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.
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 EDMONDSON, 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 & 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
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 electric Anna Meares Velodrome, sprint World Champion Matthew Glaetzer lifted the roof at the end of the night by defending his Commonwealth keirin title, also capturing Australia’s fifth cycling gold of the Games.
The 25-year-old, who took bronze in the team sprint on the opening day, beat Welshman Lewis Oliva and New Zealand’s Edward Dawkins to the finish line with a barnstorming ride in the final.
It was a perfect day for Glaetzer as he stormed to three wins in the keirin competition in sizzling fashion in front of the huge crowd.
It is massive because I was reigning Champion – there’s a lot of pressure and you can feel that expectation – It’s about trying to be ice man, be clinical and when it happens it just comes in rush, and the Aussie crowd just goes nuts.
Yesterday didn't go to plan, I burnt myself out a bit too much (in the team sprint). Today I just had to reset, get the emotions out and push myself.
Those races aren't easy but you're in a position that people envy so I can't complain, just loving the fact I got to win it again and share it with this home crowd.
We as athletes aren't doing it for ourselves, we're doing it for the nation. We don't get it (home crowd) too often, so it's absolutely sensational when that flag is raised and the whole nation is behind you.
Women's team sprint
Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton powered over the New Zealand pair of Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming in the women’s team sprint final to win gold.
With former teammate Anna Meares watching on, the duo powered in qualifying to take the mental advantage into the final, which saw them ride the wave of parochial Aussie support as they clocked a new Commonwealth Games and national record time of 32.488 seconds.
More: Watch live via 7commgames.com.au | Visit gc2018.com for all the event information.
Can’t complain with a casual Aussie record but we’re stoked, that’s what we came here for — to smash our own record and we got it convincingly so it’s pretty exciting with three days to go.
It’s insane, we were pretty lucky to get to see the track endurance and tandems go before so it was cool once you got up there, you knew that noise was for us.
Steph and I are not a new team but we’re not an old team either, we’ve almost won nearly every time we step on a track together, so to be able to go from Anna as a team sprint partner to Steph and make some history is awesome, and I’m looking forward to Tokyo and beyond.
We’ve both got amazing form at the moment which is a credit to our coaches and I think this crowd is pushing us over the line as well.
men's team sprint
The Australian men's quartet of Nathan Hart, Matthew Glaetzer, Patrick Constable and Jacob Schmid won bronze in the men's team sprint.
It was a heartbreaking opening for the team the afternoon qualifying, with Constable pulling his foot at the start of their heat. The team was granted a re-run minutes later, and recovered to post the third best time to send them into the bronze medal ride.
Schmid came in for Glaetzer in the final, with the team too strong for Canada as they clocked 43.645seconds for three laps to win the bronze.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Track competition will take place at the Anna Meares Velodrome (Brisbane) from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 April.
It will feature 20 events, eight sprint events in the sprint, team sprint, time trial and keirin. The team sprint returning after being removed for the 2014 program, while the keirin makes its debut for women.
The 2018 Games is likely to provide a milestone for team, with Australia having won 96 Commonwealth Games cycling gold medals.
Australia’s women’s duo features defending sprint gold medallist Stephanie Morton and 2010 team sprint gold medallist Kaarle McCulloch.
On the opening day, Morton and McCulloch will line up in the team sprint which, like McCulloch, is returning to Commonwealth Games in 2018 after missing 2014. The pair celebrated victory at last November’s Oceania Championships, and silver at the 2017 World Championships.
In the sprint, Morton will aim to defend her crown on the track named after her former teammate and legend of the sport Anna Meares, who she defeated in the event four years ago in Glasgow.
Morton heads into the Games a strong favourite in the event after winning her second straight World Championship sprint silver medal, during which she topped the qualification run for the third straight year.
Morton will also contest the keirin and time trial, as will the evergreen McCulloch who has been producing some career best times in the recent season, so will be a podium favourite in each of the four events she contests in Brisbane.
The men’s sprint quartet is headlined by Matthew Glaetzer, fresh from his claiming his maiden sprint World Championship crown in the Netherlands.
It will be a busy schedule for the powerful South Australian with four events on the tables as he looks to add Commonwealth sprint gold to his rainbow jersey, while also defending the keirin title he won four years ago in Glasgow.
Glaetzer will open his campaign in the team sprint on day one and end it in the time trial on the final day, an event in which he became the first rider to record a sub-one minute ride on sea level.
Joining Glaetzer in an impressive men’s sprint quartet is Rio Olympians Nathan Hart and Patrick Constable, and former keirin national champion Jacob Schmid.
Watch for Canberra's Hart to explode from the gates in his only race of the week as leads Glaetzer and Constable in the opening day’s team sprint. The trio, who finished just off the podium in fourth at the Rio Olympic Games, will be eager to open their campaign with a strong performance.
