The Australian Cycling Teams takes one step closer to Tokyo 2020 with an experienced team headed off to the 2018 Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend Belgium 4 - 6 May.
The team includes defending 2017 dual world champion; Carol Cooke who headlines a star studded the group who are set to take on the world's best. The Australia Cycling Team is also excited to welcome two debutantes also, Kaitlyn Schurnmann VIC) and Stuart Jones (NSW).
After a stand out 2017 season that saw South Australia’s Meg Lemon finish the year with two world cup golds in the time trial, two national titles and a world championship bronze in Pietermaritzburg, she hoping to add to her collection.
“There is nothing better than putting on the green and gold jersey on race day and representing your country. All your hard work, blood, sweat and tears are justified for that very reason and I think it helps you push that extra bit you didn’t know you were capable of, when it matters most. Said Lemon.
She added “Watching the Commonwealth Games has made me really hungry to race for Australia again and hopefully, do what it takes to bring home a medal or two.”
This event is important for the Australia Cycling Team as results count towards 2020 Tokyo Paralympic qualification slots, and it is the last opportunity for athletes to push towards selection for the 2018 Road World Championships, Maniago Italy 2 - 5 August.
2018 Para-cycling Road World Cup Team, Ostend
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Just seven weeks after Steele von Hoff broke four vertebrae in a high-speed racing crash, cycling’s ‘Man of Steele’ has produced a superhuman performance to win the GC2018 men’s road race.
Wearing the green and gold at his first major Games at the age of 30, Von Hoff won a mass sprint to the finish of the 168.3km race at Currumbin Beachfront and teammate Cameron Meyer chased down the leaders over the final 10km. Welshman Jonathan Mould won silver, with South African Clint Hendricks, took the bronze.
The entire Australia team of Von Hoff, Meyer, Matthew Hayman and workhorse Callum Scotson produced a herculean effort to set up Steele’s triumph.
Von Hoff said after the race; “I was so close to not making the cut, there were lots of people checking up on me and Cycling Australia checking up on me after my rehab, it was so good to have all that support.
“I don’t think I’ve absorbed it yet, but I will later on tonight.”
Team mate and GC2018 time trial gold medallist Cameron Meyer finished inside the top 10 in ninth place and was thrilled with the team’s performance to get Steele across the line in pole position;
“It was exactly the tactics we said. We had Steele for the sprint and me for the last lap. Matty (Hayman) set the tempo for me to attack. It’s really clicking.”
“There was pressure – the girls won this morning!” added Meyer.
The Australian women’s team executed their pre-race plan to perfection, with favourite Chloe Hosking taking gold in a bunch sprint to end the 112km women's road race on Sunday.
A field of 49 set out for six laps of the 18km picturesque course which began just after sunrise at the Currumbin Beachfront.
Australia’s six-rider team of Hosking, Kat Garfoot, Sarah Roy, Shannon Malseed, Gracie Elvin and Tiffany Cromwell drove the pace at the front of the peloton for much of the first half of the race, with a solid effort from Malseed and Elvin to ensure Hosking was protected in the bunch.
In a nail biting final lap, the Australians held off several challenges, with Cromwell, Garfoot and Roy delivering Hosking in a clinical lead out to the line, which saw Hosking sweep past the front pack and to gold.
Georgia Williams of New Zealand and Welsh rider Danielle Rowe completed the podium, with Roy and Cromwell in fifth and sixth respectively.
Hosking had to fight back tears after crossing the line, and credited her five teammates for helping set up her triumph.
"I wish all six girls could have it (gold) on their CV, road cycling is such a cruel sport in that sense and I wouldn't have won today without those girls and I'm so grateful," she said.
The 27-year-old, who placed third in the road race at the 2010 Delhi Games and overcame a serious crash during a race in Europe just two weeks ago, said pride and relief were her over-riding emotions,
"It's so special to win on home soil. People say for road cycling Commonwealth Games isn't that big a deal but you know what? I'm Commonwealth Games champion and it's a big deal.
"I'm so happy and really proud of myself."
