Cyclists pursue victory on Bendigo track 

BEING in tonight’s Lindsay Harrington Memorial Wheelrace would be a major highlight for some of the Bendigo and District Cycling Club’s newest competitors.

In just their first or second track seasons, Martin Banfield, Tom Cobden, Luke Daly and Daniel Poole have won or been placegetters in the club’s feature wheelraces on a Thursday or Saturday night.

But tonight the riches are even greater in the $1700 Lindsay Harrington Memorial Wheelrace (2000m), which is sponsored by the Harrington family, Luke Drummond Builders, and Hume & Iser Home Hardware.

Poole will race at the Bendigo leg of the four-round Christmas carnvial series for the first time.

After many years of athletics and football, Poole took up cycling last year.

“I was looking for a way to get fitter, and thought I would have a go at cycling.”

He won the main event at the club’s most recent Saturday night carnival and his handicap mark has been cut significantly.

“Racing on the track is really challenging,” said the 30-year-old, who races in the Cycle Concepts colours.

Banfield, 45, is in his first track season and regularly featured in the placings of the wheelraces and scratch races at the Barnard Street track.

“I started racing in criteriums on the Gold Coast six years ago,”  Banfield said.

“I’m also racing with the Central Victorian Veterans on the road, and having a go at crits as well.Track is great. It’s shorter, sharper and there’s plenty of tactics.

“The key is to go as fast as you can from the start, but also have enough energy for the sprint,” said the senior manager of retail operations at Bendigo Bank.

Cobden and Daly, both 18, are two of the Bendigo and District Cycling Club’s rising stars.

Sailing is a sport Cobden has excelled at.

His record on the water includes being a reigning national champion for the Taipan class.

For now it’s cycling Cobden is pursing with a lot of skill and gaining tips from the likes of Ash Harding, Justin Leske and Syd Anstee.

Cobden and Daly will both start from the 180m mark in the fourth and final heat tonight.

Daly’s cycling stint includes mountain bike racing.

Now in his second track season, Daly races in the Feelgood Colours and is coached by Leigh Worn.

Today’s cycling action begins with the juniors at 2pm. The senior program starts at 6pm. Entry is $5 for adult spectators.  

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