The Australian Cycling Team will continue the UCI Track World Cup season at the third round in Berlin, Germany to be held November 30 - December 2.
ROUND 1 & 2 RECAP
In October’s opening round in Paris, the team topped the medal tally with eight medals including three gold, three silver and two bronze. In round two in Canada, the team won four medals including two gold.
Stephanie Morton collected five medals from six events across the two weekends, highlighted by two personal bests in the flying 200m and a new Australian Record with Kaarle McCulloch in the team sprint.
Resplendent in his rainbow jersey, world champion Matthew Glaetzer won both sprint gold medals on offer.
Ash Ankudinoff lead a new look team pursuit quartet of Georgia Baker, and team newcomers Macey Stewart and Kristina Clonan to gold (4mins 16.957secs). Baker with Macey Stewart also took bronze in the women's Madison.
Ashlee Ankudinoff claimed two gold in round one with victory in the scratch race, while Leigh Howard took bronze in the men's final. Howard and O'Brien won Madison bronze in round one.
WHO IS RACING ROUND 3?
Stephanie Morton and Matthew Glaetzer will line up in the sprint and keirin.
Ash Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker will be joined by Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson in the team pursuit.
Ankudinoff and Cure will contest the Madison, while Baker will also race the Omnium.
World record holders Sam Welsford, Alex Porter, Leigh Howard and Kelland O'Brien, will line up in the team pursuit for the first time since April’s Commonwealth Games where they clocked the first sub three minute-fifty second ride.
O'Brien, who won Madison bronze in round one with Howard, will partner with Cameron Scott in the exciting pairs event, while Welsford will line up in the omnium.
The Cycling Australia Track National Championships begin on Thursday 13 December at DISC Velodrome with the two-day Para-cycling Nationals, with the Omnium Nationals to cap the week off on Friday 14 December. On Saturday 15 December at Melbourne Arena with a massive night of racing to be headlined by the Madison, Team Sprint and Team Pursuit Nationals. >>> tracknationals.org.au
Sydney’s Brandon Loupos capped a superb 2018 season by winning bronze in the BMX Freestyle Park final at the 2018 UCI Urban World Championships in Chengdu, China, on Sunday.
Loupos, who qualified second in Saturday’s semi-finals, scored 88.72 points in his first run in Sunday’s final. In his second run, Loupos' attempt at bettering his score ended when he put both feet on the ground.
18-year-old Justin Dowell (USA) took the gold after a producing a superb 92.20 point ride in his first run, which proved too strong for all other competitors. Kenneth Tencio Esquivel (Costa Rica) took the silver medal with his first run of 88.9 points.
“It feels great, I worked hard to get on the podium and after having a disappointing worlds in 2017 when I got tenth with a bad mistake, to come back this year with third, it feels really good,” said Loupos, who celebrated victory in the opening round of the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in April and second in round two in May.
“I was aiming for the top spot and I thought I could have done it. But to have that little slip up in my first run, but to still get on the podium, it’s pretty awesome.”
Loupos narrowly edged countryman Jake Wallwork (88.6points) into fourth overall.
“I’m stoked! It feels amazing to make the top four at world champs, especially coming off a win last week,” said Wallwork, who won gold at the final round of the World Cup Series held one week before the World Championships. “Last year it was all a bit new, it was different, but this year I knew what to expect, I trained my backside off and I came into this event strong.”
BMX Freestyle Park debutant Caroline Buchanan finished twelfth overall after she was unable to start the finals due to a crash in practice in which she sustained a dislocated and broken finger.
“I was hoping to end the year on a bit more of a high, but hopefully I’ll back riding soon,” said Canberra’s dual BMX racing Olympian and eight-time world champion, who continues her recovery after an off-road vehicle accident outside of Canberra in December forced her off the bike for six months. “This year is all about resilience building.”
Gold Coast’s Kyle Baldock, who won silver at Sydney’s X-Games in October, crashed in his opening runs and missed out on a finals berth. Reigning world champion Logan Martin, who claimed the first-ever rainbow jersey on offer in the discipline in 2017, was forced to withdraw after injuring his ankle during training in October.
