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Minori Shimmura & Annina Gallagher secure the 116th Austral spoils

Minori Shimmura & Annina Gallagher secure the 116th Austral spoils

1 Mar 2014 , by CyclingVic

Minori Shimmura, became the 116th winner of the Austral Wheelrace - adding his name to an honour roll that includes Sid Patterson, Shane Kelly and Danny Clarke – tonight at Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC).

Shimmura, who came off a handicap of 105m, attacked ferociously with a lap and a half to ride and maintained his speed to the line to become the first Japanese winner of the famous race.

When asked how it felt to win Australia’s most prestigious and famous race, Shimmura said, “I am very happy. Thank-you.”

Young Victorian sprint star Jacob Schmid (90m) rode strongly but was no match for Shimmura's finishing power and came in second, while Warrnambool’s Samuel Lane (190m) finished third. The first backmarker across the line was Scott Sunderland (10m), who came in fifth.

Swiss Paralympian, Annina Gallagher was successful in the Women’s Austral, winning comfortably from Brunswick’s Rebecca Sutherland and Gabrielle Belz. Gallagher and Sutherland both started from a 230 metre handicap and combined exceptionally to stay well clear of the chasing riders behind.

Earlier in the program, Blackburn’s Kelland O’Brien was successful in the Junior Men’s Austral, and Brunswick’s Grace Mazzarella took the title in the Junior Women’s.

Pictorial Overview: 116th Austral Wheelraces - ReboPhotoStory

In the first race of the evening, South Australian Lisa Hanley won the Victorian Women’s scratch race from Shannon McCurley.  Coming in third was Alexandra Manly, also of South Australia, who took out first place in the under 19’s.

To round out the evening, Dutch rider Roy Pieters added to the strong international flavour of the night, taking out the Elite Men’s Scratch Race from NSW’s Scott Law.

The stars of track cycling will now turn their focus to the Bendigo International Madison Carnival next weekend (March 7-9).