2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships | Rio De Janeiro | 22-25 March 2018
The Australian Cycling Team’s journey towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games begins this Thursday in Rio at the 2018 UCI Para-cyclingTrack World Championships.
From March 22-25, the Championships offers the first vital opportunity for nations to grab valuable qualification points towards Tokyo 2020, with the 16-rider Australian team to vie against 200 of the world’s best from 30 countries.
It will also be a return to the velodrome for many of our 2016 Paralympic heroes, in particular reigning world champions David Nicholas (QLD) and Amanda Reid (NSW).
“I think everyone has travelled quite well over to Rio from Australia, still getting over a bit of jetlag as expected, but everything is looking good so far for some good performances,” said Nicholas, who claimed 2016 Paralympic gold in in the individual pursuit and will be aiming for a strong performance in his world title defence.
“Being back here in Rio at the Velodrome where I won gold two years ago feels amazing, first hit out on track was great.
“Certainly will try to defend my title, but if I do a great performance that I know I can do, I will be happy and the result will be what it will be.”
Dual reigning world champion Reid is eager to get the competition underway after completing a week of training on the track.
“Felt great to be back here on these boards again after 2016, spending time getting used to the slightly different shape of the track again before ramping up the training as the week progressed,” added Reid, who announced herself in 2017 with rainbow jerseys in both the time trial and individual pursuit.
“I'm feeling really more and more excited about the competition as we get closer to it.
“I'm confident about my chances of retaining my world crown in the 500 time trial which is my main goal, and I'm also looking for a personal best in the individual pursuit.”
The Championships begin what will be a busy two weeks for 2016 world champions and Paralympic bronze medallists Jessica Gallagher (VIC) and Pilot Madison Janssen (VIC), with the pair also set to represent Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“Personally, Maddie and I are really excited to race, we have a busy few weeks ahead with the back up straight into the Commonwealth Games, so managing our training loads and taper has been incredibly important,” said Gallagher. The pair will contest the Tandem time trial and sprint at both the World Championships and the Games.
“We are riding fast and with good race conditions anticipated we have high expectations particularly in the sprint. It's safe to say the entire team are all ready to get out there and race!'”
Similarly in the men's Tandem, Brad Henderson (SA) and Thomas Clarke (SA-Pilot) will fine-tune their Games preparation at the Worlds.
“This is a really good chance for Tom and I to have some international race experience in a strong field before the Commonwealth Games,” said Henderson. “We are aiming to execute everything we’ve been doing in training, come out with some personal bests and see how we compare amongst the worlds best.”
The team also features reigning world champion Simone Kennedy (NSW), plus 2016 Paralympic Games silver medallists Alistair Donohoe (VIC) and Kyle Bridgwood (QLD).
Follow the World Championships
Follow the Australian Cycling Team
Australian Cycling Team
Two final day medals wrapped up the Australian Cycling Team’s 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships campaign in the Netherlands, with the team's six medals equalling Germany, Great Britain and Italy for second most behind hosts the Netherlands (12 medals).
Each of the four members of the team celebrated on the podium during the Championships, with sizzling wins from Matt Glaetzer (sprint) and Cameron Meyer (points race) highlighting the performances.
Stephanie Morton (sprint) and Glaetzer (time trial) claimed silver, while Callum Scotson bookended his Championships with bronze medals in the scratch and in the Madison with Meyer.
Dual Madison world champion Cameron Meyer teamed with Callum Scotson to ensure Australia finished on the podium for the second straight year with the pair taking bronze in a punishing men’s Madison.
“To be on the podium in a Madison world championships isn’t an easy to do, it is one of the hardest events to back up a win, even just to back up a podium appearance,” said Meyer after claiming his sixth World Championship Madison medal.
“So for us to be consistent two years in a row, last year with silver and this year with bronze, it is another step in the right direction and it shows that we are around the mark.”
The major contenders kept their cards close to their chests in the opening laps of the 200-lap race, with Belgium, Spain, France and Italy figuring prominently in the first five sprints.
The first major move of the day came from Austria, with the duo of Andreas Graf and Andrew Muller taking a lap, and the twenty points, to move into the lead (30points) after fifty laps.
A deliberate move from Meyer and Scotson at the halfway mark saw them pounce on a lull in the action to claim two straight sprint maximums, and a lap on the field, which catapulted them into the joint lead with Austria on 30pts.
