Following last month’s racing in France and the Czech Republic, members of the Australian Track team headed to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Velodrome in Izu for Japan Track Cup.
The Cup featured two carnivals over three days, and for many of the team, it was their first hit out on the boards since the Commonwealth Games which netted 19 medals including ten gold
Three months on from their stunning and the stunning sub 3:50 team pursuit world record ride, Sam Welsford and Kelland O’Brien partnered across the two days in the Madison.
With their bikes delayed in transit, they were unable to find their feet early in the first race finishing with bronze. However, on the third day of competition, the pair treated the crowd to a classy display of Madison riding, controlling the race from start to the finish and doubling their nearest rivals on the points tally.
In other events, Welsford won the omnium, while fresh from their European schedule, Macey Stewart and Kristina Clonan grabbed silver and bronze in their two Madison appearances.
“Great to see them in action again even though they are just beginning to start their training again over the last few weeks,” said Senior Men's Track Endurance Coach Tim Decker.
“We will start to build slowly from here with the team towards the beginning of the World Cup season.”
The sprint team enjoyed the podium across the three days, with Kaarle McCulloch winning the keirin and sprint bronze on day one.
Pat Constable bagged keirin bronze in a strong field on day two, while Jacob Schmid collected two top-five results in the sprint.
“It was a great trip to start the season after a good break following the Comm Games,” said National Senior Track Sprint Coach Nick Flyger.
“It was good for the sprinters to check out the 2020 velodrome, and we were able to focus on the processes and applying the skills and tactics we had been working on since the Games.
“For the squad, it was nice to also catch up and train with Matt Glaetzer while he is competing in the Japan Keirins.”
The squads will be back in action on home soil at the 2019 Oceania Track Championships in Adelaide from 10-13 October.
Visit morecadence.jp for more on the Japan Track Cup.
2018 has been stellar to date for Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch with dual Commonwealth Games gold, plus silver and bronze, a thirteenth national title, and a host of new personal best times across the boards.
On the eve of her departure to July's Japan Track Cup, McCulloch chatted with us about her memorable week at the Games, hitting the mountain bike trails, partnering with Steph Morton and the fire that burns for a second Olympic Games appearance.
"I guess the thing that stands out the most that most people never realise is how nervous I was ALL day."
GOLD COAST GOLD: What a week for at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with four podiums from four events including individual & team gold!
I’ve dreamt my entire career to stand on top of the podium on my own at an event like the Commonwealth Games. I love the team sprint and it holds something very special to me, but to win the time trial and to be able to say I did that all on my own was very special.
The thing that stands out the most that most people never realise is how nervous I was ALL day. I really sincerely believe that if you’re not nervous you can’t do exceptional things and I was able to turn all those nerves into something really special.
I had already raced the event in my mind so many times before without outcome and so the ride itself was one of those ‘dream moments’ that you don’t get very often in your career. I can really only say I have had that kind of moment three or so times my career and they have mostly all come at critical times like in 2009 when Anna and I won our first World Title together.
When I crossed the line and saw 33.5, I was so happy because my goal was to ride 33.5. Also, when I saw Steph rode 33.6 I was so happy for her because that was a huge PB for her but I also knew that if I nailed it that I was capable of winning.
Some of the memorable moments of that night were when Steph came to congratulate me, I felt an honest and genuine connection with her in that moment and I think it speaks loads about our camaraderie. I was also able to go and hug my family who has known my aspirations and I really felt like they won that night.
"It has been a hard slog since getting back into it, as all offseason training is especially in the cold, but its the necessary evil of what we do, you have to hurt if you want to win."
VETERAN MOVE: When taking a post-Games break means hopping on a mountain bike!
I have learnt that it is so important to take a proper break after big events. As a team, we were allowed two weeks off at Gold Coast 2018- which included the second week in the Games Village after our racing finished and isn’t much of a break!
So when we were told to get back into some easy work two weeks after, I wasn’t quite ready and instead I let myself be inspired to get back on again. This didn’t take long though because…I bought a mountain bike! I have since been thoroughly enjoying being truly out with nature and just doing something so different.
I was able to spend time with my family and my boyfriend and I felt like my batteries were recharged when I did go back to Adelaide four weeks after the games. Since then its been a hard slog as all offseason training is, especially in the cold but its the necessary evil of what we do, you have to hurt if you want to win.
