March 11, 2016, noon
ON the 25th anniversary of a stunning victory, Todd Ireland will be back to chase a second City of Greater Bendigo Thousand 120m title at this weekend’s Bendigo International Madison carnival.
The Warranwood sprinter was the Thousand champion in 1991 and is among six previous winners to contest the 70th running of Bendigo’s great race.
MEMORIES: Leigh Phelan, left, wins the 2015 Bendigo Thousand at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.
Ireland will race off 15 metres in the fourth of 10 heats.
Epsom’s Glenn Stephens is in rare company as a winner of the Bendigo Thousand, 2001, and the Bendigo Bank Black Opal 400m in 2008.
Main aim for Stephens on his home track is the 120m duel at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.
Stephens and Thurgoona’s Daniel Steinhauser, the Bendigo Thousand winner in 2008, have drawn the same heat.
They will start off 16.5m and 8.5m in heat three.
Last year’s winner, Leigh Phelan from Brighton starts this campaign off 9.75m in the first heat.
One of the best on the Victorian Athletics League circuit for many seasons, Rob Lehmann will chase a second Bendigo Thousand title.
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Lehmann won in 1998.
This Saturday’s fifth heat includes Lehmann off 11.75m and Doncaster’s Josh Tiu from 8.5m.
Ringwood’s Cam Dunbar is another sprinter with his eyes on a second Bendigo Thousand win.
The 2004 titleholder will start off 8.5m in heat six.
Dunbar’s opponents include Keilor’s Noddy Angelakos, winner of this season’s Ballarat Gift.
Other sprinters to watch across the meet include Ballarat’s Matthew Wiltshire and River Robson,
Geelong’s Kevin Brittain, Tom Templeton from Mount Martha, Hove’s Luke Houlihan, Tim Rooke from Pascoe Vale, and Wangaratta’s Walter Pasquali.
Heats of the City of Greater Bendigo Thousand will be run on Saturday afternoon.
Semi-finals are on Sunday afternoon ahead of the evening’s final.