The George Town Carnival is proudly presented by the Launceston City Cycling Club.
Women’s Wheel Race
Baker caught the front markers with half a lap remaining, making an ominous move with a lap remaining - the Launceston riders international experience visible to all over the final stretch.
Baker was humble in assessing her performance but noted the key role the Tasmanian Christmas Carnival Series plays in her preparation for international racing.
“I don’t think Wheel races are ever easy - it’s definitely full gas otherwise we won't catch the front markers. I had a few good teammates out there who helped me out,” noted Baker.
“To be honest, I haven’t raced too much at George Town. But the Christmas Carnival Series was definitely a huge part of my preparation, and a part of making the Australian Cycling Team,” reflected the 2016 Olympian.
“It’s a little bit different, especially the gear ratios - you have to under-gear a bit, given the corner behind me (finish straight turn). It’s different, but it’s fun,” mused Baker, commenting on the flatter George Town track.
“I’m really excited for next year, we’re hoping Tokyo goes ahead. For the moment now, we’ve got a road racing block, doing the Tour Down Under and Road Nationals, so that’s a little bit different from the track preparation we’d been doing earlier in the year - but it’s nice to switch things up,” said Baker.
Tasmanian’s Amalia Langham took 2nd, riding off 140m, whilst Jesse Sawyer was 3rd off 160m.
Men’s Wheel Race
The Tasmanian Institute of Sport’s Dalton Stretton pushed hard from a lap and a half out to hold off the formidable challenge of Australian Cycling Team back markers Luke Plapp and Matthew Richardson.
“I wasn’t too sure where they were to be honest - I looked back with about a lap and a half to go and realised we had a bit of a gap. So I dropped the hammer from there and then came around the top corner, and was just hoping they weren’t coming around. I got to the line and was pretty happy!” exclaimed Stretton.
“I knew Luke would’ve been closing very hard, and they had four of five boys at the back - so I knew they’d be coming pretty quick. When I got the line and they hadn’t come around, I was very happy” reflected Stretton.
Stretton’s 2021 season will focus on building fitness and form in preparation for the Australian track championships, held in March in Brisbane.
The Penguin rider was quick to thank his support team, including his club in Burnie.
“The guys over at Burnie have been so good at building such an awesome club, so it’s great to have a few of the guys showing up today and picking up some results. It’s good for a small club” said Stretton.
Luke Plapp finished 2nd riding off scratch, as William Eaves took third off 160m.
Junior Wheel Races
Elizabeth Strates took an impressive win in the under 13 race, while Charlie Menzies showed some great tactics to claim the under 15 Wheel race.
In the under 17 Wheel race, Flynn Reitsema finished very strong to take first place and the final sash rewarded for the handicapped Wheel Race events.