"I have been able to watch Steph grow every year and that makes me glad she is on my team and no one else’s!"
NEW PARTNERSHIP: McCulloch, a three-time team sprint world champion & 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, is firing with new partner Steph Morton.
I am really so excited for the Team Sprint! Steph and I have already been a force to be reckoned with but in all honesty, we haven’t really spent that much time working together. So now that I have moved to Adelaide I feel like we can go a step further in our partnership.
I am also just so proud of Steph. When she first came into this program in 2013, she was so raw and didn’t realise her talent. But I see her grow every year and she is starting to believe in her potential and I guess that makes me glad she is on my team and no one else’s!
But I think for myself also I just see improvement every day and I am glad I got through the rough times I went through because I feel like I am on the other side now and really pushing that last bit up to the summit of Mount Everest.
"It is a scary prospect of what it will take to win, but then you see the plan and the steps to get there you start to realise that it is very possible."
NO STONE UNTURNED: McCulloch knows what it will take to get to Tokyo 2020.
Tokyo is my big goal. The Commonwealth Games gave me the realisation that the sky is the limit. I feel such potential and energy, like when I was preparing for the London Olympics when I super focused and really balanced in all aspects of my life.
I also have a plan now through to Tokyo as set by my support team down in Adelaide, and when you can see your plan it is a scary prospect of what it will take to win, but then you see there are steps to get there, you start to realise that it is very possible.
I know what it takes to win, I know what it feels like to step out on to an Olympic Velodrome and I have been the best in the world.
So for me really it is about enjoying the next 766 days, working hard, believing in my plan and my team and building on the momentum that Steph and I have and putting that into a result on race day.
Kaarle will race the Japan Cup in July before heading back to Australia for Adelaide’s Oceania Championship in October and the 2018/19 World Cup season.
Photos © Tim Bardsley-Smith / Casey Gibson
The Australian Women’s Track Endurance squad escaped the cold Australian winter in June and warmed up with some racing across Europe and the USA.
In Australia’s track off season, recently added members to the Australian team in Macey Stewart and Kristina Clonan headed to the Czech Cup in Brno in June, before being joined by Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Alexandra Manly at the French Cup.
The team enjoyed a number of wins across the two weekends of racing, including Manly and Cure in the Madison and Manly in the scratch race. However, the racing was marred by a nasty crash involving Edmondson. Following a few days of recovery in the hospital, Edmondson is now on a managed return her to exercise as she recovers.
“It is great to be together and racing in what is normally peak road season,” said Bartram. "Across both weekends, the racing was fierce and challenging. And the different style tracks definitely challenged the girls."
But last weekend’s French Cup was also a reminder of the risks we take in this sport and the valuable support you need around you,” revealed Bartram, who praised the Cycling Australia performance support staff in Dave Hayes and Doctor Mark Fisher, in addition to Kimberly Wells who assisted via the European Training Centre.
”Following the crash, the riders fantastic as they helped pick up the slack and looked after themselves while was dealing with Nettie in the hospital.
"Also a huge shout out to Nettie’s friend Laura Weislo who stayed with Nettie and me from the ambulance ride to her being discharged, translated and drove us around and pushed the doctors as we needed. I certainly recommend her for any team currently looking for a soigneur or the like!”
On the other side of the world, Georgia Baker and Ashlee Ankudinoff are currently racing in the USA, with the pair each recording two stage wins the Tour of America’s Dairyland.
In July, the pair will fly to Europe to join the rest of the squad in Italy for some more track racing in Fiorenzuola, while Macey and Kristina will also head with a CA squad to the Japan Track Cup for their first look at the 2020 Olympic Velodrome.
The Tokyo 2020 games are now under 800 days away.
Cycling Australia’s (CA) commitment to Olympic and Paralympic Gold medal performances and Athlete Wellbeing continues.
In line with the Cycling Australia High Performance Strategy announced in October 2017, additional athletes will join the Australian Cycling Team in October 2018, as part of the new Podium Potential Track Academy. The Track Academy is a vital part of the elite athlete pathway and one of the cornerstones of the Australian Cycling Team’s long-term strategic plan.
