Rider jubilant after maiden Rocky Cup on Wheels win
Ray Smith was “very proud and pretty ecstatic” after winning the Rockhampton Cup on Wheels for the first time.
The 46 year old produced the perfect race to edge a quality field at Kenrick Tucker Velodrome on Sunday.
Starting off the 1.35m, the Rockhampton rider stormed home to beat Bundaberg duo Sam Davies and two-time defending champion and scratch marker Duncan Allen.
Rockhampton product Lara Tucker produced a blistering finish to claim the Capricornia Cup for the fifth time.
Last year’s winner Lizanne Fox from Sydney was second and P. Davies from Bundaberg third.
The long-standing annual event had attracted 100 competitors but the snap COVID lockdown in Brisbane and flooding up north meant that number was reduced to 80 when racing started on Friday.
The full program was completed on Friday night but rain meant Saturday’s program was postponed until Sunday.
Event co-ordinator Brett Ruff said that despite the challenges, it was still a fantastic weekend.
“We had some top-class racing,” he said.
“We were supposed to have 98 races in total but ended up with 80 after some of the heats were taken out.
“We’re really happy with how it finished up, and to get the feature wheel races done was the main thing.”
Smith was still on a high after claiming his maiden Cup on Wheels, which he has contested each year since returning to track racing about four years ago.
He said it felt amazing knowing his name would be added to the event’s honour roll, which includes some of cycling’s big names.
“This is my first big accolade. I’ve won a couple of shields in Mackay over the years but nothing as prestigious as this,” Smith said.
“The race played out fantastically, to be honest.
“I was able to just follow wheels and hit my mark coming into the sprint, which was spot on.
“I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better.”