AN ELEVEN-YEAR Horsham Cycling Carnival record was smashed on Friday on the Wimmera’s biggest day of cycling.
Irish rider Eoin Mullen set a new Murray Lehmann Invitational Fastest Lap record at Horsham Velodrome, overtaking ACT cyclist Kial Stewart’s time set in 2002.
Horsham Cycling Club member and carnival organiser Geoff Witmitz said Mullen’s lap of 18.97 seconds – almost half a second faster than Stewart – was one of the highlights of the carnival.
“It was a really great day with some exciting racing,” he said.
“Many very good riders have tried to break that record and Eoin didn’t just break it, he smashed it.
“He rode with a great level of skill.
“I’d say that record will stand for a while.”
The Horsham event, which hosted more than 120 riders in 42 races, kicked off the four-day Cycling Victoria Christmas Carnival across regional Victoria.
Witmitz said despite an early hiccup with a junior rider taking a fall, the Horsham carnival benefited from hosting state races and ran smoothly because of a number of volunteers.
“We’re focused on families and giving them the opportunity to race in a number of events,” he said
“It really does lift our profile to have these state events – it also helps to attract interstate riders.
“Many people are required to run an event like this and make it possible.
“It’s the little things like getting the surrounds ready, organising programs and judges. You don’t see it all
happening, but without volunteers it doesn’t happen.”
Bendigo and District Cycling Club’s Imogen Jelbart won the open women’s Victorian Elimination Championship, while Brunswick Cycling Club tasted success in the men’s and under-15 state events.
Brunswick’s Nathan Bof won the M15 Victorian Scratch Race Championship, while Sam Johnson took out the open men’s Victorian Elimination Championship.
Horsham cyclist Sam Witmitz, who returned from competition in Europe, jumped back on the track to support his home club and finished second in the men’s race.
“I wasn’t going too bad. Tracks are not really my forte and I had had minimal preparation, but the racing was fun,” he said.
“It was great to represent the people who support the club and it was quite a high standard of racing.
“That reflects the amount of hard work people put in and the good work of club volunteers on the day.”