Sydney Thousand aiming at track rebirth

The re-birth of the historic Sydney Thousand bicycle race - first held at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1903 - will have a significant impact on the future viability of track cycling as a public attraction in Australia's largest city. Last held at Camperdown Velodrome in 1985, the Sydney Thousand has found a new home at the $42 million Dunc Gray Velodrome and is the centre piece of an afternoon of racing which has rarely been matched in the past century and a quarter of two wheeled competition in the NSW capital city.

Set down for a November 27 afternoon, the Sydney Thousand carnival features the best line-up of local and overseas track racing talent seen anywhere in the world, barring Olympics and World Championship events. It will provide organisers with a test to determine whether track cycling at one of the world's great venues, and featuring action packed racing on a wood surfaced track with wall of death turns, can pull in crowds as the original Sydney Thousand did when 54,000 people turned up to watch.

"Looking at the program, I believe the riders on show are the best possible available in the world today and will give Sydneysiders an opportunity to see not only top class quality, but in quantity never before matched," stated NSW Institute of Sport Cycling Head Coach, Gary Sutton.

Like everyone in cycling, Sutton, winner of a World Title in 1980 and two Sydney Thousands, is enthused at the clash of Perth's dual Athens Gold Medallist, Ryan Bayley, and German World Sprint Champ Rene Wolff, in what is being billed as 'The Match Race of the Century."

"This particular clash will have world-wide significance as it brings together our Olympic Champ Bayley and the German Wolff, who won at the World's when Bayley was robbed of a start through injury," added Sutton. "These riders have similar styles based on power, endurance and determination, so the 'entertainment' is expected long before the bell lap.

"Outside of that, the carnival features Australia's best domestic performer in the past track season, Ben Kersten, the AIS male and female squad members, NZ's fastest pedaling female, Liz Williams, Wolff's German team mate Mathias John as well as State and National Champions," Sutton said.

Of particular interest will be the men's and women's keirin races staged behind a motorcycle.

Tickets are $20.00 and can be obtained through Cycling New South Wales on +61 (0)2 9738 5850.

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