Australia’s best now turn their focus to the inaugural Freestyle BMX Nationals which is set to thrill fans at Melbourne’s Rampfest from 23-24 November 2018, which offers the first green and gold jersey on offer in the discipline.
Following his scorching end to the season, Melbourne’s Wallwork is keen for a strong showing on his home track.
“Ahead of nationals, I’m feeling great. It’s on my home ground, and I’m excited to try and get that green and gold jersey.”
What was your favourite cycling moment in 2018?
There were so many incredible moments for Australian cycling in 2018 it was difficult to narrow it down, but we have twelve amazing moments which make up our 2018 JLT Australian Cycling Moment of the Year.
The Australian Cycling team figures prominently in the list via Rohan Dennis, Alistair Donohoe, Matthew Glaetzer and Luke Plapp's world titles, Steph Morton's triple gold at the Commonwealth Games, our team pursuit's stunning 3:49.804 ride at the Commonwealth Games, Logan Martin’s BMX-factor at the FISE World Series, and Amanda Spratt's stellar silver at the UCI Road Worlds!
Choose your favourite moment via the survey and you could be celebrating another fantastic year at the 2018 Cycling Australia Awards in Melbourne on Friday 23 November.
Terms & Conditions
The second edition of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships gets under way in Chengdu, China, this week (November 7-11).
Look out for the Aussies in action - Brandon Loupos, Jake Wallwork, Caroline Buchanan and Kyle Baldock!
Sydney's Loupos celebrated victory in the opening round of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup, while Melbourne's Wallwork claimed the win in the Series' final round last weekend.
Gold Coast’s Baldock took silver last month at the Sydney X-Games, while Australia’s Queen of BMX Buchanan was been selected following her ninth place at the Freestyle World Cup in China on the weekend.
The Gold Coast’s reigning world champion Logan Martin, who claimed the first-ever rainbow jersey on offer in the discipline in 2017, was forced to withdraw after injuring his ankle during training in October.
Catch Sunday's Finals live via the UCI BMX Freestyle Facebook page or via UCI Youtube channel.
Visit the official 2018 Urban Worlds website at www.urbanworlds.cn
Australia’s Queen of BMX - Caroline Buchanan - has been selected to represent Australia at the 2018 UCI Freestyle Park World Championships following her 9th place at the Freestyle World Cup in China on the weekend.
It was an outstanding freestyle debut for Buchanan, who is better known as a world-class BMX racer, as she dips her toe into the freestyle world after suffering life-threatening injuries following an off-road vehicle accident outside of Canberra last December.
“It’s an absolute honour to qualify for my first Freestyle BMX World Championships’’, said Caroline Buchanan.
“Like any great flight you have to buckle down for the turbulence on the way up and I had some crashes over the course of the practice sessions as I was learning my lines and tricks.
‘’Importantly to me, this makes it my fourth cycling discipline world championship I have competed in over the past ten years having already competed at 4cross and downhill mountain biking, and BMX racing.”
About the UCI Urban World Championships
The UCI Urban Cycling World Championships will be held from 5-11 November 2018. The event is the world championship events for freestyle park BMX, cross-country eliminator, and trials. In 2018 the event will be held in Chengdu, China and is organised by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of world cycling.
Dual Olympian, Caroline Buchanan will try her hand at a new discipline of cycling when she competes in the final round of the 2018 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup in China from 2-4 November.
Last December, Buchanan suffered life-threatening injuries including a broken nose, sternum, two collapsed lungs and bleeding around her heart following an off-road vehicle accident outside of Canberra. The accident forced her off the bike until July where she claimed the win in just her second race back at the Rockshox Pump Track Challenge in Canada.
"It has been quite a challenging year for me, most of my years have been an athlete focus," said the 28-year-old, who married her longtime partner Barry Noble in the USA last month. "2018 has been a human focus; life and health have taken priority."
"I have never had six months off the bike before, so the challenge for me this year was all about being patient, sit through injuries and recover."
