Reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer (SA) is aiming to take his sensational early season form into next week’s 2019 UCI Track World Championships in Poland.
It was a near-perfect start to the 2018/19 season for the South Australian who powered to three gold and one silver across the first four World Cup sprint competitions in November and December. Glaetzer also clocked a flying 200m of 9.502sec early in the season, just shy of his 9.459sec personal best set five years ago (at altitude).
“I haven’t had a better season, the World Cups were almost flawless, except for the last (fourth round) one which took its toll,” said Glaetzer. “There is some strong competition, it's tough. Yes, I won three out of four, but it was very close all the way through.”
Glaetzer has admitted there is a different feeling on the eve of his ninth World Championships campaign which could see him join John Nicholson (1975, 76) as the second Australian to win two sprint world titles.
“This year is different being reigning sprint world champion, but I see it as another challenge in my career,” explained Glaetzer. “I have taken a step towards that higher position in the port, but it is a good challenge, it won’t be easy, more pressure and expectation from myself and externally.”
Glaetzer headlines a strong sprint quartet which features Olympians Patrick Constable (SA) and Nathan Hart (ACT) plus nineteen-year-old debutant Matthew Richardson (WA).
“It is exciting times in the Australian sprint team,” said Glaetzer of the squad which won ten medals including six gold over the six-round 2018/19 World Cup season. Glaetzer will line up in the sprint and keirin, while Constable, Hart and Richardson - who claimed team sprint gold at the final round of the World Cup in Hong Kong - will form the team sprint outfit.
“Matt Richardson has been exciting, pretty impressive at a young age, but we are not putting pressure on him, he is there to experience it and enjoy it and see what he can do.
“Hopefully, I might be able to slot in and give it a rip and see what we can do as a country.”
In addition to chasing rainbows, Glaetzer remains focussed on continual improvements ahead of the Worlds, and ultimately the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games which looms in eighteen months.
“I want to race well, race smart, minimise mistakes,” Glaetzer said. “If you can nail that, the results will flow.
“Also continuing to improve on a few weaknesses of mine. It is a project with myself and the staff, just to keep developing, keep getting better, because everyone else is as well.
“I have to keep the edge on the competition.”
The Australian Team is scheduled to arrive in Pruszkow, Poland on Wednesday 20 February ahead of the 2019 UCI Track World Championships which will be held from 27 February to 3 March.
Glaetzer will be in action in the keirin on day two (Thursday), while the sprint begins on day three (Friday) and concludes on Saturday.
Australian Cycling Team #AusCyclingTeam
2019 UCI Track World Championships - Poland
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce a 17-rider team for the 2019 UCI Track World Championships to be held in Poland from 27 February to 3 March.
Team pursuit world record holders Leigh Howard (VIC), Kelland O’Brien (VIC), Alexander Porter (SA) and Samuel Welsford (WA) feature in the men’s endurance selections with Cameron Scott (NSW) who will make his World Championship debut. Nine-time world champion Cameron Meyer (WA) is also confirmed.
Commonwealth Games champions Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW), Amy Cure (TAS), Annette Edmondson (SA) and Alexandra Manly (SA), plus Georgia Baker (TAS), comprise the women’s endurance selections.
Reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer (SA) headlines the men’s sprint quartet with Patrick Constable (SA) and Nathan Hart (ACT), with nineteen-year-old Podium Potential Academy member Matthew Richardson (WA) named to his maiden elite World Championship team.
Sprint silver medallist at the past two World Championships Stephanie Morton (SA), and Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) complete the women’s sprint selections.
“These World Championships provide a great opportunity to benchmark where we are at against the world’s best,” said Simon Jones, Performance Director, Cycling Australia.
“However the focus will be about learning rather than winning. As we build towards Tokyo the focus will increasingly be on performance, but performing with a clear strategy and winning processes.”
The team will finalise preparations in Adelaide before departing Australia on February 20.
