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Leonard bolts to Melbourne Cup win

In a consolation for his shock omission from the Australian squad for next month's World titles, Victorian Joel Leonard has sent a message to Australian selectors by taking out the 73rd Urban Melbourne Cup on Wheels at Darebin International Sports Centre.

Leonard took the one kilometre time trial title at the Australian championships in Adelaide earlier this month but was overlooked by national selectors for a spot in the Australian squad for the World titles.

The most international final of the events 73-history saw six nations represented in the 8-lap, 2000m handicap final, however it was the 28-year-old Victorian, Leonard, who wrote his name into the history books with a barnstorming ride.

Warragul's Brett Rollinson [200m] and Blackburn's Mark Slyvester [185m] took the minor placings.

Racing off 20m, Leonard worked hard with a large group to drag in the six outmarkers who at one stage looked like they might pinch the win.

However at the bell, Leonard made his move, bursting clear down the back straight on the final lap to take a convincing win.

"That was hard, the hardest race I've done for some time," Leonard said aftewards.

"The last three years I've been close to national selection, but to win an Australian title and not get selected is ridiculous," a clearly frustrated Leonard said after the win.

Meanwhile one rider who will be representing Australia at the world titles in Copenhagen next month, three-time world champion Anna Meares, showed she is on in good form, with a series of strong performances.

After missing the recent Australian championships due to fatigue from a heavy training load, Meares used the Revolution 6 event as a prelude to yet another world title tilt.

Meares took out the Degani Revolution sprint, holding off New South Wales' Kaarle McCulloch and Queenslander Emily Rosemond in her first hit out of the evening.

To assist with her preparations Meares then raced alongside the men.

First, Meares lined up against the talented Nathan Corrigan-Martella who won the under-19 team sprint at the Australian championships earlier this month. The under-19 rider took the win, retaining his pride and helping Meares' preparations for Denmark in the process.

Then Meares raced in a mixed keirin, which was won by Aaron Cooper but Meares flashed home to finish second after being blocked for much of the final lap.

"I felt really good and I'm really pleased where I'm at, at the moment," Meares said.

"I really enjoyed that, it was hard and intense and they weren't given me anything. That's what we need.

"11.3 seconds for the sprint and 11.5 seconds for the keirin is the sort of level we need to get at regularly.

"Australia is too far from the other countries so we need to think outside the box to find ways to challenge ourselves. So by the time we get to international competition we've got it sorted.

"I'm confident, excited and a little nervous," Meares said thinking ahead to the world titles. "I know the form is going to be good but you just want it to go perfectly. All that hard work - the money's in the bank and I just hope the bank is open on the right day so I can make a withdrawal."

In a warm up for the Australian Junior Team Pursuit Championships at DISC in March, the Victorian team of Evan Hull, Thomas Hamilton, Jack Cummings and Alex Morgan had a crack at the Australian under-17 record. They clocked 3:21.589 to beat the National record of 3:22.859 set by NSW last year.

Invited grade riders battled it out for the inaugural $1000 first prize in the Norm Manskie Medal scratch race over 15 laps. Brent Nelson rode a strong race and held off all challenges to take the win, ahead of Darren Rogers and Rick Sanders.

New Zealander Shane Archbold captured a winning treble, taking out the SRAM Revolution Elimination race, backing up to win the Urban elite men's scratch race, holding off Victorian Sean Finning. He then returned to turn back teammate Tom Skully to win the Urban points race.

Victorian Jason Niblett reversed the result from Revolution 5 last December, taking out the Degani Sprint final, pinching a big break with a lap to go and outlasting 2009 Melbourne Cup on Wheels winner Josiah Ng of Malaysia. Daniel Ellis (SA) finished third.

Jaron Gardiner held off Emily Rosemond, Aaron Cooper shaded Kaarle McCulloch and Nathan Corigan-Martella accounted for Anna Meares in the Clipsal women versus M19 Match Sprint. In the men v women keirin, Cooper took the victory, but Meares impressed in second place after being blocked in for much of the final lap.

In the 2XU women's keirin final the Melbourne-based Malaysian Fatehah Mustapha held off Victorian Apryl Eppinger. World championships silver medallist Azizal Awang made it a Malaysian double for coach John Beasley, taking the men's keirin ahead of Jason Niblett and Daniel Ellis.

In the Teschner Future Stars events, Imogen Jelbart won the W17 Double Kilo dash, with Jack Cummins taking out the men's equivalent. Evan Hull of Ararat won the elimination race to take the series and a $5000 Teschner frame. Jelbart did the same, taking out the women's elimination to make it a winning double.

Brief Results Melbourne Cup on Wheels
1Joel Leonard
2Brett Rollinson
3Mark Slyvester

Degani Revolution sprint
1Anna Meares
2Kaarle McCulloch
3Emily Rosemond

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