SUNSHINE Coast teenager Alex Martin-Wallace out sprinted the best in women’s cycling to claim the inaugural Lesley Thompson Memorial Cup on Sunday.
Alex (pictured), who turns 17 this week, spent much of the 40-minute race in the chasing group after Brisbane cyclists Amy Schramm and Hannah Tohill made an early break.
Alex shared the workload with the group of four chasing riders to bridge the gap with four laps remaining.
The current under-19 women’s track combined scratch race Queensland champion showed her class to cross the line ahead of the elite field.
Alex said the pace was on from the start and there were
a few nervous moments as the lead riders had a 400 metre gap over the chasing group.
“I knew the race was going to be tough and when Amy and Hannah got a break on the field there were some nervous looks as the chasing girls got themselves organised,” she said.
“I didn’t want to spend too much energy in the chase and I was lucky that we all shared the pace making.
“When we caught the break I was feeling good and my local knowledge of the Skippy Park track helped in the sprint to the finish line.”
Alex said the win was an emotional one as Lesley
Thompson had been a big part of her development as a junior rider.
“I always remember Lesley being at the junior carnivals and supporting the Sunshine Coast kids,” she said.
“Lesley was our biggest supporter, with junior and female cycling her biggest passions.
“Winning the inaugural Lesley Thompson Memorial Cup is a special honour and also an emotional one.”
The inaugural Lesley Thompson Memorial Criterium was hosted by the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club on Sunday, March 26. The venue was the Skippy Park Criterium Track at Landsborough.
The event was named after Lesley Thompson, club president
Robert Thompson’s late wife.
Club publicity officer Mal Keeble said the event was a great success with more than 150 riders taking part.
“Riders travelled from across Queensland and interstate to compete at and support the event,” Mal said.
“Junior, masters and elite riders competed on the fast Skippy Park circuit for over $3000 in prizes thanks to sponsors MacKellar Mining, Metsure Insurance Brokers and Ord Minnett Buderim.
“The club already has plans to host the event again next year and bring more of the best riders to the Sunshine Coast.”
In the men’s race, Sunshine Coast riders put on a strong showing in an elite field of riders, including Paralympian Kyle Bridgwood. Stuart Shaw from Canberra Cycling Club took the win with Sunshine Coast’s Daniel Fitter second and Fraser Coast Cycling Club’s Mal Rudolph third.
Sunshine Coast Cycling Club's Mackenzie Voss competes in the under-17 girls.
Alex Martin-Wallace (second wheel) in the chase group.
Sunshine Coast Cycling Club's Kylie Burkwood leads Briana Coombe in the combined C/D women's race.