Australian Cycling Team #AusCyclingTeam
2019 UCI Track World Championships
The Australian Cycling Team has been crowned overall 2018/19 UCI World Cup winners following an emphatic final World Cup round held at the Hong Kong Velodrome.
Australia claimed three gold, three silver and two bronze across the three days, highlighted by dual gold to Thomas Clarke, 23, in the sprint and team sprint with teenagers James Brister, 19, and Matthew Richardson, 19, plus omnium gold to Cameron Meyer.
Overall across the six-round World Cup series, Australia won 34 medals including 13 gold, 12 silver and nine bronze.
“It is a great team effort, a mixture of committed athletes, committed staff, everyone working together, I think it is a great thing to celebrate,” said Jon Norfolk, Head of Performance Pathways and People, Cycling Australia.
“Across this season we witnessed great results and performances from athletes within the Podium program and the Podium Potential Academy. It is so great to have two separate tiers of our program able to perform on this kind of stage, to be able to refine and improve.
“It is also great to see both programs supporting each other as well, we have podium athletes supporting our younger athletes, and in turn, they are being inspired by racing and training with their heroes.
“It is a really infectious environment.”
Forty-eight hours after teaming winning gold in the team sprint, Podium Potential Academy members Thomas Clarke, 23, and James Brister, 19, battled each other for gold in the individual sprint with Clarke taking the top step of the podium.
In a heartbreaking end to the men’s 30km Madison, Sam Welsford, 23, and Kelland O’Brien, 20, were edged into the silver medal position by New Zealand in the final sprint of the 120-lap race.
Alexandra Manly staged an epic comeback inside the final twenty laps of the points race to win bronze in women’s omnium.
Teenage debutant Alexandra Martin-Wallace shone in the scratch race, coming over the top of a fast finishing bunch to win silver.
Read full Sunday report
A calculated performance from Cameron Meyer, saw the 31-year-old claim an emphatic gold in his first international omnium competition.
In her first race at the World Cup level since 2016 after suffering a broken foot and chronic back injuries, Caitlin Ward, 24, netted her best World Cup performance finishing eighth with a competition personal best 11.022seconds in the flying 200m.
Read full Omnium & Women's Sprint report
The Australian Cycling Team’s Podium Potential Academy riders stole the show on the opening day of competition with teenagers James Brister, 19, and Matthew Richardson, 19, bolting from the gates on their World Cup debut, with Thomas Clarke, 23, to win gold in the men’s team sprint.
In the team pursuit, the teenage quartet of Jarrad Drizners, 19, Godfrey Slattery, 18 Conor Leahy, 19, and Luke Plapp, 18, won bronze in just their second World Cup event.
The women’s endurance quartet of Maeve Plouffe, 19, Alexandra Manly, 22, and World Cup debutantsAlexandra Martin-Wallace and Sophie Edwards, both 18, finished fifth overall.
Read full Team Pursuit & Team Sprint reports
The Australian Cycling Team claimed three gold, three silver and two bronze at the final 2018/19 UCI World Cup round held at the Hong Kong Velodrome highlighted by dual gold to Thomas Clarke, 23, in the sprint and team sprint with teenagers James Brister, 19, and Matthew Richardson, 19, plus omnium gold to Cameron Meyer.
Forty-eight hours after teaming winning gold in the team sprint, Podium Potential Academy members Thomas Clarke, 23, and James Brister, 19, faced off for gold in the individual sprint.
Fifth fastest qualifier Brister (9.925) and seventh fastest Clarke (9.979) made their way unscathed through the rounds, with teenage Brister accounting for three-time sprint world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Theo Bos (NED) in the quarterfinals in straight heats. Clarke took care of Nicholas Paul (TTO) also in two rides.
Brister and Clarke then set up the all Aussie final with two strong straight-heat semifinal victories over Chao Xu (CHN) and Quentin Caleyron (FRA) respectively.