With 70 laps remaining, Germany’s Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt and Spain’s Albert Torres Barcelo and Sebastian Mora Vedri rocketed into the top two positions on 40 and 31 points respectively after taking a lap.
With the race beginning to splinter as the pace hovered at an excruciating pace just shy of sixty kilometres an hour, Australia and Belgium joined forces in the hunt at the front for a lap on the field. However sensing the imminent danger, the Germans and Spanish duos nullified any notion of an attack by keeping the teams within a bike length’s distance.
In a classy finish to their masterful race, Germany won two of the final four sprints to to all but secure their victory heading into the final sprint on 53points.
In an pulsating final few laps, Australia held off a late surge by Great Britain to hold onto bronze (37pts), just eight points behind Spain (45pts) who grabbed the silver medal.
“It was quick out there again tonight, there was a bit of a stand off in the first half of the race, all the favourites didn’t want to move too early knowing it was going to be a tough end to the race,” said Meyer. “We saw an opportunity and went for it.
“The actual moment to win the world title was there, we saw it, but unfortunately we didn’t quite have the legs. But Germany was super strong, so was Spain.”
With the Madison back on the program for Tokyo 2020, the bronze continues the pair’s strong campaign towards Olympic glory. Their season also including winning the prestigious London Six Day last October and Madison gold at the UCI World Cup in Poland in November.
“I think the bigger thing for us in that we are consistently on the podium, we are the most consistent country which is not easy in this event,” said Scotson, who won scratch bronze on day two.
“You always feel disappointed straight after a race, but I am sure we are going to take some really good points out of this race and hopefully we can edge closer to the top of the podium as we get closer to Tokyo,” who reflected on his and the team’s performance at the Championships.
“To achieve two medals myself, and our team here, everyone worked together well and the results showed how good the culture was over here.
“It is quite impressive for us to pull off so many medals for just the four of us. We are all really happy.”
Less than twenty-four hours after claiming his maiden sprint world title, Matthew Glaetzer was back on track with an eye on the time trial podium.
In November, Glaetzer became the first person to ride under one minute in the kilometre time trial at sea level with a sizzling 59.970secs ride at the World Cup in Manchester. The powerful South Australian then eclipsed this time with a scorching 59.759secs at the National Championships in Brisbane.
On the final day of the World Championships in Apeldoorn, Glaetzer rocketed to two blistering times to beat his world mark (59.733 in qualifying and 59.745 in the final).
However, this was good for silver in the event with Dutch hero Jeffrey Hoogland riding a wave of parochial hometown support to gold with two sizzling times to set a new world-mark (59.517, 59.459).
Australian Cycling Team #AusCyclingTeam
Photo Casey Gibson
Adelaide’s Matthew Glaetzer is celebrating after storming to his maiden sprint world crown at the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in the Netherlands on Sunday morning Australian time.
Glaetzer's electrifying speed tore through the field, with the 25-year-old claiming the Australian Cycling Team’s first gold in the men’s blue riband event in sixteen years (Sean Eadie 2002).
“I have been wanting to pull that jersey on for so long, so to see the Australian flag raised above me was such a special moment,” said a relieved Glaetzer, 25, who had earned five top-six finishes at the World Championships since 2013, including the 2016 silver medal. Glaetzer also finished just outside the medals at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (fourth) and the 2014 Commonwealth Games (fifth).
“I have finally backed up the speed, finally put the money where the legs are so to speak.
“We have worked so hard as a team for this and it was great to see a reward for it.”
Glaetzer opened his sprint campaign on Friday in scorching style (9.677) with the second fastest flying 200m qualifying ride of the day, just three-thousandths behind Jeffrey Hoogland (NED-9.674).
Glaetzer's undefeated reign began with Rayan Helal (FRA) in the round 1/8, before a clinical dispatching of reigning champion Denis Dmitriev (RUS), who had reached the podium in each of the past five World Championships, in the quarterfinals.
In the semi-final, Glaetzer sent France’s Sebastian Vigier packing in two straight heats before showing his class against Great Britain’s youngster Jack Carlin, 20, in an exciting final.
“I had a fantastic race meet, each race was quite good, didn’t really mess up at all,” an honest Glaetzer revealed. “I normally make mistakes and get caught out, one mistake is all it costs at this level. But this time I didn’t and that was the key.
“I kept myself in a really good mindset, every single round I treated like the final. And I was so focussed on taking it one race at a time and all of a sudden I am in a final.
