Aussie highlights

AUSTRAL
oldest existing track race in world
since 1886

Dec 17th 2016
Contested over 2000m,
 riders qualify for final by winning heats
Results here

History of the Austral  here



Dec 17th 2016- Stephen Cuff won men's off 95m
Brooklyn Vonderwall won womens off 125m


Dec 19th 2015-
Mitchell Bullen  
Annette Edmondson  won women's
Dec 20th 2014- Kiwi Zach Williams wins  Men's
Brooke Tucker wins women's Austral
 117th edition of the Austral Wheelrace
.Hisense Arena Melbourne

Mar 1st 2014
- Japans Minori Shimmura 105m 

Swiss Paralympian, Annina Gallagher was successful in the Women’s Austral, winning off 230m

Mar 4th 2013- Jason Niblett wins Austral as his last race
          Caitlin Ward won women's

Mar 17th 2012- Luke Parker 90m
Women's - Annette Edmondson

Feb 26th 2011- Luke Ockerby of 40m
ladies-Annette Edmondson

Dec 16th 2009- 19 year old Ben Sanders off 80m won  on Hisense arena
the event's third father-son victory combination after his father David won in 1978.off 50m

The first to achieve this was Gordon Johnson in 1973, following his father Ian ‘Tassie’ Johnson) who won 1944)

Mar 15th 2008- Jackson-Leigh Rathbone won off 40m

Feb 24th 2007- 25 year old Joel Stewart  won off 110 m

Feb 4th 2006- 35 year old Dean Taylor won off 130m mark (his 6th Austral final)

Feb 26th 2005-   Ben Kersten  wins from Scr in a dominant display
(bookmaker had Kersten an almost unbackable 6-4 favourite for the final)
Rahna Demarte won women's

Feb 7th 2004- 16 year old Zak Dempster 90m
womens winner Rahna Demarte

Mar 16th 2003- Darren Young defends Austral Wheelrace title first time anyone has claimed back to back victories

Feb 23rd 2002-  26-year-old Darren Young from Tasmania won in 2.06.556
 Kristine Bayley won women's Hcp

Feb 10th 2001 - Mark French off 80m won Austral conducted on indoor Arena for the first time,
Leeane Manderson won women's hcp

Feb 12th 2000- Gary Neiwand  off 70m won on an outdoor venue for the last time at Northcote
Helen Ingpen (210m) won women's

Feb 14th 1999- 35 year old Stephen Pate Scr won his 4th Austral from at Northcote Velodrome

Pate has now surpassed the record he held jointly with Danny Clark. Clark's three victories came in 1977, 1986 and 1990 all from the scratch mark. Pate won in 1988 off scratch, 1991 from 10m Behind scratch and 1993 at 20m Behind scratch.


Feb 16th 1998- 21 year old Shane Hodskiss off 75m won the 100th Austral in 2mins 05sec
 

1997- Matthew Atkins  100m

Feb 17th 1996- Troy Clarke  won off 45m
$12,000 race with $6,000 to the winner of final.

1995- Tony Hughes  off 80m on a cold night at the Northcote Velodrome
(Hughes finished 3rd in 1987 off 50m)

1994- Ashley Harding  140m

1993 -Stephen Pate   Minus 20

Pate started behind scratch by 20 metres
equals Danny Clark's record as a three time Austral winner

1992 - Bert Glennon  120m

1991- Stephen Pate   Minus 10

1990- Danny Clark   off  Scr

first rider to win three Australs

1989- Grant Reynolds  off 150
m

 1988- 23 year old Stephen Pate  Scr


Feb 28th 1987-18 year old
Simon King  110
m

Mar 1st 1986- Danny Clark  Scr


1985-  Alan Rackstraw  won off  80
m
was a Bendigo Golden Mile winner in 1976

Feb 11th 1984-
28 year old Terry Schintler  off  80m  won 2000m in a time of 2mins 4.5sec at Northcote Velodrome

.
 Feb 12th 1983- Munich Olympian Phil. Sawyer won  off  Scr


1982- Steele Bishop    scr

  prize money was lifted to $5000 plus sponsors products.

