The sixth annual Cycling Tasmania rider-of-the-season award is will go right to the wire with the winner not being decided until final races at this weekend's season-ending St Helens Carnival. With 15 points on offer, any one of eight riders are still eligible to win the title, which is currently being led by Devonport's John Rayner, with just one point ahead of Matthew Kent, also of Devonport.
The CT award includes all track carnivals and rewards consistency for the whole season. The first four riders in all handicap finals and graded scratch races are awarded a sliding scale of points, whilst keirins, derby's and elimination races do not count.
Rayner has amassed 36 points, including four wins and seven minor placings, while Kent also four wins to his credit. Breathing down on Rayner and Kent is Launceston veteran Jamie Perry, whose tally of 33 points also includes four wins.
The next two challengers, Daniel Jamieson and Nathan Clarke, along with the seventh placed Ben Grenda and eighth placed Ben Kersten are not entered for St Helens. Jamieson and Grenda are representing Tasmania at the Youth Olympics in Sydney, while Clarke is believed to be having a well-earned spell from racing at present. The only other rider in contention is veteran Stephen Martini, who is currenly 11 points behind Rayner and will therefore need two wins and a minor placing.
Launceston's Laura McCaughey has the women's award safely in her keeping and will carry a 30-point lead with her to St Helens. McCaughey has won 11 races this season and placed in seven others. She previously won the award in 2004-05.
George Town's Nathan Hinkley will win the junior title as he currently holds an unbeatable 19-point lead. Riding out of the Junior 3 age group, Hinkley leads from Junior 2's Jacob Fielding.