By Cameron Jennings
I'm back into the daily swing of training now after a good four week break up home. My break away from the bike was interrupted for three days when the Rockhampton Cup on Wheels rolled into the town on the 9th and 10th of November. I headed out for a ride Thursday morning just to make sure I was not completely useless come Friday night, then proceeded to beg, borrow and steal a track bike and line up for one of the richest track carnivals on the East Coast.
A week of rain leading up to the carnival made a few people nervous, but come the day the clouds had rolled away and the two days racing were completed without rain delay. Like many other years a few popular names from the southern states made the trip up to Rockhampton.
In the past it has been the Hopkins brothers, Ryan Bailey and of course the local girls Anna and Kerrie Meares making the trip, whereas this year it was a bunch of Victorians in the shape of Mitchell Docker, Nic Sanderson, Hamish Taylor and Brad Edmunds. Miles Olman was also home after winning two amateur Six Days in Amsterdam and Dortmund, and local favourite Grant Irwin also made the trip up for his new Brisbane home. The boys put on the good show for the Rockhampton viewing public and had a good time while they were at it.
So to the racing. Things actually went pretty good, and I was going a little better than I thought I was going to go. Friday night felt a little dusty with making the Keirin final about my only highlight, but Saturday night went a little better: 4th in the Elimination then winning my wheelrace heat and making it through to the final where I came second behind Lindsay "Pidge" McMaster.
I picked up a bit of money which is the main thing. I finished off the night with the Madison, then a 20 lap scratch race, then it was off to the Olman's house to have a few drinks and for a bit of early morning story telling.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a few sponsors of the carnival. It was pushed forward a number of weeks so a few sponsors were caught by surprise, but still came up with the money to keep the carnival going. Some of these sponsors have supported the cycling club for many years and have also helped me out financially in the past. So to:
Central Queensland University
In Focus Financial Management
CQ Crane Hire
Trevor McMaster Air-conditioning
Rockhampton Morning Bulletin,
... and to the sponsors I am sure I have forgotten, thank you very much.
Also big thanks must go to a number of dedicated volunteers here in Rockhampton who help get everything organised and to Damo Harris and Brett Ruff for the entertaining banter and commentary.
Til next time we meet.