BIG CHALLENGE: Axeman Stephen Foster … will take on Olympic sprint cyclist Ben Kersten. Kersten will endeavour to complete a lap of the Silverdome track at top speed before Foster can cut through aThe $3950 Praties Launceston Wheel is the feature event on the programme with action in the afternoon session starting at 12.30pm and the evening session at 6.45pm.
Newly-crowned Latrobe Wheel winner Nathan Clarke showed great form in his hometown victory on Boxing Day but will find it more difficult to take out the double on the indoor track.
Launceston’s Matthew Goss is defending Launceston Wheel champion and has had a stellar season overseas which saw him in the winning team’s pursuit and madison at the world junior championships.
His task of winning back- to-back wheel races will be more difficult off 40m compared to last year’s mark of 70m.
However Goss’s ride for third place in the Latrobe Wheel and his win in the 16,000m A Grade scratch race shows he cannot be discounted.
Traditionally the scratchmen have not had a happy history of winning the Launceston Wheel but the way they dominated at Latrobe on Boxing Day suggests that they will be a real threat on the faster Silverdome track.
Olympic dual gold medallist Graeme Brown showed he is in outstanding form with his win in the A. J. Clarke & Sons Handicap and second in the Latrobe Wheel.
He has plenty of top-class support from the likes of Ben Kersten, Ashley Hutchinson, Jame Carney and German Christian Laderman plus local scratch riders in Mark Jamieson, Nathan Clarke and Stephen Rossendell.
Middle markers Ben Price (100m), Kaidan Homan (140m) and Will Robinson (150m) are local riders in with a show of pulling off a Launceston Wheel victory, along with Victorian Cameron White off 130m.
The 68-event programme will include a special challenge between axeman Stephen Foster, son of Tasmanian legend David Foster and Olympic sprint cycling star Ben Kersten.
Kersten will endeavour to complete a lap of the Silverdome track at top speed before Foster can cut through a 310mm block of wood.
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