Strong field stands in way of Grenda win

COURSE specialist Ben Grenda will be aiming for his third consecutive win in the Tasmanian criterium championship at Ulverstone this afternoon.

Grenda has enjoyed tremendous success in Ulverstone and, apart from his two criterium wins, also figured well in Tour of Tasmania stages held in the town.

Race director David Walker said no cyclist had been able to win three championships in a row in recent history, but today's race had attracted a quality field and Grenda would not have things his own way.

Australian scratchman Luke Ockerby is still chasing his first criterium championship on his home course, and will be keen to make up for the disappointment of falling on the last lap in 2011.

Other contenders for Grenda's crown include Alex Clements, Bernard Sulzberger and Jason Rigg.

Sulzberger's younger brother Wes will miss the race with an illness.

Clements is a member of Team Polygon, which will have a strong representation today.

``We have received very good entries for all categories and it should make for some exciting racing,'' Walker said.

With many of the elite women having interstate commitments this week, today's race is very open.

Hannah Gelan, now based in Adelaide, has returned home to Turners Beach for a short break and will take some tossing along with Devonport's Rowena Badcock.

In the junior events, Ronin Munro and Sam Maney are expected to be the hardest to beat.

Today's action starts at noon with junior racing, followed by the seniors at 12.45pm.

The criterium championship will be held across 30 laps of the course, and will start at 2.45pm.

Presentations will be held after the race at the River Arms Hotel.

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