1981- Laurie Venn   Scr won his 2nd Austral, becomes only 2nd rider to win twice from scr.

1980- Daryl Benson off 90m

Feb 10th 1979- Laurie Venn wins off scratch

Feb 18th 1978- David Sanders wins off 50 m at Coburg Velodrome

Mar 5th 1977-25 year old  Danny Clark  Aussies most successful 6 day racer wins off Scr.at Northcote Velodrome, only the 5th rider ever to win Austral from scratch.

Feb 14th 1976- 19-year-old David Allan won off 70 yd (64 m) at Northcote

Mar 8th 1975- 19 year oldTasmanian Craig Price
avoided the carnage to win Austral on Northcote Velodrome off 130 yds 
(high-speed crash 60 metres from the line wiped
out leading riders after Bruce Heath's back tyre blew and downed four others),

1974- Ivan Collings  off  90yds

Mar 3rd 1973- Gordon Johnson  only 2nd rider in past 50 years to win off Scr
at Brunswick velodrome
(Gordon's father Ian also won an Austral)


Feb 26th 1972- 23 year old Queenslander Geoff Edmonds  won off 40yds at Brunswick Velodrome
(Gordon Johnson again made the final)

(Olympic Park velodrome was demolished in 1972, becoming a 800 space carpark)

Mar 13th 1971- Frank Daly  in his first track season as a pro won off 135yds at Brunswick velodrome.
(Favorite was Gordon Johnson who punctured in final )

Feb 14th 1970- 29 year old Bill Stevens off 35yds  wins his first major track race, covered the 1 &1/4 mile in 2mins 17.2

.Mar 1st 1969- 27 year old Charlie Walsh  won  off 50yds


.Feb 17th 1968- 16 year old Merv. Andrea off 230yds becomes youngest rider to win Austral in  in its 81 year history
 

 Feb 11th 1967Vic Browne  won off 65yds


Apr 2nd 1966Bill Dove won off 150yds


Feb 13th 1965- 25 year old Kenton Smith won off 135yds, Brother of Olympian Geoff Smith


Feb 15th 1964- 36 yo Sid Patterson  Scr 2nd win in 3 years, first rider to win twice from scratch

Mar 2nd 1963- Fred Hellyer off 110y wins in a blanket sprint finish

Feb 10th 1962- Sid Patterson Scr finally wins an Austral, was the sixth time he rode in an Austral final

Feb 19th 1961- Fred Roche won off 40yds in one of the roughest Australs, crash in final lap,
Roche becomes first Aussie to have won a six-day race and an
Austral Wheel race, nine scratch riders raced in the 1961 Austral
                
Feb 20th 1960- 22 year old David Good won the 1 mile event off 100
yds

Feb 21st 1959- 23 year old Vin Beasley 100yds took easy victory


Feb 8th 1958Neil Geraghty off 100 made it 2 in a row for New Zealand


.Feb 16th 1957- New Zealand's John Robertson won off 100yds in a best time for Austral mile 1min 58sec
    fell off his machine while riding lap of honour
            record prize 1150 pounds

Feb 11th 1956- 20 year old New South Welshman  Don Meharg won off 130yds

 Jan 15th 1955 - 18 year old tasmanian Ron Murray  off 100yds

 Jan 16th 1954-23 year old Alan Geddes the biggest  rider in the field won the 1 mile 47th Austral off 130yds in 2min 7 sec

Jan 17th 1953-  43 year old Tom Fitzgerald  off 140yds won by inches over Sid Patterson
(Tom's older brother Jack won in 1922 first  brothers winning double)

Jan 12th 1952-17 year old Doug Jennings 120yds, youngest ever winner to date in the 45 Australs

333 metre concrete velodrome was built on the northern Swan Street side of Olympic Park for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, at a cost of around £120,000. One of the fastest tracks in the world, Aussie cyclists won a gold and a bronze at the ’56 Games.


