By Rod Morris in Devonport
Cycling Tasmania's Female Rider-of-the-Season award for 2005-06 will go right to the wire with the sudden late form of Ulverstone's Sarah Cure. Now in its fifth season, the CT award is the highest profile recognition of its type in the state, as it operates at every track carnival, rewarding riders in a vast array of events.
Sarah Cure has leapt into outright second place and is just one point behind the leader, Karissa Ling of South Riana, with only this Saturday's St Helens Carnival remaining to earn points. Points are on offer in all handicap finals and all grade scratch races and if Ling or Cure don't win the girls' award, then Flowery Gully rider, Grace Sulzberger is next in line. Sulzberger goes to St Helens trailing Ling by 6 points, but with a maximum of 15 points up for grabs.
The prestigious male award is also far from finished, although the in-form Tom Robinson of Launceston has at least one hand on the trophy. Robinson has earned points in his last six races at the three most recent carnivals and to highlight his performance even better, he has won prizemoney in each of the last six handicap races, the three wheelraces and 1000 m lightning handicap events at the Hobart, Rosebery and Mersey Valley carnivals.
Robinson will carry a 9 point lead over Jarrod Harman to St Helens, whilst other potential winners include Aaron Jones (11 points behind) and veteran Steve Martini (14 points behind).
The junior award is a foregone conclusion with Ulverstone's Luke Ockerby holding an unassailable 29 point lead over Launceston's Ben Grenda. Ockerby has been in sensational form all season, having won 17 races that carry points in the CT award as well as numerous speciality races.
Ockerby currently has 95 points and needs only one more win to become the first rider in the history of the award to amass 100 points.