In true Buchanan style, when faced with one challenge, the best response is to take on another. The Canberran has taken up Freestyle BMX, an exciting new discipline of the sport which sees cyclists perform a series of tricks and jumps across a ramp-filled course.
"I love a challenge, I have pelted in a straight line for 22 years of my life, so for me to step away from being a racer into freestyle, to have to learn aerial awareness, to taking my hand off my handlebar for the first time in twenty years, to learning the tricks and the backflips," Buchanan explained.
"It has been quite a rewarding journey, it has taken me back to that five-year-old girl when I started riding my bike, every day was a win.
"I have small wins each day to take away, not only in my comeback, to continue to build where I need to be, back in the racing world."
The change of disciplines isn't new for Buchanan whose eight world titles are comprised of mountain biking and BMX. However, she believes it was her car accident in December that has given her the resolve to take on the new challenge.
"Any time I have stepped off the racing path I have always been on two wheels, but I have always been on dirt," she explained. "This is still two wheels, but a very different environment, learning metal coping, concrete, being on wood.
"I am going from a sport where you might crash one or two times a year, to one where you may crash 10-20 times a session when you're learning, it has built resilience, and I smile through the journey and continue the personal progression.
"I wouldnât have been able to do this before the accident, but coming back from my injury, it has pushed me. It has strengthened me to know what my body can sustain. I know I am never going to get that injury on a bike, so that has given me the confidence to step into this new world."
Buchanan's progression has been rapid, with her competition debut set for November 2 at the 2018 UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup.
"I was nervous to sign up," Buchanan revealed. "I am completely stepping out of my comfort zone. I think it has been rewarding as an eight-time world champion in different disciplines of cycling, but to put the 'L' plates on again, to learn, to come in as an underdog, it is exhilarating."
While Buchanan is dipping her toe into the discipline which is set to make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, there is no denying the dual Olympian's goal for the Games.
"I went to London, I went to Rio, and my goal is to go to Tokyo for racing," Buchanan asserted. âRacing is my bread and butter. I'm competitive, I love racing, for me that is first and foremost.
"I have always treated mountain biking as a bonus, it has always been my refresh button, it has kept longevity for me in the sport. So I see BMX Freestyle as that, a refresh and for diversity."
Regardless of which form she chooses, Buchanan is excited about what lies ahead for her in her newly elected discipline.
"What you can see you can't be," she added. "The scene is evolving for women and girls now. We have seen the expansion of all action sports into the Olympics, we have the first nationals coming up soon and would hope that is the first opportunity for women.
"I have taken a passion and would love to see more girls get involved."
Photos - Con Chronis
Tissot UCI Track World Cup #2 - Milton, Canada
Stephanie Morton completed a set of medals at the second round of the UCI Track World Cup in Canada with day three keirin silver adding to team sprint gold with Kaarle McCulloch and sprint bronze.
It was a new Australian Record for Morton and partner Kaarle McCulloch on the opening day as they took gold in 32.456secs, eclipsing their own mark set at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.
For the second straight World Cup, Morton set a personal best in the sprint qualification (10.514secs), but was edged by eventual gold medallist Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong) in the semi finals before winning the bronze final. Morton then took silver in her final event behind the USA's Madalyn Godby.
"I am really happy with my results here, to firstly get the Aussie record with Kaarle in the team sprint was amazing, then pull out another 10.5 for the third week in a row and snag the bronze was good assurance that I'm on the right track," said Morton.
"It was a big day in the office for the keirin having to come through the repechage but I kept focusing one race at a time and really happy with how I rode to finish with silver."
The World Cup completes a huge block of racing across three continents for the sprint crew which began with the Oceania Track Championships in early October, and has included two World Cups. The crew will return home before heading to round three and four in Germany and England in December.
"It’s a good feeling that on our eighth team sprint in three weeks, in three different continents that we have been able to ride our best time," said Kaarle McCulloch. "We are tired, that is a given after what we have been thrown the last three weeks and so we went in with the mindset today to show a bit of mongrel in us which I think we both showed.
"We were a little speechless with our last time which got us the Aussie record and for us seeing what we have been through and seeing where we can potentially go is really exciting."