In the final, Clarke proved too good on the day for his younger opponent in straight heats. The win made it five gold from six events in the men’s sprint across the World Cup season after Matthew Glaetzer won the first three rounds and Nathan Hart collected gold in round five.
“Honestly I don’t think it has sunk in, I still can’t believe it. I woke up this morning with no expectations apart form coming here qualifying the best I can and having a race,” said Clarke, who also won team sprint silver last week in New Zealand in round five of the World Cup.
“I took it one race at a time, had a few close calls to make it through and then couldn’t believe it when James and I both made the gold medal ride off.
“At that point, either way, however it finished I was just proud of our team and what we have achieved this week.”
In a heartbreaking end the men’s 30km Madison, Sam Welsford and Kelland O’Brien were edged into the silver medal position by New Zealand in the final sprint of the 120-lap race.
The Aussie pair set the pace early, claiming the race lead after the second sprint. However, France and New Zealand surged to take the lead over the Australians at the halfway mark.
With dual Madison world champion Cameron Meyer calling the shots from the sidelines, the Australians pounced inside the final forty laps to take a lap on the field, and with the twenty bonus points, they regained the race lead.
A litany of attacks ensued in an animated final thirty laps, with New Zealand stealing the win on the final sprint, leapfrogging the Australians onto the top step of the podium.
“It was pretty hard out there, we knew we had to be on our game,” said Welsford. “We knew we had to score early and take a late lap if we needed and we did that. But we just got caught behind a few riders and missed out on that final sprint.”
Alexandra Manly staged an epic comeback inside the final twenty laps of the points race to win bronze in women’s omnium.
It wasn’t an ideal start to the four-event omnium for Manly after finishing fifteenth in the scratch race. However second in the tempo and fifth in the elimination placed her in sight of the podium heading into her favourite event, the 80-lap points race.
Trailing third place by nineteen points, Manly took a solo lap inside the final twenty laps which launched her into third and onto the podium.
“I had a bad scratch race, so I knew I had to have a good points race and use my strengths,” said Manly. “With twenty laps to go I knew it was my last opportunity, so I went as deep as I could because I knew if I did I was guaranteed to win a medal. It was a major fight, but I got there.”
The result continues Manly’s return to competition after breaking her shoulder late in 2018.
“For me, it was important for my confidence as it has been two months of solid training, so it was nice to get used to the bunch again and it was pretty nice to come away with the medal.”
Teenage debutant Alexandra Martin-Wallace shone in the scratch race, coming over the top of a fast finishing bunch to win silver.
“I am really happy, certainly wasn’t expecting a medal going into the event,” said Martin-Wallace after her third event of her maiden World Cup. Martin-Wallace finished fifth in the team pursuit on day one and with Maeve Plouffe, was stoic in an intense Madison contest on day two. “I was so nervous, my goal was to just get as much experience as I could, got some wise words before the race from my coach Rohan Wight, and I am just over the moon with the result.”
Podium Potential Academy member Caitlin Ward continued her strong weekend form with seventh overall in the women’s keirin. In her first World Cup event in three years, Ward also collected a competition personal best 11.022seconds in the flying 200m and eighth in the women’s sprint.
The UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong was the sixth and final for the 2018/19 season.
The 2019 UCI Track World Championships will be held in Poland from February 27.
Day 3 Recap - UCI Track World Cup 6 - Hong Kong
The penultimate day of the final World Cup of the season saw Australian Cycling Team's Cameron Meyer claim an emphatic omnium gold, while Podium Potential Academy member Caitlin Ward netted her best World Cup performance in the women's sprint.
Meyer, 31, began his campaign with seventh in the opening scratch race, before a commanding display in the tempo race saw him took maximum points after winning the event.
A calculated fourth in a crash-marred elimination race, which was neutralised mid-way through the race after a crash brought down a handful of riders, left Meyer perfectly poised in second place behind New Zealand's Campbell Stewart (104pts) heading into the final event, the points race.
In his pet event, a classical Meyer performance saw him claim two sprint wins and a lap on the field within the first thirty laps of the 100-lap race, and with them, the race ascendancy.