These talented young athletes will train alongside the Podium Athletes, be based in Adelaide, and be provided with resources and support to develop them towards 2024. As well as these longer-term prospects, it is possible that a small number of these athletes will bridge the gap to the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Simon Jones, Cycling Australia’s Performance Director: “Our goal is as clear now as it was when I started. Success at the Olympics in 2020 and 2024 is our goal, and we define ‘success’ as Olympic Gold. Our plan is all about continuing our focussed trajectory to Tokyo and beyond.
“An important element of the team’s balance and make up is to ensure a consistent flow of talent enters into the performance program, and we look forward to welcoming new riders into the Australian Cycling Team later in the year.”
As well as the new athletes set to join the Podium Potential Track Academy later this year, the Australian Cycling Team is also set to welcome three new elite riders:
While the Australian Cycling Team is set to welcome many new riders, with a limited number of Team places available, four athletes will be transitioned out of the Australian Cycling Team system. Those athletes are:
Simon Jones: “It is always difficult to make these tough decisions and it is stressful for all parties in these circumstances. Of course, we recognise and understand it is especially tough for the athlete.
“I want to take this opportunity to recognise the contribution these four athletes have made to the Team and wish them all the best going forward. We will ensure in the short term that they have a support network around them and readily accessible support via our Senior Personal Excellence Advisor Mark Gregory, who is there to guide elite athletes through these complex transitions.
The Australian Cycling Team’s commitment to improving athlete wellbeing is further reflected via a new AIS directorship centred around Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement. CA will seek to engage the new director Matti Clements to develop an even deeper understanding of this critically important piece of the elite athlete success puzzle.
Further, the Australian Cycling Team has appointed Dr Ruth Anderson to the newly created role of Performance Psychologist and Behaviours. Dr Anderson is set to join CA in July. While this role will focus primarily on performance optimisation, Dr Anderson will also be an integral part of the support team that will oversee the implementation of additional athlete wellbeing and engagement tactics.
Finally, Cycling Australia have recruited Dr Paolo Menaspa as Head of Performance Solutions. Dr Menaspa will play a key role in supporting the coaching and performance support team to identify and deliver performance enhancing solutions.
Further depth will be added to the team shortly, with recruitment currently underway for a new Strength and Conditioning Coach and a new Para-cycling Technical Director; a replacement for Peter Day who will be retiring in September after decades of service to Cycling Australia.
Simon Jones: “Ultimately, we believe that our Performance Strategy will continue to deliver an optimum overall makeup of the Team as we strive for excellence at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic, for 2024 and beyond”.
Cycling Australia will shortly publish a full list of Australian Cycling Team Track and Para-cycling Athlete Members.
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.
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.
In one of the most amazing rides ever seen on a track, let alone the Commonwealth Games, Sam Welsford lifted the roof at the Anna Meares Velodrome with gold in the men's scratch race.
Teammates Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard covered constant attacks and reeled in England’s Ethan Hayter on the final lap, leaving Welsford to time his final lap sprint to perfection.
The win was Welsford's second of the Games after teaming to clock the first sub 3:50 ride in history in the team pursuit with Leigh Howard, Kelland O'Brien and Alex Porter.
In a superb week for Welsford, he also clocked a stunning 4min 13.595sec individual pursuit ride on Friday which was fifth fastest in what was one of the fastest IP events in history.
“That was such a hard race, it was on from the start and I had to be patient and my teammates are amazing,” Welsford said.
“Cam Meyer and Leigh Howard, hats off to them, they were in every move and looked after me all race. I think Australia, the whole team is so tight nit and it’s showing in the results this week.
“Coming into the last lap my visor was falling off and I was mid-sprint so didn’t want to adjust it, and it fell off in the last couple of minutes anyway.
“I’m over the moon, my second goal and this race is such a lottery, 60 laps and lucky enough I caught him last lap.”
Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch celebrated atop the podium with a brilliant Commonwealth Games gold medal in the women's time trial.
McCulloch snatched the gold just 0.036 ahead of teammate Stephanie Morton in a blistering women’s 500m time trial at the Anna Meares velodrome.
Morton looked odds-on to claim her third GC2018 gold medal before McCulloch took top spot in a personal best time of 33.583.