In the men's sprint, Matthew Glaetzer fired to win his second straight sprint gold after winning the title in round one in Paris last weekend.
In almost a repeat of the French affair, fastest qualifier (9.517secs) Glaetzer defeated Harrie Lavreysen (NED) in three heats in the final.
Nathan Hart won sprint bronze, while Hart plus Patrick Constable and Jacob Schmid finished fifth in the team sprint for the second straight World Cup. Constable was seventh in the keirin.
Tissot UCI Track World Cup #1 - Paris, France
âThe Australian Cycling Team has opened the UCI Track World Cup season in Paris in style by topping the medal tally with eight medals including three gold, three silver and two bronze.
Resplendent in his rainbow jersey, reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer won the sprint gold.
Glaetzer opened his account with a scorching 9.502secs in qualifying - just 0.05secs off his personal best set at altitude - before defeating Dmitriev, Carlin, Hoogland and Lavreysen to take the win.
"It has been a great start to the season with both individual wins at Oceanias and my World Cup Sprint win today so I am quite happy," Glaetzer told Cycling Australia. "Through the rounds I felt good and was racing well. The semi final onwards was intense though, I don't think I had beaten Hoogland before so that was a good fight to make the gold ride.
"I went to three rides again in the final which always tests you and your opponent to see how much is left in the tank. I backed up stronger in the third ride and took the gold."
Stephanie Morton scorched qualifying with a personal best 10.516secs before defeating Kobayoshi, van Reissen and Shmeleva on her way to the final where Hong Kong's Wai Sze Lee ended her run.
"After a huge week at Oceanias, then a long haul flight, then three rounds of the team sprint, to come out and ride a 10.5 was awesome," Morton told Cycling Australia. "I knew it would be a tough fight to make the finals but I took it one race at a time and stoked to walk away with the silver."
Women's Team Pursuit
Dual world and reigning Commonwealth champion Ash Ankudinoff led Georgia Baker, and team newcomers Macey Stewart and Kristina Clonan to gold in the team pursuit.
Fastest qualifiers (4:20.154), the team progressed to the final with the best first round time (4:18.441), before posting a stellar time of 4mins 16.957secs to win gold over New Zealand.
Ashlee Ankudinoff claimed her second gold of the World Cup with victory in the scratch race, while Leigh Howard took bronze in the men's final.
Dual Madison world champion Leigh Howard and Kell OâBrien took bronze on 17points with gold going to Hansen/Morkov. The medal was Kellâs first one at World Cup level.
Macey Stewart and Georgia Baker took the double points on offer in the final sprint to grab a podium finish in the women's final.
Fastest qualifiers (32.845) Stephanie Morton and Kaarle McCulloch progressed through the first round (32.763) but were pipped by just .001 seconds in team sprint final by Russia's Voinova and Shmeleva (32.820).
In the men's, Jacob Schmid, Patrick Constable and Nathan Hart finished just outside the medals in fifth.
>>> Official Results
Four days, four headlines from 2019 #OceaniaTrack
The Australian Cycling Team wrapped up its start to the 2019 international track season at the Oceania Cycling Confederation Track Cycling Championships at the Adelaide Superdrome.
The first stop in the qualifying process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Oceania Championships is one of the busiest events on the team’s schedule for the summer with 40 titles awarded over four days in the elite and under 19 categories.
With so many events in so few days, we have highlighted four of the talking points from the four days of racing.
Matt motors and Steph scorches
There would be no stopping Australia’s king and queen of track sprinting with Matthew Glaetzer and Stephanie Morton claiming five gold between them.
Donning his rainbow jersey in the sprint, reigning world champion Glaetzer scorched the cold Adelaide velodrome in qualifying (9.725secs) before taking care of New Zealand’s Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins on his way to the final where he edged teammate Nathan Hart (Australia) for the gold.
"It is an important title with good (qualifying) points now the Olympic qualifying has begun," said Glaetzer who also claimed the keirin crown.
