By Rod Morris
Devonport teenager Jarrod Harman remains in the lead in Cycling Tasmania’s fifth annual Rider-of-the-Season award - but the cavalry is coming! Harman, who won the Devonport Wheel last Friday, added further points to his tally at the postponed Burnie Carnival when he won the B Grade Scratch.
He was joined on 28 points by Canberra veteran John Forrest, who throughout the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals won four races and placed in four other events. The Devonport rider however took the lead via countback, courtesy of five race wins, compared to Forrest’s four.
With Forrest unlikely to compete at any of the four remaining Tasmanian Carnivals, Harman will instead be watching his Tasmanian based rivals, which now include Aaron Jones (25 points), Ryan Innes (24), Nathan Clarke (24) and Tom Robinson (23).
The CT award is based on all handicap finals and all graded scratch races, rewarding the first four placegetters with a sliding scale of points, 5-3-2-1. Previous winners of the award include Jame Carney (2001-02), Michael Johnson (2002-03) and Ben Price who won back-to-back titles in 2003-04 and 2004-05.
South Riana’s Karissa Ling extended her lead in the women’s championship after winning the Burnie Wheel and finishing second in the B Grade Scratch. Ling has now scored 33-points and leads by seven over Sarah Cure, with Laura McCaughey and Grace Sulzberger sharing third place on 20-points. Outside of Ling’s Burnie Wheel win, her other victories have included three B Grade scratch races.
In the junior championship, Ulverstone’s Luke Ockerby maintained his 10-point lead over Scottsdale’s Ben Grenda after both won two races at the Burnie Carnival. Ockerby has 65-points, Grenda, 55 and their nearest challengers are Izac Guest and Sam Brett, who are a further 14-points away in equal third. Ockerby and Grenda have been the dominant riders in the junior age groups with 11 and 10 wins respectively. Grenda is unbeaten in the eight Junior 1 scratch races, which have been held to date.
The award continues at the Hobart Carnival this Sunday, followed the next weekend with the Rosebery - Mersey-Valley double-header and will conclude at the St Helens Carnival on January 21.