“Anna Meares pulled me aside and said only a Meares girl has won this title. I want a McCulloch to win,” said McCulloch, who won silver eight years ago in Delhi 2010.
“I feel like I’ve done it justice. I got into this sport because of her. To take that title tonight on her track is dream come true after winning her first individual Commonwealth gold and Australia’s fifth consecutive 500m sprint title."
Morton also smashed her PB by nearly half-a-second with her first career sub-34 second ride (33.619), but it wasn’t enough to deny McCulloch.
"I knew she was going to pull out a big time and if you're going to get rolled by anyone it's (good) that it's your own and it's really great that we got on the top step together, and it happened in Glasgow where Anna and I went one, two."
Commonwealth Games debutant Rebecca Wiasak won silver in the women’s individual pursuit, finishing behind 2016 Olympic team pursuit champion Katie Archibald from Scotland. Annette Edmondson took the bronze.
Wiasak wowed the crowd in the afternoon qualifying with a Games record (3:25.936), which also eclipsed her own national record. However Archibald eclipsed that mark in the very next ride.
In the final, Archibald looked strong early, before Wiasak took the lead and a .3sec advantage at the halfway mark. However Archibald fought back and stopped the clock at 3mins 26.088secs ahead of Wiasak (3:27.548).
I went hard. I used all my energy and enthusiasm. I'm happy to finish both races. I'm as thrilled today with a silver as I would be with a gold.
I knew it was going to be a tough ask coming up against Katie Archibald, she's such a classy rider and you're stoked to make the final and you definitely have to stay confident that I could take it to her in the final.
I'm really happy to finish off both my rides really strongly.
It was bitterly disappointing to miss out on the team pursuit but you have to draw strength and inspiration from those rides," Wiasak said.
Watching it in bed last night trying to rest up for today, I was so emotional for the girls, you were in tears seeing them on the podium knowing that could have been you.
But I've been in that position so many times - the final rider cut - so when I was just sitting and waiting for today to jump up on the track I said to myself 'you've been waiting so long for this moment'.
I was the last rider cut for Glasgow and the fastest individual pursuiter at that point that season, and the last rider cut for Rio so I had to sit at home and watch as the non-travelling reserve so I know disappointment but it's continued to drive me and use that fire in the belly to keep me going and get me on this track.
Bronze - NETTIE Edmondson
In an all Aussie affair, Annette Edmondson held off a late surge from reigning national champion Ashlee Ankudinoff to win bronze. Earlier in the day, Edmondson set a Games record and personal best in qualifying (3:27.255) before it was broken by Wiasak and then Archibald.
"I'm satisfied, I wasn't sure what to expect going in after yesterday, it was pretty solid on the legs but I had to go out there and focus and luckily I could pull out a PB.
"It was really tough in the final because you're up against your teammate and you really want to make it on the podium but at the same time one of your teammates doesn't get to come home with a medal, so it was hard but I am satisfied with the time I was able to ride.
"We've put our heart and soul into it the last few years and it just comes down to the day and who has the right prep or who believes in themselves more on the night, and sometimes there's a bit of luck involved."
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.
South Australia's Stephanie Morton gave Australia its 100th gold in Commonwealth Games cycling after winning the women's sprint over New Zealand’s Natasha Hansen, with Sydney's Kaarle McCulloch taking the bronze.
In the afternoon's qualifying, Morton scorched the Anna Meares Velodrome track with a Games Record and personal best 10.524secs to sit atop qualifying. McCulloch clocked her own career best time in fourth with 10.777secs.
The pair eased their way through to the semi finals which disappointingly for fans saw them pitted against each other for a place in the gold medal final. There, Morton was too good for her room mate and team mate in straight heats.
In the final, Hansen attempted mind games from behind in both sprints, thrusting and dodging to try to knock Morton off her perch. But Morton was impassable, storming home in the second sprint to defend her Commonwealth title in front of a surging crowd.
It took me by complete surprise when I beat Anna Meares in Glasgow (individual sprint at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games) - and now to be in the Anna Meares Velodrome is very special
After Glasgow, I came into the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with expectations, and reminisced on what it means to win a gold medal - it's been very special.
It is an honour to receive the 100th gold medal for Australia in cycling. This is testament to the great Australian cycling program.
Bronze - McCulloch
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
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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.