Posted by on 11/28/99
All those who attended the Illawarra track open last Saturday night were treated to a tremendous afternoon and night of racing.
The juniors started off the proceedings at 5:00pm with some very close racing.
Jaclyn Kejda again was a stand out, riding in the combined girls and boys under 13 events she rode strongly to win all of the events she started. Not to be out done by his sister John Kejda rode some very clever races in the boys under 11 to pick up a few placings.
New recruits to the Illawarra Academy, Rebecca Borgo and Brendan Cato rode extremely well for their limited track experience and showed that they will be a force to reckon with in the near future.
The main event of the night was the wheel race, which was sponsored by Festina watches. It also produced the closest finish of the night when for the second year in a row Stuart Appleyard won the event, second place only half a cigarette paper behind was Mick Kejda.
Other local riders who rode well were Peter Jones, Matt Jones and Adrian White.
Many of the riders and spectators commented that it was the best organised and run track race they had been to for some time. That was due in no small measure by the work from Patricia Gooley, the committee and helpers. Also without the help of sponsors these events cannot be run, the ICC were fortunate to have prizes donated by Festina watches, Crinis fruit Figtree, Spearmans Cycles and Alban's butchers of Albion Park.
Sunday saw more track racing at Bowral for the Southern Highlands track titles. Illawarra riders again performed admirably, in particularly Peter Jones who for the second year running won the wheel race.
Sunday morning at West Dapto was the venue for the club's 27km scratch races. With these races being so short they were fast and furious.
Mick Lockyer has had a meteoric rise over the last few months from riding in C grade to winning a full on A grade sprint. It was testament to his dedication in training and ability on the bike. Second place was Marcus Arnold with Rod Pickering third.
B grade rode a time only one minute slower than A grade, so the pace was obviously on. Because of the speed no one was able to escape the bunch and we had another excellent sprint. Ernie Hall gave us a glimpse of where Jono got his genes from with a well timed all out drag to the line to finish half a wheel infront of Peter Kelly. Paul Bradburn also had a good ride and was rewarded with third place.
The high speeds and close bunch riding was also displayed by C grade. Quite a few of the riders attempted to get away but to no avail and the result again came down to a close sprint finish. Best of friends Joe Pereira and Joe Chiaverini fought hammer and tings down the finish straight with Pereira getting the nod from the judges. Grant Farr also had a good sprint and came in third.
In a race of age against experience Josh Wall rode a strong race and was just able to edge out Max Baker on the line. At the end of the second lap Wall had had a twenty second lead on Baker and Ian Cooper but Baker took off in pursuit of the young gun and caught him by the final turn to set up the sprint finish. Cooper came in for third.
Next week's race is a 27km handicap with group 5 providing the marshals.
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