Fit­ting fi­nale

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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.

PHO­TOS: MAL KEEBLE

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.

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