“So I had to block the thoughts out of winning it and keep focussed on what I had to do to win it.
“Just ripped it in my last two rides, gave it everything I had and I am the world champ!”
Immediately post race, Glaetzer paid tribute to former Australian Cycling Team Head Sprint Coach Gary West who lost his battle with MND in August last year.
“I can imagine how happy and emotional he would be right now,” said Glaetzer. “He put so much time and effort into me, he was so passionate about the sport and put so much of his life into his athletes and my thoughts go out to the West family today.
“He is a big part of this achievement today.”
Glaetzer’s 2018 World Championship campaign concludes on Sunday in the time trial. In Manchester in November, Glaetzer became the first person to clock a sub one-minute ride (59.970) in the kilometre time trial at sea level, before he again eclipsed this mark with a scorching 59.759secs at the Nationals in Brisbane in February.
TO COME FOR AUSTRALIAN CYCLING TEAM - DAY 5 SCHEDULE
Australian Cycling Team #AusCyclingTeam
World Championships #Apeldoorn2018
WATCH LIVE on FOXSPORTS AUS
PHOTOS © CASEY GIBSON
Perth’s Cameron Meyer claimed a ninth career world title with a masterful display in the men’s points race while Adelaide’s Stephanie Morton surged to silver in the women's sprint at the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in the Netherlands.
Also in action for the Australian Cycling Team was Matthew Glaetzer who progressed to the sprint quarterfinals following a strong opening to his sprint campaign which saw him clock a superb 9.677secs in qualifying.
Men’s Points Race
Perth’s Cameron Meyer claimed a fifth points race title and ninth career world crown following a masterful display in Apeldoorn on Friday evening.
“Points race world title number five, it was a hard one but I am very happy,” said Meyer who added to his 2009, 10, 12 and 17 points race world titles. “It is special, everyone of them is special, especially when you win a gold medal in the world championships.”
The pace was on from the start of 160-lap race, with plenty of attacks treating the crowd across the opening thirty laps. The first major move of the day came from the trio of Belgium’s Kenny Ketele, Great Britain’s Mark Stewart and Hong Kong’s King Lok Cheung who took the first lap on the field.
A calculated Meyer, who collected maximum points in three of the first eight sprints, made his first move shortly after the trio gained their advantage, with the West Australian catapulting into the lead at the halfway mark (45pts) after taking a solo lap.
With a litany of attacks ensuing over the latter half of the race, a further lap was taken by Ketele, Stewart, Cheung which stole the lead off Meyer. But as if writing his own Oscar winning biography, Meyer crafted his way to another solo lap and a commanding lead (70pts) with two sprints remaining.
With the laps ticking away as the bunch attempted a late surge, Meyer remained in control with his victory secured before the final sprint to the line which saw hometown favourite Jan Willem van Schip (52pts) finish ahead of Stewart (49pts) to take the silver medal.
“There were a lot of laps taken, attacks from lots riders, so it needed multiple laps from me to take the win,” added Meyer. “For tonight I had pretty good legs and was able to pull off the win.
“To win is not easy, to be one of the favourites every time, it is a lot of pressure.
“But I enjoy it, and to be able to wear the rainbow jersey again for another year is a special moment.”
Meyer will now turn his attention to Sunday’s Madison final in which he will partner Callum Scotson who claimed bronze in the scratch race on day two. The pair are aiming to go one better than their silver medal performance at the 2017 World Championships.
Reigning Commonwealth champion Stephanie Morton surged to the silver medal in the women’s sprint at the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
Only the might of reigning Olympic champion German Kristina Vogel – whose eleventh world title equalled Australia’s Anna Meares record for most all-time - could stop the South Australian’s charge at her maiden crown, with Morton challenging the great in their thrilling final clash.
For the third straight World Championships, South Australia’s Morton topped qualifying with a scorching time of 10.645secs on Friday, which was just two-hundredths outside her personal best (10.632) set in November.
A measured and controlled quarterfinal victory over the experienced Simona Krupeckaite (UKR), a five-time sprint world championships medallist, was equalled with another commanding win over 2017 bronze medallist Wai Sze Lee in the semis.
In a rematch of the 2016 final, Vogel and Morton treated the crowd to a thrilling contest, with the pace of the German too much for Morton in their first heat.
