31st Clarence St Cup & NSW Keirin Championships - Sat 24th Nov

Thought a few peeps here might want to go.

Tix can be purchased on the door, but if you pick up from Clarence St Cycles in-store, you’ll get free entry, PLUS food and booze, and there’s also a free bus to and from the city to Dunc Gray (which you need to RSVP for ASAP)
Mark Renshaw is confirmed again for this year along with a few other track world champions.

[i]The Clarence St Cup is one of the longest running sponsored sporting events in NSW, held at the Dunc Gray Velodrome.

6:30pm start, junior carnival from 2:30pm.

Grab your free tickets instore now & join us for dinner and drinks in the Clarence St Cyclery area on the night.

We’ll be organising transport out to the Velodrome. Please enquire via fcook@cyclery.com.au[/i]

Facebook event with more deets here: Redirecting...

already picked up tickets and booked the bus.

Another night of speed. Caleb Ewan is near unstoppable (and Winner of the nights big race). Rhys was as smooth as ever. Lots of talented riders young and old. Graeme Brown knows how to put on a show & sported a very cool WC paint scheme on his bike. And thank you Clarence St. for the snacks/bev and fun night at the track.

Papa S, I didn’t know you were going to be there :frowning:

Looking bad ass Rhys with the deep and disk combo!

Been working lots and luckily Mrs. Spirito remembered to pick up tickets (so it was a last minute thing). Sorry I didn’t hang out after the main race as after a few beers I was keen to get home and catch some ZZZ’s.

I gots lots more pics of you Rhys :wink: just PM for any or as many as you’d wish to see. Otoh … The best are below.

I was a little sad for you as you didn’t get any breaks or good lead outs in any of your races. You had to sit up a few times just when others were looking for a free ride. No fun. I do think you’re sitting in a slightly better position compared to last year. Looking good :wink:

Thanks mate. I was riding fairly conservatively as this time last year I was doing around 400km a week of riding, and this year I was doing roughly 50km/week. With that in mind I had to position myself a bit better and as you said, it didn’t really work out. The week before I was debating whether to ride 48-13 or 50-14 and on the day I decided a 50-14 was the best option. It turned out to be much too small a gear as numerous times throughout the night I went to jump but had nothing as I was already spinning furiously.
It’s hard to say if the standard had increased dramatically or if I was just in bad shape, but I think the fact I finished all my races not feeling like death hints towards the former. Great to see, as I never mind losing to people who are obviously better and faster because they’ve put more effort in. I did learn a lot more about tactics and where to position myself, which although important is often easier said than done when you are 200bpm with two laps to go and you are spinning at 130rpm. It’s a feeling that cannot be described, and once you experience it once you chase it relentlessly no matter how much it hurts.

How about that sprint derby invitational! Graeme Brown, what a fuckwit. Riding dirty tactics all night and bullying Caleb Ewen, and it only just worked out for him - that time. Mark Renshaw is all class and rides like a gentleman. I hope things work out for him, he truly deserves it. After his first race he went back to his toolbox and the commentator asked what he was doing, and his reply - “I’ve been doing strength work on the road and I have no leg speed, so I’m changing to a 52-13”. Holy fuck, think about that! Even Kate Bates was shaking her head.
One thing is also for sure - if you’re trying to get selected for the nationals team in a sprint event, NSW is a hard place to come up - five guys riding the keirin qualified a week earlier for the sprint event going under 11 seconds - that’s amazing. It also helps if you present yourself as a meat-headed fuckwit as that seemed to be the order of the night.

I’ve been working on core strength a lot more because this is where most of the magic happens with regards to speed and strength. This time last year I knew absolutely nothing about it and was trying to ride with a bulging disc and a shocking case of sciatica. I am indeed in an infinitely better place (thanks largely to myself - fuck you ‘free’ navy medical) and I feel much better on any kind of bike because of what I’ve learned. I actually enjoy riding a bike now rather than it being a painful but necessary occurrence.

Lots of things to agree about. It was a smaller field over all, but it was clear there was a lot of riders there primed and with their A-Game on show. Big guys, savvy, strong. Every one of the quals was very tactical and very hotly contested.

