Josh James, Josh Edwards, Sheldon Devantier and Martin Bannister prepare to do battle in an elimination round at Drinan Park on Saturday.
Josh James, Josh Edwards, Sheldon Devantier and Martin Bannister prepare to do battle in an elimination round at Drinan Park on Saturday. Max Fleet

Bannister one of Bundy's best

MARTIN Bannister confirmed his standing as one of Bundaberg’s best emerging cycling talents on Saturday afternoon, surging to victory in the keirin at the Kevin Brogden Memorial Velodrome.

While his local idols Aaron Kemps, Scott and Allan Davis raced at the national titles in Ballarat, Bannister was doing his best to take the next step in his career against some of the best riders in central Queensland.

About 50 cyclists attended the meet, travelling from as far as Rockhampton and Brisbane despite the threat of rain.

Instead the track was bathed in sunshine when racing kicked off just after 4pm and there was action aplenty from the outset.

Sheldon Devantier did not have the most memorable of meets, falling in an early race.

No bones were broken, but there was plenty of skin off as he carried his bike from the track.

To his credit he returned to racing later in the night and cast aside the pain of biting the dust earlier in the day.

“He really showed a bit of ticker and toughed it out to get back out to race,” Bundaberg Amateur Cycling Club president Toby Boylan said.

New Bundaberg rider Grant Irwin had the perfect start in his new colours, winning the highly-entertaining derby from a field that also included Bannister.

“I was mainly just competing to catch up with a few mates who had come from Rocky to ride. I didn’t think I’d finish in front but obviously I’m pretty happy with it,” he said.

Irwin will travel to Rockhampton this weekend for a similar meet.

“I took racing pretty seriously in Brisbane but I’m enjoying it here now and I’m looking forward to the big one in Rocky coming up,” the 25-year-old said.

Bundaberg’s Bill Heilscher made the most of his handicap start to win the main wheel race and feature heavily in the placings throughout the meet.

Boylan said the plans were in place to re-introduce the Cycling Spectacular to the velodrome in December after a seven-year hiatus.

“That’s the plan. It’d be great to get it back here and I think it’s possible with a bit of renewed interest in the sport,” he said.



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