WOMEN’S TIME TRIAL
Gold Coast local Katrin Garfoot obliterated the field to win gold in the GC2018 women’s individual time trial, an upgrade from her bronze at the Glasgow Games four years ago.
Garfoot, the heavy hometown favourite, was a class above in the women's event, which was 13km shorter than the men's, coming in at a distance of 25.5km, and included an 800m steep section known as "the beast" en route to the finish line.
Leading at every checkpoint, Garfoot eventually stopped the clock at 35:08.09, almost one minute ahead of silver medallist and defending champion Linda Villumsen of New Zealand, while Scotland's Katie Archibald was fourth.
"I knew I needed to go out hard. I was scared I was going to go too hard. I know the road, I know the lines, I know everything, but it doesn't protect you from the pain.
"It was really exciting to be in front of a home crowd with all my friends and family watching. I've worked hard, and for it to come together for a gold medal is just extraordinary. It has never worked (out) like this before."
Both Meyer and Garfoot will be aiming for a GC2018 golden double when they contest the Road Race on Saturday.
MEN’S TIME TRIAL
Meyer delivered Australian cycling’s 11th gold medal of the Games in a dominating win in the men’s time trial.
In hot conditions, Meyer conquered the tricky course in 48 minutes 13.04 seconds to chase down the morning's previous-best time set by New Zealand's two-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Hamish Bond.
The versatile cyclist, who finished fourth in the points race the track on Sunday, mastered the two steep climbs and avoided any drama over the tough 38.5km Currumbin course, while lady luck cruelled the hopes of teammate Callum Scotson who finished in fourth.
Speaking after his gold medal ride, Meyer said, "It's been a while since I've done a time trial and I broke my collarbone in the last one I did, so luckily I stayed upright this time and I couldn't be more thrilled than I am today.
“I've got to thank all the stuff who got behind me and prepared me for
today, they did everything right and my coach Tim Decker who said
'give it a crack'."
"It was only two weeks ago that we decided, it was Tim Decker who knew I had good aerobic form and I was concentrating on the points race which is a 45-minute effort and today is roughly the same," Meyer said.
"And he said 'Cam I reckon you could have a crack in the time trial', and I said 'why not? Let's have a go'. We scrambled a bike together, did my measurements and I had nothing to lose and somehow it paid off."
It was a devastating start for Scotson as he suffered a rear wheel puncture just five minutes into his ride, losing 30 seconds and valuable momentum with the swift wheel change, eventually finishing in 49mins 35.65secs.
“It wasn’t to plan, little my own fault, I didn’t nail the line on the corner and went near the barrier and to the stones. I heard the puncture, but you have to not panic in that situation, you know you’ve lost time, but you had to treat it like it hadn’t happened til it finished.”
“Nothing I would change apart from the puncture, it is a really fast course, I had fun out there.”
Australia finished the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games track cycling competition with 19 medals overall; 10 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze.
GC2018 Australian Medal Tally
Women’s Team Pursuit – Annette EDMONSON, Amy CURE, Alex MANLY, Ashlee Ankudinoff
Men’s Team Pursuit – Kell O’BRIEN, Leigh HOWARD, Alex PORTER, Sam WELSFORD and Jordan KERBY
Men’s Keirin - Matt GLAETZER
Women’s Sprint - Stephanie MORTON
Women’s Team Sprint - Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie MORTON
Women's 500m Time Trial - Kaarle MCCULLOCH
Men's 15km Scratch Race - Sam WELSFORD
Men’s 1000m Time Trial – Matthew GLAETZER
Women’s Keirin – Steph MORTON
Women’s 10km Scratch Race – Amy CURE
Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit - Rebecca WIASAK
Women's 500m Time Trial - Stephanie MORTON
Women’s Keirin - Kaarle MCCULLOCH
Men's B&VI Sprint - Brad HENDERSON, Tom CLARKE (pilot)
Men's B&VI 1000m time trial Brad Henderson, Tom CLARKE (pilot)
Men’s team sprint - Patrick CONSTABLE, Nathan HART and Matt GLAETZER
Men's Sprint - Jacob SCHMID
Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit - Annette EDMONDSON
Women's Sprint - Kaarle MCCULLOCH
Tasmania's Amy Cure won Australia's ninth track cycling Commonwealth gold, prevailing in a perfectly executed 10km scratch race.
