Peloton Watch
  The Austral: Zak Dempster  
  December 8th 2014  
  The Austral Wheelrace is the oldest track race in the world. The first edition in 1887 was run at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 117th edition will be held at Hisense Arena on December 20, 2014. In the lead up PelotonWatch will be bringing you interviews with former winners, podium finishers and challengers for the 117th title.

Below 2004 winner Zak Dempster talks what the Austral means to him.

PelotonWatch: What does the Austral mean to you?

Zak Dempster: It means a lot to me, it was my first big win, my first season in seniors and coming from a cycling community like Bendigo, everyone always spoke about the Austral or local guys that had won it, so when I became one of them it was a really nice feeling.

PW: What was it like to win?

ZD: I remember a few details that make it special in the lead up, I never rode more than a 91.8, and once I made the final, Tim Decker and Andrew Rix both said, okay this is your chance, put 94.5 and a back corima 4 spoke and it was almost like I made that decision, okay, I'm going to win this tonight! So it's all a bit of a blur but I remember it all just coming together in that short period.

PW: You have won many of the biggest races in Australia and ridden many of the biggest races in the world where does your Austral win rank in your career?

ZD: It's definitely special, obviously I've made a career for myself in cycling now so I've made a heap of great memories but the Austral is definitely up there.

PW: You spend most of your time on the road in recent years what do you miss most about riding on the track?

ZD: Probably having so many people you know watching you, sometime you can feel a bit anonymous in Europe, so I miss having my close friends and family watching most of my races.
 © 2016