perkins, who finished out of the placings. Darren Rodgers (130m) finished second ahead of Jaron Gardiner (125m) in third.

In what was billed as one of the strongest Austral fields in history, the heats and subsequent repecharges witnessed a number of the fancied riders eliminated, including American Olympian Giddeon Massie, world points race champion Cameron Meyer, dual Olympic gold medallist Graeme Brown and under 23 time trial world champion Jack Bobridge.

The race will be remembered for the emotional embrace of father and son however, the first such duo to win the Austral in the 112 editions of the event.

Dave Sanders, a key figure in Australian cycling as head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport cycling program and a mentor to superstars such as world champion Cadel Evans and grand tour stage winner Simon Gerrans, won this race off a handicap of 50m in 1978.

His 19-year-old son Ben, himself a junior world championships silver medallist and Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, now has his name on a trophy the family regards as more important than any other on the domestic cycling scene.

"It's bigger than the national champs, or any other race in Australia. For old school cycling people this is huge," said the older Sanders, fighting back tears after the win.

"This is bigger than the national championships, or anything else, this is history, a lifetime experience."

For his son Ben, the weight of expectations after three years of attempts was obvious. "You couldn't get much happier than me right now. This race is just the biggest thing," he said.

Asked if the family name was a chain around his neck, Sanders Jnr responded: "It has for the last two or three years I've ridden this, and I haven't even made the final. When they said I was the [second] favourite just before it I thought, 'Oh, the omen's back', because every time my name was mentioned for it I couldn't perform. But everything came together on the day."

Home | Print | Privacy

© 2014 Cycling New South Wales. All rights reserved.

Website by BViT