Jan 13th 1951- 20 year old Kevin Marion won off 105yds

Feb 4th 1950- 21 year old Byron Bonney off 120yds won over the 1 mile distance,
 (sadly he was killed in Dec 1950 when a truck he was driving hit a tree)

Dec 8th 1948- 20 year old Bill Kirkham off 120 wins one of the roughest Australs in history, with 3 falls in the heats

Nov 15th 1947- 22 year old George Bull 130yds  won by a length
(stewards had stopped the field after 2 and half laps and disqualified D. Bonney for  not making the best use of his handicap. First and only time Austral was decided on a re-run)

Dec 21st 1946- Pat Devine 120yds won 40th Austral
           record 240 entered in 24 heats

Dec 1st 1945- Tom Shillito off 160 won 1 mile event in presence of a record crowd.

Nov 25th 1944- Norm Munro 90yds won 38th Austral 1 mile and 50 yds

Feb 5th 1944Ian 'Tas' Johnson won off 30yds

Dec 12th 1942- Mick Bradley won off 160yds
North Essendon Board Track


Nov 15th 1941- Ken Stewart off 60yds won Austral at  North Essendon Board track

 Nov 30th 1940- held over 1 mile & 50 yards, Harry Brown who won by 2 lengths was disqualified for riding within the pole line and the race was awarded to Norm Stevens 20yds,
   Stevens' farther Bowie also won an Austral becoming first father son winners.
   30 riders were treated by St Johns ambo's over the meeting

Nov 25th 1939- Clinton Beasley 90yds sprinted brilliantly to win mile and a half & 30yds  at Ess board track

Nov 26th 1938- Jack Middleton off 120 in time of  in 4min 11.4sec at Exhibition Board Track


Dec 4th 1937- Jack Gardiner off 205 won 2mile event at Exhibition Board Track, in his first race as a pro, long markers also filled minor placings

Nov 17th 1936- 19 year old Harry Webb won off 70yds  on Exhibition board track                   

Feb 15th 1936- Keith Thurgood off 100yds won 2 mile event at Olympic park, became the 4th South Aussie to win

An untenable safety record, and declining financial viability, saw Drome demolished in 1932. The venue was reconstructed as the ‘Olympic Park’ sporting arena in 1933.

Mar 2nd 1929- Richard 'Fatty" Lamb ex-amature champ of Australia won off 30yds over 2 mile
His earnings for the night totalled £200, equal to a shade over £20 a minute

Dec 3rd 1927- Cecil Manners off 245 yd handicap proved too much for back markers to make up,
     
Apr 23rd  1927- 32 year old Cecil Hannerman off 160 yds won the Drome Austral at Motordome,
dead heat for 2nd b/w victorian V, Browne & West Aussie W. Shade


Mar 26th 1927- L.C 'Bowie' Stevens 70 yd won the Drome Easter Austral at Exhibition oval ,
 Howie Brady who won his heat off 175 yds was rehandicapped to 85 yds and finished 3rd.The rules stated that there should be no revision of hcp once set.

Nov 21st 1925- 20 year old Eric Gibaud off 60 yds won in brilliant fashion with Hubert Opperman 2nd
       was closest Oppy ever got to winning


Apr 4th 1925- Frank Corry 160 yds won on Melbourne Motordome track, became the 2nd rider to win two Australs
Frank Corry's Austral wins came either side of world war 1 - an amazing 15 years apart.

Melbourne Motordrome was built over the old cycle track opened at a cost of around £30,000. The treacherous 629 yard concrete tracks primary attraction was two lap events

Dec 8th 1923-West Australian  A.J. 'Pidgie' Davies  200 yds won by only inches in 3min 20s over 1 and a half miles,
(saw the revival of Melbourne Bicycle club & the promotion of Austral back on MCG
 had been 13 years since last raced on MCG)
 

Nov 24th 1923
- W. Dick Ford off 120 yds won the 1 mile Austral
on Exhibition track

 Nov 18th 1922- Jack 'Fitzie' Fitzgerald off Scr won in 3 mins 10secs over Mile and a half distance
first rider to win Austral from scratch on a banked track.
(big accident in 3rd semi Beasley and four others going down )

