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Kersten kicks it on Singapore's GP circuit

Australia track champion, Ben Kersten (Fly V Australia) is making the transition to criterium and road racing this year.

Australia track champion, Ben Kersten (Fly V Australia) is making the transition to criterium and road racing this year. (Image credit: Jason McDonald)

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.

Results
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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