Pure precision from Ashlee Ankudinoff, followed by Annette Edmondson and Cure in the final few laps saw Cure power to gold in a stunning end to the 40-lap race ahead of Scottish pair Katie Archibald and Neah Evans.
"It was amazing. I was a bit disappointed yesterday but I came out with a different mindset. The girls backed me and gave me the perfect ride. I can't thank the girls enough. We went with a plan and executed it perfectly,” said Cure.
Australia finished the GC2018 track cycling competition with 19 medals overall; 10 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze.
Sprint King Matthew Glaetzer finished his heavy Commonwealth campaign with victory in the 1000m time trial.
Glaetzer, who twenty four hours earlier was upset in the men’s sprint rounds, achieved redemption in emphatic fashion, clocking the fastest time ever ridden at sea level, 59.340s.
As the last man to ride, Glaetzer knew he had to beat New Zealander Edward Dawkins's time of 59.928 seconds to take gold. He burst out of the blocks and vaulted himself to maximum speed, crossing the line in a blistering 59.340s.
"It was big today ... after a shocking day yesterday," Glaetzer said.
"I had to regroup, sometimes things don't go the way you plan them. This is really good to come back and prove to yourself that you can do it, get one up for Australia, because I owed them one for yesterday, so I am over the moon.”
Glaetzer finishes the Games with two gold in the 1km TT and keirin, and one bronze in the team sprint.
In the space of half an hour on the final night of competition, Australia claimed three gold medals – through Stephanie Morton, Amy Cure and Matthew Glaetzer – to take our overall GC2018 track gold tally to 10.
Stephanie Morton announced herself as a superstar in her own right – not just the next Anna Meares - snaring her third gold medal of the Gold Coast Games.
Morton powered to victory, just ahead of her surging teammate Kaarle McCulloch who took silver.
"Probably equal (best performance)," said Morton of her three gold and one silver medal wining performance” said Morton. "I wanted to win the sprint, team sprint and the keirin. 500 I just wanted to ride a pb. I rode out of my skin to get close to Kaarle.
"I literally ticked every box I wanted to coming into these champs, I'm just so happy.
“There has been a lot of work behind the scenes but we have such a great squad. We've got no prima donnas or people that are hard work and that environment is flourishing on the track,
“We get behind each other and that internal pressure is working wonders – everyone has come out and been really dominant.
Para-cyclist Bradley Henderson and Pilot Thomas Clarke picked up the bronze medal in the men’s Tandem Sprint, their second bronze of the game.
Jessica Gallagher and pilot Maddison Janssen finished second in the women's Tandem 1 B&VI 1000m time trial.
Australia won bronze in the men's sprint through Victoria's Games debutant Jacob Schmid who celebrated his second Games medal after winning bronze in the team event on Thursday with Matthew Glaetzer, Patrick Constable and Nathan Hart.
Schmid was too good for Malaysia's Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom in the bronze final, after Sahrom upsetting reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer in the round of 16 in the afternoon session.
"You can't top a home crowd and being able to pull this off after the year I've had, and last couple of years, I'm really excited and really happy,” Schmid said. "I had a crash a few weeks ago and wasn't even able to ride a bike, so I'm just stoked to come out and do this. For about a couple of hours (I wasn't sure I'd make it to the Gold Coast) but everyone rallied behind me and we got through it.
"My wife was putting her head in her hands every time I was racing, it's stressful watching just as much as doing it some times.
"We spoke very briefly, love yous, good luck, stuff like that, the biggest pressure you can put is on yourself."
World Champion Glaetzer devastatingly crashed out in the preliminary rounds after a tactical blunder against the 16th seed from Malaysia – he was completely caught off guard when the Malaysian attacked and roared away for a stunning upset.
"The sprint is the big one and it was always going to be tough backing up last night but it was just a tactical mistake.”
"I knew I'd stuffed up and I'll just take a moment to be disappointed and then re-group again ready for tomorrow, I won't leave anything in the tank," Glaetzer said.