Constable, who finished eighth at the Rio Games and took the national crown in 2017, will also contest the sprint, plus the keirin, as will Schmid.
WHEN ARE THEY RACING?
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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.
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The Australian Cycling Team is set to commence its campaign at the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, which runs February 28 - March 4 2018.
Team for 2018 Track Worlds
In alignment with Cycling Australia's 2020 High Performance strategy, and with the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games set as the benchmark event of the year, the Australian Cycling Team for the Championships has been carefully selected with individual and team long-term goals in mind.
"We have a small team, but we have a quality team, and quality is what matters," said Simon Jones, Performance Director, Australian Cycling Team. "We have several medal chances in Olympic events and the focus will be on how we can convert those opportunities.
Stephanie Morton (SA)
Stephanie Morton (SA) announced herself at the 2017 World Championships in Hong Kong with silver in both the sprint and team sprint (with McCulloch).
At the 2018 UCI Track World Championships in the Netherlands, she will line up in the sprint, keirin and 500m time trial.
Morton’s 2017/18 campaign began with sprint silver and keirin bronze at the UCI World Cup in Poland, and continued with triple gold at both the Oceania Championships in November and at the National Championships in Brisbane earlier in February in the sprint, team sprint and keirin.
When is Steph competing?
Matthew Glaetzer (SA)
2012 team sprint world champion and 2016 sprint silver medallist Matthew Glaetzer (SA) will line up in the sprint, keirin and time trial.
Glaetzer’s season opened with a bang in November with sprint gold at the UCI World Cup in Poland, before bagging sprint bronze and becoming the first person to ride under one minute (59.970) in the kilometre time trial at sea level at the second leg of the World Cup in Manchester.
Glaetzer then eclipsed this time with a scorching 59.759secs at the recent Nationals in Brisbane earlier in February. The win came during Matt's four gold medal haul in Brisbane which saw him also claim the sprint, team sprint and keirin crowns.
When is Matt competing?
Cameron Meyer (WA) & Callum Scotson (SA)
In the endurance events, eight-time world champion Cameron Meyer (WA) will team with Callum Scotson (SA) in the Madison.
The pair will be looking to go one better than their 2017 silver medal following early 2017/18 season success which included winning the prestigious London Six Day in October followed by Madison gold at the UCI World Cup in Poland in November.
Meyer will line up in defence of his points race crown, while Scotson will contest the scratch race.
When are Cam and Callum competing? All times AEDT
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Commonwealth Games Australia is pleased to announce a strong 36-member team to contest the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Reigning Commonwealth Games champions Stephanie Morton, Matthew Glaetzer and Annette Edmondson headline the track selections, in addition to the return of 2010 Gold medallists Cameron Meyer and Kaarle McCulloch.
Reigning road national champions Alexander Edmondson and Shannon Malseed, triple world championship medallist Katrin Garfoot and 2006 Commonwealth Games road race gold medallist Mathew Hayman feature in the road selections.
The team will vie for 26 gold medals - track (16), para-cycling track (4), road (4), and mountain bike (2) competitions in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast from 4-15 April.
Australian Team Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti welcomed the athletes on to the Australian Team.
“We enjoyed strong success at Glasgow 2014 from the Cycling team, so with the depth and experience we have in this team we look forward to more success at Gold Coast 2018,” he said.
“The cycling program is an incredibly exciting one for fans, with competition at the new Anna Meares Velodrome, road cycling events that are free and open to all spectators and mountain biking at the Nerang trails.
“With many of these athletes spending a lot of time abroad, Gold Coast 2018 provides a unique chance for these athletes to compete in front of a home crowd,” Moneghetti said.
With the announcement of the 36 cyclists today, the Australian Team currently numbers 222, or just under half the anticipated total of 470 athletes.
The men’s track endurance squad is replete with rainbow jerseys, with reigning team pursuit world champions Samuel Welsford, Kelland O’Brien, Leigh Howard, Alexander Porter and Nicholas Yallouris, plus individual pursuit world champion Jordan Kerby; named in their first Games’ team.
Three-time world champion Leigh Howard will also debut, with eight-time world champion and triple 2010 Games Gold medallist Cameron Meyer rounding out the strong line up.
Defending scratch race Gold medallist and dual world champion Annette Edmondson, dual 2014 Games medallist and world champion Amy Cure and 2010 representative Ashlee Ankudinoff will lead the women’s endurance squad.
Dual world champion Rebecca Wiasak, Rio Olympian Georgia Baker and rising star Alexandra Manly all receive their first Commonwealth Games’ selections.
“It’s really not that often someone gets to represent their country in a home Commonwealth Games in their career, so for me, it’s something very special that I’ll never forget,” said Cure, a dual medallist from 2014.
“(I am) super excited to have the team pursuit on the calendar at the Games. I’m really excited to see what the team can achieve; as one of our three Olympic events, it’s great to get another opportunity to race this race in front of big crowds.”
