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WAIS cyclists Ben Young and Rihana Pezaj with Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray at the upgraded SpeedDome. Picture: GARETH ANDERSON

Upgraded cycle track opens

THE SpeedDome where some of the state’s cycling champions such as Cameron Meyer and Melissa Hoskins have done their racing and training has had a major upgrade.

For the official opening Western Australian Institute of Sport cyclists Ben Young and Rihana Pezal were at the track, which hosted the 1997 UCI World Track Championships.

The SpeedDome, which opened in 1989, is the home of the successful WA Institute of Sport cycling program and has produced some of the State’s greatest cycling champions.

Paul Clohessy won a gold and bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games for men’s tandem cycling. Sam Welsford and Melissa Hoskins competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, with Welsford picking up a silver medal in the team pursuit.

Australian Junior Track World Championship team member Jade Haines who competed in Montichiari, Italy in August is also familiar with the track.

Haines of Kalamunda won the 2015 women’s Westral Wheelrace at the Perth Winter Track Cycling Grand Prix, held at the SpeedDome.

At the world championships Haines and the women’s team pursuit squad of Alice Culling and Maeve Plouffe clocked 4:37.500 to set up a round one race-off against eighth seeds Colombia.

Meyer will use the track while training for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Young, 24, is a relative new-comer to elite track cycling but made a bold impression at this year’s national track championships when he knocked out 2012 World Champion and Rio Olympian Matt Glaetzer in the qualifying rounds of the men’s individual sprint.

He emits a trademark primal roar and slaps his quads demonstratively before each race to get himself into the zone, whilst outside of cycling, Young works in air traffic control at Pearce air base.

He is targeting senior events this year with a long-term focus for Toyko and beyond.

Rihana Pezaj is a second year WAIS scholarship holder and is looking to emulate the feats of her WA teammate Haines.

Pezaj, 17, will nurture her talents in the same facility where WA champions Hoskins, Josie Tomic and Sarah Kent to name just a few started their careers.

Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said the new track and facelift would mean the SpeedDome could once again attract top national and international cycling meets to WA.

“Track cycling is a sport Australia prides itself on at the elite level and these upgrades will ensure our next generation of champions have a high-class training and competition facility in their backyard,’’ he said.

“With the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympics approaching, it is especially timely that we have a new high-quality track.

“The SpeedDome also hosts a number of other community roller sports which will benefit from the improvements.

“The new track and upgraded facilities provide an ideal opportunity for us and cycling groups to promote the sport and encourage more members of the community to join their local track cycling club.”

The $2.52 million project was delivered on time and on budget and includes a new roof, fire and sprinkler system, signage, plumbing and cosmetic improvements.

The SpeedDome also hosts a range of grassroots roller sports including inline hockey, roller derby and artistic skating; as well as community weightlifting and martial arts.

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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