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.
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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