Morton lifted in the second, taking control with a powerful surge on the back straight which sent the clash to a third and deciding heat. There, the experience of Vogel shone, as she soared to a fourth sprint crown while Morton claimed silver for the second straight year.
“This year I knew what to expect, explained Morton. “I was cool, calm and collected through the rounds, I was working on the processes, going in with a plan, forgetting who I was up against. Just looking at a game of strength and weaknesses.
“It just shows everything we are doing is right, we are on the right path.
"To get one up on Vogel in the final, is a step up from last year. I am absolutely stoked. To take the race to three that just shows, it is getting closer, I've just got to keep chipping away and hopefully next year it will be the top step.”
The result continues a tremendous 2017/18 season for Morton which has included dual UCI World Cup medals and triple Oceania and National titles. And like the entire Australian Cycling Team, Morton has her sights set on glory at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
“This isn’t the targeted event for us for the year, so to be able to not be at the peak and get a silver and run a 10.6, it definitely exceeded my expectations,” Morton explained. “But that just shows you can’t come in with that mindset of this isn’t the race we are going for, you have to come in and rip every race and go for it.
“You can train and train, but it is not until you come out here and have to race, it helps you get that level up in fitness, having to back it up throughout the rounds.
“And that’s what I did here, tried to ride the fastest 200m I could, and take each race one by one."
Morton’s campaign will continue on Saturday in the 500m time trial followed by the keirin on Sunday.
2017 World Championships silver medallist Stephanie Morton motored into the final four in the women's sprint, and Callum Scotson opened the Australian Cycling Team’s medal account with bronze in a fast and furious men’s scratch race, on day two at the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands
2017 World Championships silver medallist Stephanie Morton motored into the final four and into championship contention with an authoritative opening to her women’s sprint campaign.
For the third straight World Championships, South Australia’s Morton topped the women’s sprint qualifying. Her scorching time of 10.645secs was just two-hundredths outside her personal best (10.632) set at the UCI Track World Cup in Poland in November.
As fastest qualifier, Morton was excused from the round 1/16 match ups, however she quickly accounted for Liubov Basova (UKR) in the round 1/8, before a measured and controlled quarterfinal victory over the experienced Simona Krupeckaite (UKR), a five-time sprint world championships medallist.
It has been a stellar 2017/18 season for the twenty-seven-year-old Morton with dual UCI World Cup medals in November, triple Oceania and National titles.
In five weeks time, Morton will line up to defend her Commonwealth Games sprint crown at the 2018 Gold Coast Games.
Morton will face Hong Kong’s 2017 bronze medallist Wai Sze Lee in the semi finals on Friday (Saturday AEDT).
Men’s Scratch Race
Adelaide’s Callum Scotson opened Australia’s medal account with bronze in a fast and furious men’s scratch race.
“Feels really great (to win bronze), coming here it has been the Madison we have been focusing on,” Scotson said after claiming his first individual World Championships medal. “Cam (Meyer) and I want to try and improve on silver in 2017, so for me to come here in this event, after a good ride in the scratch at the World Cup earlier in the season, I am pretty stoked to find myself on the podium.”
Scotson formed a trio of riders who lead an auspicious attack at the midway point of the 60-lap race with Italy’s Michele Scartezzini and Yauheni Karaliok from the Belarus, with the trio taking a lap on the field with twenty laps remaining.
With the punishing 55-kilometre per hour pace taking its toll, and the podium all but decided inside the final ten laps, it was Karaliok who had the legs to take gold, with Scartezzini taking silver and Scotson bronze.
“It was certainly hard one tactically and physically,” said Scotson. “It was certainly hard just getting there (the lap), I had good legs in the breakaway and we worked hard to get to the back of the bunch.
“But winner played it right, I got stuck and bit back towards the final run and caught a bit wide.
“It is a really good start and gives me good confidence heading into the Madison on Sunday. We (Cam and I) have put a lot of effort into this, it has been two years building to this now, we are pretty hungry.”
South Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer finished seventh in the men’s keirin won by Colombia’s Fabian Puertas.
A storming victory in the first round saw the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist move straight through to the second round. However, Glaetzer was pushed into fourth place in the second round, and out of the final, by Puertas and eventual bronze medallist Maximilian Levy.
In the race for 7th – 12th places, Glaetzer showed his strength with a powerful surge to the line to take seventh overall.
Glaetzer will be back on the track on day three in the men’s sprint.