Stephanie Morton equalled her 2018 Commonwealth Games performance with a triple gold medal haul. She opened her campaign with gold in the team sprint with three-time world champion Kaarle McCulloch, before taking the keirin crown.
On the final day of competition, Morton clocked 10.593secs in qualifying, just .07 outside of her personal best set at April’s Games.
Morton reached the final after wins over Australia’s Lara Tucker and New Zealand’s Olivia Podmore, before proving too powerful for Natasha Hansen (New Zealand).
"It was a tough one, but it was good with a real quality field out there,” Morton said after her keirin win. “It is cool the Oceania Champs are here in Adelaide, and we have such a strong women's field. So to come away with the win, I am happy.”
Madison future in good (sets of) hands
With the Madison set to feature at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after being reintroduced to the programme for men and added for women, the Australian chances in just under two years from now looks promising.
Macey Stewart and Georgia Baker teamed to take the women’s crown, while Cameron Scott and Alex Porter dominated the men’s event.
It continues a strong year in the event for Stewart, who came into the Australian Cycling Team program last month, with the Tasmanian claiming the 2018 Oceania and national titles with Kristina Clonan.
"A big confidence boost to go back to back in my favourite event,” said Stewart, who on her way to Paris for this weekend’s opening Tissot UCI Track World Cup series where she will race the Madison with Clonan.
“It is exciting it [the Madison] is an Olympic event now, as it has always been my favourite event. It is exciting to be able to focus on it over the next couple of years towards Tokyo."
Sharing the endurance spoils
The results showed Australia’s endurance stocks run deep as the team shared the spoils across the Madison, omnium, points and scratch races and team pursuit.
Australia’s world record holding team pursuit quartet showed their prowess in the bunch events, with Sam Welsford claiming both the omnium and scratch races, Kell O’Brien winning the points and, while Alex Porter took the Madison (with Cameron Scott).
"The omnium was fun today! It has been a while since I have raced on the track, so it was good to get out there," said Welsford. "The Oceania Championships is good to see how you are going at the start of track season and as I have a bunch focus at the World Cups, it is perfect for peace of mind and confidence to get the win."
In the women’s events, veteran Ashlee Ankudinoff continued her strong 2018 with three wins on the week in the scratch, points, plus the team pursuit where she teamed with team newcomers Kristina Clonan and Macey Stewart, plus Georgia Baker.
“We have had two newbies in Kristina and Macey come into the squad, and I think they stepped up tremendously, we couldn’t be happier to start our season off with a gold medal,” said Ankudinoff.
Like Ankudinoff, Baker celebrated triple gold on the week, triumphing individually in the omnium, with Stewart in the Madison and the team pursuit.
Long haul celebration
There was little time for celebration following the Championships, with a 13-member contingent checking in for a long haul flight to Paris on Sunday night.
The team will have a few days to acclimatise and shed the jet lag ahead of this weekend’s opening Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup Series in Saint Quentin en Yvelines.
The team set to contest the opening round is:
Following Paris, the sprint crew is set to race on a third continent in three weeks at the Series’ second round in Canada. The endurance contingent will head to the London Six-Day event.
A host of Australia’s world champions, world record holders and Commonwealth champions will headline this week’s 2019 Oceania Track Cycling Championships at the Adelaide Super-drome.
Reigning sprint world champion Matthew Glaetzer, Olympic medallist and dual world champion Annette Edmondson, triple Commonwealth champion Stephanie Morton plus team pursuit world record holders in Kelland O'Brien, Alexander Porter, Samuel Welsford and Leigh Howard will be in action.
The four-day competition is set to showcase some of the sport’s young guns including sprinter Holly Takos, and endurance riders Kristina Clonan and Luke Plapp.
Follow Live Results
A dual 2018 junior world champion, Plapp, 17, was recently announced in the Australian Cycling Team’s Podium Potential Academy and will make his debut in the elite ranks at the Championships.
“Racing the Oceania Championships is going to be an unreal experience. It will be the first time pulling on the green and gold in the elite men’s category and racing the likes of the older boys from the Australian Cycling Team for the first time at a major championship,” said Plapp who will move from Melbourne to Adelaide to take up the full-time Academy position.