From there, Meyer was able to control the race and any attacks on his lead, sealing gold on 134 points ahead of France's Benjamin Thomas (120pts) and Stewart (116pts).
"A little bit shocked and surprised, but I knew I had good condition coming off the road racing in Australia with the Tour Down Under, but I didn't know what to expect in my first omnium at a World Cup," said the nine-time world champion in the points race, team pursuit and Madison. "I was pretty nervous for some of the events, but when I knew I was up there for the points race which is my speciality, I was a chance of a getting a result and coming away with a gold medal.
"My goals were to find out what the omnium was about really. It is an Olympic event, something that I can target, so I wanted to see where the level was at, where my level compared to the other competitors."
Meyer will now return to the Australian Cycling Team's Adelaide headquarters for final preparations for Februarys World Championships in Poland.
"Now it is a full focus towards Worlds and I am really looking forward to it. It is always exciting to be back on the track, I have good condition and am looking forward to the World Championships."
In the women's sprint, Caitlin Ward netted her best World Cup performance finishing eighth.
In her first race at the World Cup level since 2016 after suffering a broken foot and chronic back injuries, Ward opened her account with a competition personal best 11.022seconds in the flying 200m, the eighth fastest on the day.
Ward then took care of Amelia Walsh (CAN) and Jessica Lee (HKG) to move to the quarterfinals where her campaign ended at the hands of hometown hero and Olympic medalist Wai Sze Lee (HKG).
"It was unfortunate to get eighth and come across the top qualifier, but racing Lee is an experience and a half. You're not going to learn unless you race the best, and she is up there," said Ward, 24. "I am thrilled with how I performed. It is my best performance ever. I haven't done close to that time for a long time, I have had injuries coming out of my ears.
A member of the Podium Potential Academy, Ward recognised coach Lynne Munro and the support from the new Cycling Australia program.
"(I am) over the moon with how the Academy has come through, getting to work with Lynne. I think we make a really good team, the people involved are great, I have a great team around me."
Holly Takos clocked 11.582seconds in qualifying but did not progress through to sprint rounds.
Twenty-four hours after claiming team sprint gold while on his World Cup debut, Matthew Richardson, 19 was back at it on Saturday in the men's keirin, with the Podium Potential Academy sprinter finished seventh overall after winning the 7-12 final.
After winning team pursuit bronze on the opening night of competition Godfrey Slattery, 19, went solo on Saturday, finishing thirteenth in the scratch race.
In the women's Madison, Maeve Plouffe and Alexandra Martin-Wallace took on the might of the world's best in their World Cup debut. A frenetic pace was set early by 2018 world championship silver medallists the Netherlands and 2017 world champions Belgium, with the two teams unrelenting over the 80-lap race.
The UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong is the sixth and final for the 2018/19 season. Racing concludes on Sunday.
The Australian Cycling Team’s rising stars stole the show on Friday night at the UCI Track World Cup with Podium Potential Academy riders James Brister, Matthew Richardson and Thomas Clarke storming to team sprint gold, while Jarrad Drizners, Godfrey Slattery, Conor Leahy, and Luke Plapp clinched team pursuit bronze.
Teenagers James Brister, 19, and Matthew Richardson, 19, bolted from the gates on their World Cup debut, teaming with Thomas Clarke, 23, to win gold in the men’s team sprint.
The Podium Potential Academy trio posted the fastest qualifying ride (44.343) in Friday's afternoon’s qualifying round before progressing to the final with a first round win (43.774) over Belarus.
In the final, Richardson got the team off to a hot start, with Clarke and Brister bringing it home in 43.815 seconds to record a resounding win over Japan (44.148) to claim the gold.
“I have been really excited for weeks to ride this event with these boys, we targeted this event and trained really hard,” said Clarke, who won silver with Jacob Schmid and Nathan Hart last weekend at the penultimate round of the World Cup in Cambridge.
