Third win for Sam Welsford in 3000m Burnie Wheel Race


Pin up boy Sam Welsford has ended a history-making Fulton Hogan Tasmania Sports Carnival series with an unparalleled third consecutive victory in the 3000m Burnie Wheel Race.

Riding from scratch for the third successive year, the 21-year-old caught the leading group with a lap to ride and burst clear to win by 30m.

He joined luminaries such as Danny Clarke (1974, 1977 and 1979) and Stephen Pate (1988, 1991 and 1993) as a three-time winner of the William Adams feature, but is the first cyclist to win it in consecutive years.

Welsford won the Latrobe Wheel Race (joining Steve Pate as the fastest winner in the 121-year history of the event) and then set the fastest time ever recorded at Launceston.

He failed to make the final at Devonport in blustery conditions, but joked that “three out of four isn’t bad!”

The Australian Cycling Academy star, the best track rider in the nation, also finished second in the Fulton Hogan Criterium Cup after finishing fourth, second and second at Ulverstone, Devonport and Burnie on the road circuit. He won races from 1000m to 8000m.

He was the standout of the seven-day carnival, and picked up $7000 for the Burnie success to add to his booty.

Welsford and fellow scratch markers Kel O’Brien and Nick Yallouris had to concede 60m to their nearest rivals but Stephen Hall and Tom Rotherham waited for them to form a competitive bunch as they had another 60m to catch the next group.

“They were tough conditions in the wind but this third win is very special to me. It is my favourite win in this race because (winning three in a row) has never been done before,” he said.

Wesford went on to coast home ahead of South Australian Angus Maddern (270m), with Nick Yallouris, who has been runner-up to Welsford at the past two Burnie features, in third place.

He admitted he was starting to feel fatigue but said a couple of days rest would have him in top condition for the national championships at Ballarat next week.

In the women’s feature, promising Maeve Plouffe capped off a super carnival in the 2000m handicap.

Plouffe, 18, was competing at only her second carnival and failed the make any finals last year.

However, she collected the $4800 first prizemoney at Burnie to add to her similar cheque for success at Devonport.

Her efforts in both events were more meritorious because, off 100m, she was in limbo and had to do all the work herself while knowing the stars, including runner-up Amy Cure, were working together behind her and waiting to pounce.

“I had no idea where Amy was but I knew should was right behind me and coming hard,” said Plouffe who is in her first year as a senior rider on the circuit.

“The gap to chase was difficult because I know the girl in front of me sprints hard, and once I caught her I just had to keep going as hard as I could because of the back-markers were chasing really hard to get me.

“This has been a great week for me and I can hardly believe the difference a year makes on the circuit,” she said.

After treating some of the high profile athletes yesterday, local physiotherapist Daniel Reeves ended up taking home the biggest cheque of the day in winning The Heritage Men's Gift.

"I was massaging a few athletes yesterday, I came up against Nathan Riali in the semi yesterday and I gave him a massage yesterday, so that was a bit funny," Reeves said.

The 28 year old ran second last year, then back up to run the mile.  However tonight he declared that all his running goals in the professional ranks are now achieved after he also won the Stawell 800m in 2017.

"This win is right up there.  Stawell was a highlight last year.  To win your home gift where I grew up watching sprinters do it and being a distance runner I didn't think I'd really get a chance, it just goes to show with hard work and persistence you can get there," he said.

Only 2metres covered the entire men's final field, with front marker Reeves running away from back marker Eddie Gates with state long jump champion Brandon Clark third.

Hobart's Kianni Allen stormed to victory in the Stubbs Contructions Women's Gift to take her maiden crown.  

"I'm over the moon to be honest.  I didn't come here expecting to win and it's just amazing, it's awesome, I'm really happy.  

Allen is coached by boyfriend Clark who was third in the men's gift, making it a thrilling day for the duo.  

"This is my first carnival I wasn't really sure if I'd make it into the final so wanted to concentrate on running as best I could and I would have been happy with that," Allen said.

Three-time winner Morgan Gaffney was second, with scratch marker Maddie Coates solid in third.  

Victorian diesel mechanic Glenn Gillam smashed his way to victory in the JMC 325mm Standing Block woodchopping world title, claiming his first win of the major world titles in this season's series.

"It's a fairy tale ending to come here to Tasmania.  

"It was incredible to get the win.  Some of the best competitors from around the world here today and to come up trumps I'm stoked.  

Gillam currently holds 3 world titles and will defend two titles at the Sydney Royal Easter Show next.

"This win is up there.  It's another epic event the world title to come here where one of the greats, David Foster's competed and to take that here on Tasmanian soil just to show that Tasmanians have taken a back seat and Victoria is leading forward," he laughed.

in the Zezt Tasmanian Mile, professional foot running debutant Matt Ramsden was the victor in a hotly contested race that featured four men who have broken 4minutes for the mile on the track.

Running from 30m and with three world class athletes behind him, Ramsden exploded away early before settling into his stride on the second and third laps.  The tall West Australian then made his winning move with 250m to travel, with Launceston's Dylan Evans taking second ahead of scratch men Luke Mathews and Stewart McSweyn.

"I just wanted to beat the back markers by the same as the handicap was so I just kept powering along and I had the win.  I'm familiar with all the boys.  They spent most of the day in my room so we were joking around all day," he laughed.

Toughted as the next big distance running star in Australian athletics, the 20 year old now moves on to aiming to make his first senior team in April.

"I have a B qualifier for Comm Games, so I need to get an A before the trials or win the trials, so I need a quick race before then.  This has been a good lead up," he said.

Competition takes a break now until Sunday, with the Hobart Bikes and Spikes on January 7.