You did fine, like I said it was clear you were sitting better on the bike and unfortunately things didn’t open up for you. You can race the same race 10 times with 10 different outcomes. 2 laps out and everyone’s looking to do the same, sneak around and op open the lungs on the back straight. Things get really wide there and quite ballsy, I was amazed there wasn’t any crashes.

I didn’t see Graeme being dirty, I can understand where you’re coming from but I’d just call that old school. the generation that schooled him was never scared of pushing things … in fact it was expected and more often that not being the fastest didn’t matter as much as being the bravest/most aggressive. The main thing is Brown is still quite fast and puts on a show & must have been in about 9 events in less than 3 hours which is a lot of work. Reminds me of the summer carnival’s … town to town, travelling show racers which is how many of the old school riders earnt a living… Ewan’s clearly quicker (and won the Clarence Cup) but legs can be beaten by tactics if the commissaire allows for it.

Renshaw is all class. That hasn’t changed. He also has a beautiful spin. A pleasure to watch. As was yourself, the younger boys and girls and seeing all the out of towners/country racers turn it up for a night of fun. I just keep thinking how much more relevant the night would be if Dunc Gray was inside Sydney Showgrounds/Moore Park were a larger crowd/easier access would make it something that wasn’t just once a year. Bass Hill is just kebab shops and car yards, a dead end spot for a wold class velodrome.

In any case, you did really well and were at the sharp end of all your races, amongst some very strong riders (all the NSWIS young riders look 100kg plus !!). Well done bro :wink: + Rapha shorts !!!

This is my main beef. The track is now 12 years old and is in dire need of a sanding and some TLC. Chunks missing from it, it’s slippery as hell, and very very dusty.
I realise not everything revolves around the eastern suburbs but that’s where at least 70% of the city’s cycling gets done and I can’t help but wonder what track cycling would be like in NSW if they’d built Dunc Gray in an easily accessible spot. It was supposed to go in at Heffron Park, but they got the marathon running through there during the olympics so it was built out west. Imagine an indoor track in Bondi or as you said, Fox Studios! All the kids would be riding bikes instead of horses or playing football.
Dunc Gray itself is a shit facility - not one single drink tap in the middle of the track, and one toilet for each sex, for which the door locks do not work. Saturday they had dim red lighting, as if to prevent people shooting up in there. Fucking ridiculous and really, really sad for what was once a world-class arena.
Anyway, I can’t get too mad. At least we have a choice of a few tracks here and we get to at least ride an indoor one.

Man had they built it at Heffron maybe they would have resurfaced Heffron at the same time…
Imagine what an awesome cycling faculty Heffron would have been with a 'drom built there as well… Shame

I hear 'ya Rhys. It was clear the track was plenty chewed up, especially turn 3/4. It’s slowly fading and failing, the Tavern has been up for lease for almost a year with no takers and at some point they’ll probably end up pulling the plug.

You only have to look at Melbz/DISC to see how much location/accessibility has an influence and we all agree how different things would be if Velodrome was closer to a large cycling hub. Problem is without an Olympics or a lot of funding (from where?) the likelyhood of building a new velodrome is unlikely, especially when beaurocrats and politicians see the existing one fading, struggling to attract attendance by crowds and racers, and really not happening.

What we need is some kinda miracle. Not saying it can’t happen but land is tight in the inner city/eastern suburbs. Residents/zoning/planning is hotly debated. It’s gonna cost a lot of $'s. It won’t be a first though. The hottest ticket in the late 1930’s was at the Sydney Sports Arena, which was just off Riley St and a real golden age for cycling. Thousands would head there any night and it really is the fondest memory for many cyclists from that age.
A Journey Through Time, Media Archives, Kokoda Info, Kokoda Spirit

I got back to Oz after many years absence in 2004. One of the first places I went to was Dunc Gray. I can’t tell you how proud I was to see such a place. It does make me just as sad knowing it’s probably gonna get pull down/closed unless something drastic changes and I don’t know if there’s much chance of replacing it in the short term. I guess we can all lament and complain but things won’t change unless all cyclists work together, lobby, raise funds and push for a better solution. Maybe it would be wise to ask for suggestion as to what can be done and who are the people to help out or assist.