Welsford and Scott hold firm after Day Two in Melbourne
08 February 2019
Sam Welsford and Cameron Scott held firm at the top of the Six Day Melbourne tree for a second day running as they target victory on home boards.
The Aussie pair had enough legs to execute a powerhouse final sprint in the Madison, which they edged ahead of Kiwis Shane Archbold and Aaron Gate, who remain their closest competition.
However, Gate and the ‘Flying Mullet’ took the overall Madison success as they move into second place in general classification on 145 points, 25 behind Welsford and Scott.
HOST DUO POUNCE AT THE RIGHT TIME
Their lead is a precarious one, but the Australians will be hoping they have enough left in the tank to fend off the rest of the pack in what promises to be a nail-biting final day in Melbourne on Saturday.
Welsford afterwards: “Luckily enough, I had good legs for the final sprint – Cameron set me up perfectly leading up to it… and I managed to hold the rest of them off.”
Scott added: “We’re all really good mates off the bike but once we get on the track, it’s all down to the racing. That kind of friendly rivalry comes into play!”
Germans Henning Bommel and Kersten Thiele thrust themselves into contention and sit third – victory in the opening race of the night, the shorter Madison Chase, doing the business for them.
Elsewhere, the dangerous Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien took the team elimination from Gate and Archbold, American Shane Kline emerged victorious in the points and rising Aussie star Godfrey Slattery powered through quickest in the 250m Madison TT.
EDMONDSON AND MANLY TURN THE SCREW
Annette Edmondson’s grip on the women’s competition grew even tighter after the experienced Adelaidean, a double World and Commonwealth champion, teamed up with Alex Manly to score victories in both races on the night.
After timing a late lap gain to perfection in the Madison, the duo were ruthless in the team elimination as they occupy first and second in the overall field.
“It’s chaotic even by yourself, but when you’ve got another teammate to think about and you’re looking over the wheels, it can get pretty messy out there,” said Edmondson after the elimination.
“But the talent in Australia is getting a lot better and that definitely helps [competition].”
Manly added: “We planned it well and we knew our change was after [the others]… we had a good run in the wheels and we had our timing perfect.”
SPRINTERS FIELD WIDE OPEN
James Brister extended his lead in the sprints – but it is very much a level playing field as riders settled into their rhythm on the second night.
The young Australian went second-quickest in the flying lap time trial, behind compatriot Tom Clarke, who was the first rider of the competition to beat the 10-second barrier in the TT.
In the other head-to-heads, it was the younger generation who emerged victorious, with Malaysian Shah Sahrom outgunning Shane Perkins, and Tom Cornish doing the same to Azizulhasni Awang.
Sahrom’s night got even better as he stormed to keirin glory ahead of Awang and Brister, the latter sitting top of the standings on 94 points, ten ahead of nearest challenger Clarke, going into the final day of competition.