Australia’s sprint crew is awash with Commonwealth Gold with defending sprint champion Stephanie Morton to form a formidable women’s sprint duo with 2010 team sprint champion Kaarle McCulloch.
2014 keirin Gold medallist Matthew Glaetzer will spearhead an impressive men’s sprint quartet with Rio Olympians Nathan Hart and Patrick Constable, and Jacob Schmid.
A host of Australia’s WorldTour elite highlight the road selections, with reigning national champion Alexander Edmondson, 2006 Commonwealth Games road race Gold medallist Mathew Hayman, Steele Von Hoff, Mitchell Docker, Callum Scotson and Meyer, forming a versatile six-member men’s road squad.
“I have very fond memories of the 2014 Commonwealth Games from Glasgow, so I am really excited about lining up in the road race in 2018,” said Edmondson, who won Gold and Silver in the pursuit events on the track four years ago.
“Of course being a home games there’s a bit of added pressure, but we are going to have a home crowd cheering us on which is going to be huge.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of racing in the green and gold on home soil!”
Triple world championship medallist and 2014 Commonwealth Bronze medallist Katrin Garfoot will head the six-member women’s team with reigning road national champion Shannon Malseed, dual national road champion Gracie Elvin and 2010 Games Bronze medallist Chloe Hosking, who gains a third team selection.
2010 team member Tiffany Cromwell returns while Sarah Roy makes her debut.
“It's a bit of a pinch yourself moment,” said Hosking who becomes just the third Australian female cycling behind Anna Meares and Kathy Watt to be named to contest three Commonwealth Games.
“To think I represented Australia at 20 in Delhi and I'm still racing and still getting stronger and still pulling on the green and gold. I would never have dreamt this growing up.”
The Tandem Para-cycling selections are led by 2016 world champions Jessica Gallagher and Pilot Madison Janssen, while Bradley Henderson will make his debut with Pilot Thomas Clarke who won Bronze at the 2014 Games.
2014 Bronze medallists and dual Olympians Daniel McConnell and Rebecca McConnell (nee Henderson) will contest the mountain bike cross-country competition.
“I'm very excited about the upcoming Games, to have a home Commonwealth Games is going to be a great experience,” said McConnell who grabbed a top ten finish at last year’s World Championships in Cairns. “I have pretty high expectations going into the Games.
“I really like the course, I think it suits my strength pretty well. I just want to get to the start line 100% fit and ready to go, if I can do that anything is possible.”
Similarly, Rebecca McConnell is hoping the home course advantage plays into her hands when she lines up against a world-class field.
“I have been fortunate enough to race on the course at the Nationals Series in January, it's a great course, with technical climbing and descending and the strongest rider will win,” said Henderson.
“With world champions and World Cup winners in both the men's and the women's field the racing is going to be fast and exciting so we hope to see lots of spectators in April!”
Australia has enjoyed strong success at recent Games with a 24-medal haul including seven gold in Glasgow in 2014, and 21 medals (14 gold) in Delhi in 2010.
Tickets still available to 12 sports across the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games competition schedule.
Commonwealth Games Australian Cycling Team
PARA TRACK (TANDEMS)
* Commonwealth Games debutant
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce an experienced four-rider team for the 2018 UCI Track World Championships to be held in Apeldoorn, Netherlands from February 28 - March 4 2018.
In line with the CA High Performance Strategy, the Commonwealth Games has been set as the benchmark event of the year, rather than Track Worlds, and this is reflected in the smaller than usual team for the event.
This is a one-off strategy for 2018, as the 2019/2020 Track Worlds will be part of Olympic qualification.
Dual 2017 silver medallist Stephanie Morton (SA) will line up in the sprint, keirin and 500m time trial looking to pull on the rainbow jersey following success at the opening round of the Tissot UCI Track World Cup and Oceania Track Championships.
2012 team sprint world champion and 2016 sprint silver medallist Matthew Glaetzer (SA) will tackle the sprint and keirin. As well as lining up in the 1km time trial, an event he became the first person to ride under one minute at sea level at the Manchester Track World Cup in November.
In endurance events eight-time world champion Cameron Meyer (WA) will defend his points race title while also partnering Callum Scotson (SA) in the Madison, as they look to improve on silver from a year ago. Scotson will also compete in the scratch race.
The four selected athletes competed in the first two UCI World Cups in Poland and Manchester targeting Olympic events, with Glaetzer winning men's sprint in Poland, Meyer and Scotson winning the men's Madison and Morton winning silver in the sprint and bronze in the keirin, and will head into the World Championships with confidence.
With the focus on the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games the team has been carefullly selected with individual and team long term goals in mind, and in alignment with Cycling Australia's 2020 strategy.
Australian Cycling Team for 2018 Track World Championships – Apeldoorn, Netherlands, Feb 28 - March 4 2018.