Plapp will take to the track in the team pursuit with fellow Academy members Godfrey Slattery, Conor Leahy and Jarrod Drizners. Australian Cycling Team’s Cam Scott completes the outfit.
“I think we have a pretty awesome team created from the new Podium Potential Academy and I can’t wait to see where we can take it. There’s a huge opportunity ahead and being in such an elite environment with the support around can only make us grow.”
2017 Oceania champion Holly Takos, 22, has been steadily honing her craft with the Australian Cycling Team over the past few years alongside Morton and three-time world champion Kaarle McCulloch.
“It's great to be able to train with two of the best female track sprinters in the world. Everything they do is world class, from the way they train to the way they handle themselves off the bike and it has been amazing to learn from them,” said Takos. “The entire team works hard, always supporting and challenging each other, which keeps me motivated and inspires me always to be pushing myself to be my best.”
In 2017, the Adelaide-native broke through for her career win taking the Oceania keirin crown, edging Morton in the final. In 2019 she will line up in the team sprint, keirin and sprint.
“Winning my first Oceania keirin title was very special. It was my first win and opened up many opportunities for me. The keirin is one of my favourite events, so I am fired up to get back out there and give it another crack this year.
“It is great to have the Oceania Championships not only on Australian soil but in my home state, which gives the opportunity for my friends and family to come to experience the excitement of track racing.”
Kristina Clonan, 20, will make her debut as part of the Australian Cycling Team women’s endurance program, joining Olympians Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker and Macey Stewart.
Clonan’s star has been on the rise over the past couple of seasons, with the Queenslander claiming the 2018 Oceania and National Madison titles with Macey Stewart, in addition to a host of national podium appearances. The pair will look to defend their Madison crown in Adelaide this week.
“Last season was a huge stepping stone, and I'm grateful to be racing alongside such strong girls that continually bring their A-game. It was a great confidence booster and experience, but I still have much work to do again this year,” said Clonan.
“The last few months have been pretty busy for me. Japan was a great experience. I was able to race with Macey in the Madison, under the guidance of Tim Decker, who has so much knowledge and gave Mace and myself some good insight.
“It is very motivating now to go back and race with Macey and try to defend our (Oceania) Madison title.”
2019 Oceania Track Cycling Championships
The Australian Cycling Team begins a colossal summer of international track cycling in October with the 2019 Oceania Track Cycling Championships at the Adelaide Superdrome.
The four-day Championships will run October 10 to 13 and will pit Australia’s best against trans Tasman rival New Zealand’s best, with 40 events will be decided in the elite and under 19 categories. Live Results
It will be the first hit out on Australian soil for the team since the record-breaking 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April and starts a summer of cycling which includes the UCI Track World Cup Series and World Championships sandwiched between National Championships.
Four of Australia's current team pursuit world record holders will be in action across the points, scratch, omnium and Madison events including Kelland O'Brien, Alexander Porter, Samuel Welsford and Leigh Howard.
The men’s team pursuit competition is set to showcase some of the sport’s rising stars including members of the recently announced Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy such as dual 2018 junior track world champion Luke Plapp.
The women’s team pursuit will feature dual world and reigning Commonwealth champion Ashlee Ankudinoff, Olympian Georgia Baker plus Macey Stewart and Kristina Clonan who make their debut as part of the Australian Cycling Team program. Former world champion and Olympic medallist Annette Edmondson will feature in the bunch races.
A full sprint contingent will be headlined by reigning sprint world champion Matthew Glaetzer and triple Commonwealth champion Stephanie Morton. Three-time world champion Kaarle McCulloch, Olympians Patrick Constable and Nathan Hart, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jacob Schmid, and 2017 Oceania champion Holly Takos are also confirmed.
Oceania Track Cycling Championships Overview
The Australian Team has departed the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, finishing equal third on the medal table behind the Netherlands and Belgium. Three medals; gold in the elite men’s ITT, silver in the elite women’s RR and a silver in the junior men’s ITT making this one of the best all-around performances in recent years.