Nov 9th 1921- Lou Clifford  120 yds

Mar 13th 1920- Ernie Tamme off 200 yds in 4min 5sec

1914- not held

 Mar 2nd 1913- P.B. Henry off 60 yds won by a length in 4 min 16 sec
third successive NSW victory

Feb 24th 1912- W. Priestly  off 60 yds won by inches
the forth NSW"s  Austral victory

of recent years the event has lost some of it's tone and attraction, the event is to pass out of the hands of the MBC, next Austral set down to run in conjunction with first Melbourne 6 day event in February on the Exhibition grounds.

Dec 10th 1910- Frank Corry off 140 yds

Dec 18th 1909- West Australian Albert. H. Pianta won off 210 yds by 4 lengths in 4mins 27sec
(backmarker A.J Davies off 75yds)
(prize money was 60% of takings at the turnstiles)

Dec 12th 1908- M. McPherson won the mile & half easily off 150 yd s in 3min 22s

Dec 14th 1907- A.C. Colvin won off 60 yds
 won heats off 220yds on MCG

Dec 15th 1906- Harry Thomas won off 20 yd by a length in 4min 25 sec on an asphalt track Exhibition grounds

Dec 16th 1905 - James Sanberg off 170yrds won  after S.Levey first past line is disqualified for interference

Dec 17th 1904-  19yr old A.J Jack Clarke off 150 won under lights on asphalt Exhibition track
 in record 4mins 16sec

Dec 12th 1903- Fred H. Scheps off 160y won chief cycling prize of Australia

Dec 20th 1902- Murray Auger off 240 yds

Dec 14th 1901- William Walker 'Plugger' Martin  from scratch won classic Austral,
allegations of race fixing  & reports of his
 nineteen opponents in the Austral all bar two or three 'ran dead'.  Frank S Beauchamp was given life ban for pacing in Martin's interests ... rescinded to 3 months

Dec 15th 1900- A.C.'Charles' Forbes from New Zealand off 30yds won in record 4mins 19sec

Dec 16th 1899- Percy Reginald Beauchamp off 150yds won in record 4min 28sec in front of
28,ooo, MCG Melbourne
 only 2nd Tasmanian to win


Dec 19th 1898-Tom Finnigan 220yds won
 (Sharpe a heat winner was disqualified
from final after changing heats with another rider
without consent of Handicapper)

Dec 11th 1897- James Carpenter won off 85yds

Dec 5th 1896- Charles Kellow won off 15yds
 (finished 3rd in 1891)

Dec 8th 1895- 20 year old Alfred Basil Crisp  won off 255yrds. first Tasmanian to win.

Dec 8th 1894- Alf Middleton 180 yds

Dec 2nd 1893- Gordon Woodward 270 yd
 most of field rode lower safety bikes.

Nov 12th 1892- Harry Lambton won off 200 yd
  became first two time Austral  winner
 among some uncomplimentary remarks used regarding the handicapper
           
Nov 21st 1891- Arthur Turner won easily off 240 yd
the richest cycling race in Australia

Nov 29th 1890- Tom Busst won off Scr.
money prizes introduced.
in this race a competitor from Gippsland 6ft 4in in height appeared on the tallest bicycle ever riden a 65inch ordinary

Dec 16th 1889- James J Mullins 140 yds
repeated Davis' effort the year before by winning Australian championship following week


Nov 24th 1888- Dick Davis won from Scratch mark
in record time of 5min 58s, 
Davis won the Australian Championship the following week. Davis was also known to have beaten 3 horses in a 10mile relay on Norwood oval,

Nov 19th 1887- Harry Lambton off 210 yds won
 2 mile  in 5mins 43sec,

distance reduced to 2 mile to prevent limit overtaking scratchmen


Nov 13th 1886- 27 year old William Brown from England off 23yds won 3 mile on a wet track in 10mins 57sec in spite of rain

Jan 30th 1885- Melbourne Bicycle club founded the  3 mile h"cp was won by Con Dwyer off 40yds in 9mins 14sec