Track Cycling

Luke Tuckwell wins Bathurst Cycling Club’s A grade track scratch champonships – Western Advocate

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LUKE Tuckwell has claimed one of his biggest successes on his home velodrome by taking out the Bathurst Cycling Club’s A grade Track Scratch Championships race on Friday night. The 15-year-old Orange native powered away from his three rivals over the last two laps to beat home a small but quality field of opponents on the Bathurst Velodrome. The junior star beat Craig Hutton, Dan Googe and Kalinda Robinson to the top grade crown. Tuckwell took advantage of some misfortune for his opponents across the 30-lap race but also tactically played his race out to perfection. All four riders rotated their turns on the front at the start but from there periodical attacks were launched to test the mettle of each other, with Tuckwell keen to make several of them. He had enough left in the tank after a race of up and down pace to sprint clear and win comfortably. Tuckwell said the race carried a high intensity once the first couple of laps were out of the way. “The first five laps were pretty chilled and we were just swapping off turns and I put in the first attack with around 25 laps to go, just to see how everyone was feeling,” he said. “We dropped Kalinda and it stretched the other two out a bit because I went pretty hard to see how they were. “It was three laps then an attack, three laps then an attack and it kept repeating.” With 10 laps to go Hutton needed to make a quick bike replacement due to an issue with his back wheel. He and Robinson were both able to catch up with Tuckwell and Googe but it took a lot out of them just to latch back onto the lead duo. Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here. The race took on a completely new complexion during the closing stages as they pace dropped back. Tuckwell waiting patiently before making his charge away to victory. “We were playing cat and mouse for the last eight laps, just looking at each other, rolling up and down the track waiting to see who would make a move,” he said. “I attacked with one and a half laps to go and I just held them off.” There was little anyone could do when Tuckwell decided the launch his final attack. Tuckwell lead by nearly the full length of the back straight across the final lap and was able to ease up and win comfortably ahead of Googe in the race towards the finish line. After beating such a quality field in the scratch race it’s got Tuckwell excited for what the future holds. “Considering they’re all at least and year and a half older than me, to win it as a 15-year-old feels pretty good,” he said. “It’s been such a good season for me in 2019. It was the first year in my age group and it was a big stepping stone and confidence boost for 2020 knowing that as a first year I can still win. “I’ve exceeded my own expectations of how I can ride and how hard I can go.” The Bathurst Cycling Club’s Sprint and Team Sprint Championships will be held this coming Friday at the velodrome, with more club titles to follow throughout all of January.