Fast Lane to victory

VICTORIAN teenager Sam Lane's eventful day in Devonport saw him crash out of the criterium before securing a lucrative victory in the Mersey Wheel.

The 17-year-old from Warrnambool picked himself up off Bluff Road as one of a dozen riders involved in the second-lap crash in the midday road race.

Nine hours later and just a stone's throw away he was feeling decidedly healthier and $1800 richer after riding a perfectly- timed track race to win in 2:09.24 at an average speed of 55.74km/h.

"Luckily I fell on the grass this morning," Lane said.

"The crash happened right in front of me and I was forced into the gutter and came off.

"I had to pull out because it broke my bike and probably affected my confidence a bit because I'm happy to get through that."

With sole scratchman Bradley Heffernan, of New South Wales, and his fellow backmarkers unable to make up the deficit, the race was dominated by frontmarkers, Lane winning off 160m followed by Justin Tomlinson, of Northern Territory, off 120m, and Victorian James Blight, off 160m.

"I thought I might have left it too late but I just got across the line in a very tight finish," Lane added.

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