“It was only the second time we have ridden together, and with a new order, and it paid off with this great result,” said Richardson.
“First World Cup, first medal, first gold medal, it is pretty exciting, I wasn’t expecting this at all, can't thank my teammates, coach and staff enough,” said Brister, who recognised the Academy for his result. “The support we are getting phenomenal now, I wouldn’t be here now without the support of Cycling Australia setting up the Academy.”
In the team pursuit, the teenage quartet of Jarrad Drizners, 19, Godfrey Slattery, 18 Conor Leahy, 19, and Luke Plapp, 18, won bronze in just their second World Cup event.
The team posted the eighth fastest time (4:01.562) in Thursday evening’s qualifying round to just make it through to Friday’s first round.
There, world record holder Sam Welsford, 23, subbed in for Slattery with the quartet scorching the Hong Kong Velodrome with a stunning ride of 3mins 53.889secs, the fastest time ever ridden by the teenage trio.
“It is crazy to ride a three-fifty three, particularly in these cool conditions,” said Welsford. “I only came in to ride the first round to give a little direction in the middle, to set the pace. But hats off to the boys, they were holding the pace as good as, if not better than me.”
In the bronze medal final, Drizners, Slattery, Leahy and Plapp (3:57.423) proved too good for France (3:58.738) to take their first podium at a World Cup level.
The women’s endurance quartet of Maeve Plouffe, 19, Alexandra Manly, 22, and World Cup debutants Alexandra Martin-Wallace and Sophie Edwards, both 18, finished fifth overall.
The quartet posted squad-best time of 4mins 25.554secs in Thursday’s qualifying, with the team overcoming a late minute change which waw Sophie Edwards come in for Sam De Riter just minutes before the race after De Riter fell ill.
In Friday’s first round against fastest qualifiers Italy, the Aussie quartet bettered their time by more than a second (4:24.250). However, the time was less than a second shy of France’s fourth-best time, therefore missing a place in the bronze medal final.
“Yesterday was a really good day, pretty stoked to post the fourth best time and a personal best,” said Martin-Wallace. “We have been working so hard on it at training, getting better and better, so it was nice to deliver here.
“Even though we didn’t make it into the finals, we went even faster so I am really happy.
“The experience has been awesome, I have been trying to learn as much as I can, and having so much fun, to be in this environment, it is great.”
In the women’s team sprint, Caitlin Ward and Holly Takos clocked 35.060seconds in the women’s event which placed them sixteenth overall.
The UCI Track World Cup in Hong Kong is the sixth and final for the 2018/19 season. Racing continues on Saturday and Sunday.
The Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy riders are eager ahead of their first taste of elite international cycling at the final round of the UCI Track World Cup season in Hong Kong.
Launched by Cycling Australia in November 2018, the Academy is focussed on long term athlete development with the current cohort aiming for success at the 2024 Olympic Games and beyond, in both sprint and endurance disciplines. Based at Adelaide’s Australian Cycling Team headquarters, the program is working to bridge the gap between the country’s regional high-performance network and the podium program.
Academy riders form the majority of the sixteen-rider team including the men’s endurance team features Jarrad Drizners, Godfrey Slattery, Conor Leahy and Luke Plapp. Alexandra Martin-Wallace, Sophie Edwards, Sam De Riter and Maeve Plouffe comprise the women's quartet.
The sprint selections for round six Hong Kong include debutants James Brister and Matthew Richardson, in addition to Thomas Clarke and Caitlin Ward who will both return to the World Cup level for the first time in more than two seasons.
Australian Cycling Team Podium members Holly Takos, Cameron Meyer, Samuel Welsford and Alexandra Manly will also contest the final round.
Australian Cycling Team - UCI Track World Cup Round 6
Video - PPA chat ahead of Hong Kong
Gold to Nathan Hart and Annette Edmondson headlined the Australia Cycling Team’s campaign at the penultimate round of the UCI Tissot Track World Cup season in New Zealand at the weekend.
