Kersten kicks it on Singapore's GP circuit

Australian wins inaugural event with powerful finish

Ben Kersten, 2006 Commonwealth Games kilo gold medallist, continued his transition to road cycling with an outstanding win in the OCBC Cycle Singapore Professional Criterium.

Kersten, racing for Fly V Australia, has now backed up his victory in the US Pro Criterium Championship last season by outsprinting a 65-strong professional field featuring professional teams Garmin, Footon-Servetto and Lampre.

The race was staged on the Singapore Motor Grand Prix race circuit over 105 minutes and came down to the wire, with Kersten's teammates Scott Law, Hayden Brooks and Pat Shaw providing the horsepower to neutralise a threatening breakaway with just 300 metres remaining.

Kersten, a world class 1km time trial rider on the track and more recently a powerful road sprinter, took the lead 150 metres from home and won by several lengths.

"It was touch and go in the last few laps but with a lap remaining I thought we had done enough to catch the three leaders and to challenge for the sprint," said Kersten. "I positioned myself well and once the break was caught I focused on the sprint, hitting top speed with 150 metres to go."

The Fly V Australia rider also won the Cronulla International Grand Prix last December, beating Team Sky's Chris Sutton and dual Olympic champion Graeme Brown from Rabobank. The Cronulla Grand Prix confirmed Kersten's potential, especially with Sutton going on to win the Bay Criterium Series in Victoria and the final stage of the Tour Down Under.

"The pressure was on us to deliver with two of the best sprinters in Kersten and Law. Scott Law is a great natural talent and at 18 years of age is the name to watch for the future but I was so impressed with Benny as he raced with great confidence and condition," said team director Henk Vogels.

The OCBC Cycle Singapore attracted a vast array of competitive cyclists, with 9,000 competitors contesting the supporting event, a 50km race. The numbers were up by more than 4,000 on the numbers of last year and organisers are planning to increase this even more significantly in the future.

Kersten will return to Sydney for three weeks before linking up with most of his Fly V Australia teammates in the US.

1Ben Kersten (Aus) Fly V Australia  
2Michelle Merlo (Spa) Footon Servetto  
3Angelo Furlan (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
4Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Rapha Condor Sharp  
5Kenneth Hanson (USA) Team Type 1  
6Patrick Bevin (NZl) New Zealand  
7Mart Ojavee (Est) Team CKT TMIT - Champion System  
8Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Team CKT TMIT - Champion System  
9Mike Northey (NZl) New Zealand  
10Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor Sharp  
11Kyle Wamsley (USA) Bissell  
12Michael Phelan (Aus) Drapac Porsche  
13Daniel Holloway (USA) Bissell  
14Scott Law (Aus) Fly V Australia  
15Cody O'Reilly (USA) Bissell  
16Deon Locke (Aus) Team CKT TMIT - Champion System  
17Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Transitions  
18Joseph Lewis (Aus) Drapac Porsche  
19Ryan Anderson (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
20Rob Hayles (GBr) Endura Racing Team  
21Scott Thwaites (GBr) Endura Racing Team  
22Peter Williams (GBr) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
23Aldo Ino Illesic (Slo) Team Type 1  
24Malcom Elliott (GBr) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
25James McCallum (GBr) Endura Racing Team  
26Tjarco Cuppens (Ned) Team Fuji Asia  
27Jeremy Yates (NZl) New Zealand  
28Ian Bibby (GBr) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
29Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon - Servetto  
30Pat Shaw (Aus) Fly V Australia  
31Fabio Felline (Spa) Footon - Servetto  
32Artyom Golovachshenko (Kaz) Team Polygon Sweet Nice  
33Davide Ricci Bitti (Ita) ISD - Neri Cycling Team  
34Roman Krazilnikov (Rus) Team Polygon Sweet Nice  
35Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Porsche  
36Kirril Kazantsev (Kaz) Team Polygon Sweet Nice  
37Alexander King (GBr) Endura Racing Team  
38Gianluca Mirenda (Ita) ISD - Neri Cycling Team  
39Roger Beuchat (Swi) Team CKT TMIT - Champion System  
40Motoi Nara (Jpn) Geumsan Ginseng Asia  
41Yeong Uk Kim (Kor) Geumsan Ginseng Asia  
42Tom Southam (GBr) Rapha Condor Sharp  
43Alessandro Colo' (Ita) ISD - Neri Cycling Team  
44Guy East (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
45James Sampson (GBr) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
46Andrea Grendene (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
47Mararten Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1  
48Salvatore Mancuso (Ita) ISD - Neri Cycling Team  
49Junaidi Hashim (Sin) OCBC Singapore Cycling Team  
50David Gutierrez (Spa) Footon - Servetto  
51Hayden Brooks (Aus) Fly V Australia  
52Yuseke Higuma (Jpn) Team Fuji Asia  
53Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor Sharp  
54Angus Morton (Aus) Drapac Porsche  
55Sergey Kudentsov (Rus) Team Polygon Sweet Nice  
56Jason Allen (NZl) New Zealand  
57Jesse Anthony (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies  
58Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
59Peter Van Agtmaal (Ned) Team Fuji Asia  
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