A world record has been smashed and numerous Australian records superceded on a fast-paced first day of the Australian Masters Track Cycling Championships at Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome.
Cycling NSW are hosting the event which has attracted riders from 30 to 80 years from around Australia, including many state, national and world age group champions.
Some have returned to track cycling after successful elite careers. Keith Oliver, back on the bike for just weeks and having joined the St George Cycle Club, set a new Australian reocrd for the masters 10 individual time trial 500m with 40.977.
Keith’s record was not the only one set on the day. In fact, six Australian records were broken plus a World Record.
World Record For Lise Benjamin
Sydney pharmacist Lise Benjamin, who smashed world records as a masters five rider in 2011 at national and world championships, broken the masters seven women’s 500 metre time trial record with a time of 39.676.
The Bicisport cycling club rider was “over the moon” about her record, which she said she had hoped she might be able to achieve.
“There are so many variables in track cycling. Things can go right or wrong on the day,” she said.
Meanwhile, Anna Whitten set a new masters 6 national record with a time of 39.997, Penelope Rowbotham set a new Australian record in masters 8/9 with 43.113, current world champion Gary Mandy set a new Australian record for masters 6 men in 34.556, just edging out rival Geoff Stoker in 34,953 and David Willmot sent a new national record for mens masters 7 in 35.09.
New Australian Champions
Mens 1000m time trial
Masters 1 Mathew Mooney NSW 1.06.802
Masters 2 Andrew Loft QLD 1.11.462
Mens 750m time trial
Masters 3 Jason Fair NSW 50.768
Masters 4 John Elder QLD 50.489
Mens 500m time trial
Masters 5 Glenn Searle QLD 36.068
Masters 6 Gary Mandy NSW 34.556
Masters 7 David Wilmott NSW 35.09
Masters 8 John Dizon 38.361
Masters 9 Darrell Wheeler NSW 39.555
Masters 10 Keith Oliver NSW 40.977
Womens 500m time trial
Masters 1 Lauren Leader QLD 39.095
Masters 2 Laurelea Moss 39.240
Masters 3 Rebecca Wheadon WA 37.670
Masters 4 Renee Covington NSW 39.123
Masters 5 Sally McKenna NSW 38.938
Masters 6 Anna Whitton NSW 39.997
Masters 7 Lise Benjamin NSW 39.676 (WR)
Masters 8-9 Penelope Rowbotham NSW 43.113
Karen Munro Memorial Race On Saturday
The racing continues through to Saturday when the 4th annual Karen Munro Memorial Masters Women’s 120+yr Teams Pursuit will be held. Cycling Australia have provided a perpetual trophy in addition to the usual National medals to commemorate the life of this remarkable woman.
Karen Munro was well-known for her love of track cycling. She enjoyed competing at State, National and World Masters levels, and won many medals.She was a passionate spokeswoman and advocate for Lung Cancer awareness and an inspiration to those who came into contact with her.
Having never smoked in her life, Karen was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer in February 2010 and she fought it with everything she had. She raised awareness by riding her bike from the TDU in Adelaide to Melbourne and the campaign known as “Breathe Hard to Ride Easy”. In 2011 she sadly lost her fight, at just 41 years of age.
Debate Over Cost Of Drug Testing
With same-day drug testing mandatory for masters riders seeking to have a world record ratified, many have expressed outrage over the high cost of testing as stipulated by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
According to the Cycling NSW Facebook page, drug testers are on call for the duration of the National Masters. In order for a rider to have a world record ratified they are required to pay a fee of $800 for a standard sample collection & in-competition analysis.
Is this fair? Should masters athletes be required to pay $800 to claim a record? We are keen to hear your thoughts.