Carter finally gets the jump

CYCLING
Nanjing Night Net

AFTER a number of years of filling the minor podium positions, Bathurst cyclist Harrison Carter finally got the jump on his rivals to claim gold at the state madison championships.

And he did it in fine style.

Along with Wollongong partner Bradley Heffernan, the pair were the definition of dominance at the Dunc Gray Velodrome on the weekend, leaving their fellow age group riders in their wake.

They caught the weaker under 19s riders within 20 laps and by the end of their 140th circuit, they had gained a second full lap over their nearest competitor.

It put the result beyond doubt.

But Carter and his Illawarra Cycling Club partner did not just beat two other under 19s pairings. They also made inroads on the five elite men’s teams competing concurrently and finished fourth overall.

Carter believes his latest gold medal is a result of growing stronger and more confident in the madison format through the years.

“I’ve only ever ran second before, all in different age groups. I’ve come second in this event three times, including last year,” he said.

“I was much more focused and confident this time. It used to be much more scary being in that bunch.

“It’s just the rush, it’s crazy,” he added of his love for the madison.

A week earlier Carter took victory in the NSW scratch race, so Saturday’s second gold caps off a very memorable season.

With the minimum of the three under 19s teams required for medals to be awarded, the pair claimed gold by using the elite riders to pace themselves.

So great was their advantage that they stopped measuring themselves against their fellow under 19s and started to challenge the open elite riders, despite being ineligible for placing in that category.

“It was easier to race against the elite guys because it kept us further ahead of the [under 19s] field,” Carter said.

“We just went smoothly the whole way, I felt really good. We even won two sprints.”

Carter said the only concern did not evolve from doubts over their own ability, but rather the impact of the hot weather.

With sponsors opting for a longer-sleeve race outfit, Carter and Heffernan had a keep a cool head in the warm conditions.

“It was really hot, that was the only thing. We had to stop and take a few drinks in between laps,” he said.

“But we were really happy with the result and my partner was really good.

“It’s a pretty prestigious endurance event. It takes a lot of confidence and tactical awareness to win, not just who is overall the strongest rider.”

STRONG MAN: Harrison Carter (left) has proven himself on the road, but he has now claimed two track gold medals in as many weeks. 042113z70kwinn

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