Rohan Dennis etched his name into the record books with a storming ride to claim his maiden individual time trial world title, finishing some 1:21 ahead of warm favourite Tom Dumoulin. Dennis became just the second Australian to win the event after Michael Rogers claimed three consecutive titles between 2003 and 2005.
Amanda Spratt rode alone for the final 40km of the women’s road race on her way to a silver medal. She had been one of the main protagonists in a competitive and entertaining race and is just the sixth Australian woman in sixty years to reach a World Championship road race podium.
Spratt was supported as a protected leader for the first time at the World Championships, and all assembled impressively rose to the occasion. Lucy Kennedy called it “showtime” when she lit up the race on the first ascent of Igls while keeping something in reserve to nullify attacks before Spratt slipped into what was the start of the winning move.
Earlier in the week, Luke Plapp claimed silver in the junior men's time trial, adding to his dual track world titles won at the 2018 UCI Junior Track World Championships in Switzerland in August.
The final race of the World Championships saw the men's road race, with the super demanding course profile delivering on its promise of pain, pain and more pain.
The pressure and strain were evident at 90 kilometres to go with several riders being dropped from the main peloton including three-time reigning world champion Peter Sagan. The finale was a hotly contested affair with Valverde (Spain) winning from Romain Bardet (France) and Michael Woods (Canada).
Jack Haig capped off a strong 2018 season with 19th place, 1min 21secs behind the winner, after being in all the right moves in the final 20 km. Rob Power (70th) was the only other Australian finisher on a day which saw more DNFs than riders cross the finish line. In both road races, the teamwork and commitment to the race strategy were impressive, with all riders playing their part in the race results.
In other results, Callum Scotson finished tenth in the under 23 time trial, and Jai Hindley was the best placed Australian in 11th in the under 23 road race, both bagging good results amongst high-quality opposition.
Debutants Sarah Gigante and Anya Louw gained useful experience in their junior time trial and road race campaigns, with the two 17-year olds producing top 20 Time Trial results.
Australian Cycling Team Performance Director Simon Jones:
“Overall we had a really pleasing World Championships, and it is very satisfying to see the result of good pre-planning that led to good delivery on the day.
“It’s been a terrific collective effort, and I want to pay tribute to all involved this week in Austria. The manner in which the riders came together as a team and the way the staff worked as a unit in the lead-up and throughout the week in Innsbruck. It was excellent.
“Having said that, we have already started reviewing and looking at areas for improvement, with an eye on Yorkshire in 2019 and Tokyo 2020."
Australian teenager Saya Sakakibara is celebrating after claiming the win in the final UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, which also secured second overall for the Wollongong cyclist on the year-end international rankings.
“I am so over the moon,” said Sakakibara, 19. “I am so incredibly grateful for my support, and for the Australian Cycling Team for supporting me all the way and giving me the opportunity to race each round this year, especially when I contested no World Cups last year."
Round 8 FInal
Santiago del Estero, Argentina, hosted the final two rounds of the season, with Sakakibara lucky to escape with just scrapes and bruises after spectacularly crashing out of the Round 7 semi-final on Saturday when a rider crashed and took her wheels from under her.
Recovering in time for Sunday’s eighth and final round, Sakakibara lead from the gate, and with former world champion Alise Willoughby (USA) and reigning world champion Laura Smulders (Netherlands) breathing down her neck, she surged to the victory with judges awarding the win to the Australian in a photo finish.
“I did not expect that (win) especially after yesterday crash, I was kind of shaken up a little bit and little fearful coming into today. However, I got a good start and an excellent first straight, and I was able to make it work all the way to the finish line.”
ROUND 7 SF CRASH
Sakakibara finished second behind world champion Laura Smulders (Netherlands) on the BMX Supercross rankings after a season that included one win and four podium appearances, in addition to claiming sixth in her first elite career World Championship final.
“My aim this year was to gain as much experience as possible, and I did exactly that. I was able to get some wins and podiums along the way, I couldn’t be happier with this season,” said Sakakibara, who will now head back to Australia to continue preparations towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I am really looking forward to getting back into the offseason, gaining strength, and hopefully I will come back faster and definitely will have more confidence heading into next season.
