Aussies on top after Day One of Six Day Melbourne
07 February 2019
Sam Welsford and Cameron Scott forced their way to the pinnacle of the Six Day Melbourne standings as consistency proved to be the key on a dramatic opening night in Australia.
The buccaneering tactics of New Zealanders Aaron Gate and ‘The Flying Mullet’ Shane Archbold looked to have got them in front as they took decisive lap gains in the final Madison.
But the Australian pairing ensured home fans went home happy as they edged over the 100-point barrier to take an extra lap themselves in the final sprint of the night’s racing.
TIGHT AT THE TOP ON DAY ONE
With 102 points on the board, Welsford and Scott enjoy a 28-point advantage over Archbold and Gate, with the British-Aussie pairing of Stephen Bradbury and Jarrad Drizners third on 71 and the only other side to be up with the laps.
Welsford said: “We’re pretty happy to come out on top – it was really fast out there today, we’re keen to see how we go tomorrow defending that GC.”
Scott added: “The New Zealanders are two very strong riders and it will be hard to keep them at bay, but we’ll do our best.”
EDMONDSON OOZES CLASS EN ROUTE TO OMNIUM WIN
Annette Edmondson led an Australian onslaught in home crowds as she sealed a superb omnium win in the women’s competition.
Edmondson fended off challenges led by Amy Cure to take the omnium title and sit atop the overall rankings going into Day Two.
Ashlee Ankudinoff set the tone with an aggressive attack to win the 7.5km scratch race, but Edmondson, who came second in the opener, powered to victory in the elimination to force her way to the top of the tree, a position she would not give up with another triumph in the tempo and keeping her lead in the final points race.
But she admitted she had to work hard for her victory.
“I thought I had it controlled, and I did until the last 20 laps when Amy Cure really gave it to me,” she said. “I know how much harder it is to be in second because you’ve got to make the moves, I feel like she rode the best race I’ve ever seen in second wheel. She made me work for it!
“Things get tricky in the second half but luckily I had a bit of a buffer going into the final.
“It’s my first omnium win for a while – I had a break, went to the road, come back – and it really does mean a lot to be back on top.”
BRILLIANT BRISTER GETS NOSE IN FRONT
In the sprints, James Brister was the surprise winner of the time trial, which set up a face-off against compatriot Tom Clarke.
And it was Clarke who won the battle, raising both arms triumphantly aloft as he edged his wheel across the line ahead of Brister, the latter finishing in the lead overall after the first night on 47 points.
While the youngsters ruled the roost in the individual, it was the experienced duo of Shane Perkins and Azizulshani Awang who dominated in the keirin.
With tactics playing more of a part, Perkins kicked on early and took the attack to the rest of the field, just about hold of the late thrust of the Malaysian, who raised his wheel in trademark fashion as he dived for the line, but Perkins took the win in his home city as he ended the day second on 42.