“Every race is critical from now on in terms of Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020, and I will be aiming for the top, for the podium, all the way to the Olympics.
“I am working so hard to making sure I am going to be there.”
In the men’s finals, Rio Olympic finalist Anthony Dean took bronze in round eight.
Copyright Craig Dutton
Australia’s Amanda Spratt soloed the final 40km to claim a stunning silver in the women’s road race the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Austria.
Reigning Olympic champion Anna Van der Breggen (Netherlands) soloed the final 39 kilometres of the race to to claim one of the most dominant victories ever seen at a World Championships. She finished over three minutes ahead of Spratt, with former world champion Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) taking bronze.
“I honestly I think I can be really proud with the silver medal. It caps off a great season for me,” said Spratt, who became just the sixth Australian woman in sixty years to reach the World Championships' road race podium.
Spratt, Grace Brown, Brodie Chapman, Tiffany Cromwell, Shara Gillow, Lucy Kennedy and Sarah Roy, were among the 149 starters to set out on the 156km course which featured an 85km loop before three punishing laps of a 24km circuit with 2400m of vertical climbing.
Spratt was caught up in a early crash but recovered and with the help of team mate Kennedy, was able to remain at the front of the race and in touch of the pre race favourite Dutch team and form part of the crucial breakaway.
On the penultimate lap, Van der Breggen launched herself from the main field to join Spratt's group, and despite her best efforts, Spratt was unable to keep the wheel of the Dutchwoman.
Van der Breggen soloed to the biggest winning margin in thirty years (3mins 42secs), while Spratt powered the final 40km home on her own to finish two minutes ahead of Guderzo.
“It was a tough race out there, the whole team did an incredible job throughout the first stage to get me fresh to the final,” said Spratt, whose season has included victory at the Santos Women's Tour Down Under and Emakumeen Bira, a stage win at the Giro Rosa and podiums at Amstel Gold and at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“That meant I could get into that break before the second last climb where I knew the Dutch would attack. I was waiting for that move.
“Anna came across so quickly, I really tried to hold her wheel up that climb. She was honestly on another level today, she really deserves that title.”
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Australia's Rohan Dennis etched his name into the record books with a storming ride to claim his maiden individual time trial world title at the 2018 UCI World Championships in Austria.
‘‘I can’t really explain it. It’s an amazing feeling, it is a dream come true," said the Adelaide cyclist who becomes just the second Australian to win the event after Michael Rogers' three consecutive titles between 2003 and 2005.
“I've never won it (time trial world title) in any age group, I’ve been after this since I was a junior, so to win my first one in the seniors is pretty special.
"I am just going to enjoy the moment, and enjoy the next year in the rainbow," Dennis added.
The victory caps a stellar season from the Adelaide cyclist who has stood on the top step of the podium in six time trials in the 2018 season including at the Giro d'Italia and twice at the Vuelta a España.
The 28-year-old mastered the demanding 52.1 kilometre time trial to finish nearly one and a half minutes ahead of reigning champion Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) who claimed the silver, with Belgium’s Victor Campanaerts half a second further behind in third.
"I was being coached from the team car by Brad McGee, and he gave me confidence at the top of the climb,” Dennis said after the race.
“Once Dumoulin was through Brad told me I was a minute up and he kept me calm. I was considering a bit of a victory salute but I wanted to make sure - you're never sure until Tom crosses the line.
"I knew the power we (BMC) rode in Sunday’s team time trial, where we lost 19 seconds on the winners. I held higher power up the hill than I did in the TTT, and I knew Dumoulin had been pushing hard in the TTT, so I had a good idea of what power I needed to hold him.
"I think it was a 35 seconds gap at the bottom and at the top, I was fairly confident that I'd at least done the same time as him.
Dennis will now turn his attention to Sunday's road race where he will line up with Simon Clarke, Jack Haig, Chris Hamilton, Damien Howson, Nick Schultz, Robert Power, and Rory Sutherland.
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Photos copyright Casey Gibson.