A stalwart as first-wheel in Australia's team sprint outfit for the best part of the decade, Nathan Hartcelebrated alone atop the podium with a memorable sprint victory.
Qualifying second fastest, Hart moved through the rounds with wins over Poland’s Maciej Bielecki, Japan’s Tomohiro Fukaya and France’s Sebastien Vigier.
In the final, Hart was too good for Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk, taking his first Tissot Track World Cup individual gold in straight heats.
“It feels great to have raced to my first World Cup gold medal, it has been a while since my last win, so it's that little bit sweeter,” said Canberra’s Hart, an Olympic and Commonwealth Games representative in the team format. “My Mum and Dad made the trip over to Cambridge and were watching from the stands, so it was special for them to be there to watch, after all the support they have provided over the many years.
“To also win the Silver in the Team Sprint with Jacob and Tom, it has been a successful World Cup round.”
On day one, Hart teamed with Jacob Schmid and Thomas Clarke to win silver in the team sprint, Australia’s first medal of the round.
The trio qualified third fastest (43.853) before defeating Japan in the first round in a time of 43.263secs which sent them into the gold medal final against three-time world champion New Zealand. There, the home team was too strong (43.121) for the Aussie trio (43.734).
“This is really special as it is my first World Cup medal, and to make it even better being able to share it with Nathan and Jacob made it really a night I won't forget for a while,” said Podium Potential Academy member Clarke who was a late replacement for Pat Constable who was unable to race due to injuries sustained at the Track Down Under in Adelaide on January 11.
“I felt for Pat missing out due to injury. It is not how you want to be selected for any team. I knew that stepping in for Pat was always going to be a difficult job as they have been smashing training back home and as a team have created some great chemistry in executing their team sprints.”
2015 world champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Annette Edmondson returned to the top step of the omnium podium with a controlled victory in the women’s event.
Edmondson opened her account in the four-race omnium with a win in the scratch race, before taking fourth in the tempo. Victory in the elimination race provided an eight-point lead heading into the final event, the points race.
A controlled race from Edmondson saw her maintain her advantage over Canada’s Allison Beveridge (123pts) and Japan’s Yumi Kajihara (113pts) to take the win on 131 points.
“[I’m] Delighted to get the win here, we came here to get some experience because this would only be my third omnium in the new format,” said Edmondson, who took her world title and Olympic medal in the now-defunct six-race format. “Happy to tick some boxes, test out some new plans.
“The race might have been missing some of the bigger names in omnium, but the great opportunity of racing, to practice race strategies was not lost. Also, to learn to ride the final points race in the lead, that experience is hard to get at that level, so it was great to have this opportunity.
“It was a nice battle at the end there, but I did feel in control and happy to take the win.”
Kaarle McCulloch claimed her first individual sprint medal at a World Cup level when she claimed bronze in the women’s event.
On the eve of her thirty-first birthday, McCulloch surged to a personal best time of 10.677secs in sprint qualifying, second fastest and just three-hundredths behind Hong Kong’s Wai Sze Lee.
McCulloch defeated Ukraine’s Liubov Basova and the USA’s Madalyn Godby to move to the semi-finals where her run was ended by Olena Starikova (UKR).
In the bronze medal final, McCulloch came back from 0-1 down against hometown hero Natasha Hansen to win the bronze.
“Very very happy, to win my first ever individual sprint medal at a World Cup,” said McCulloch, who celebrated her birthday with fifth in the keirin. “I was thrilled when I got into the semis, a little disappointed how I rode it, but happy with how I bounced back in the bronze ride off to beat Natasha on her home turf.”
A host of Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy riders got their first taste of international cycling when they made their World Cup debut.
The all-teenage quartet of Jarrad Drizners, Godfrey Slattery, Conor Leahy and Luke Plapp qualified seventh fastest (4:02.293) in the team pursuit, before defeating Russia with a time of 3mins 56.379secs in the first round. However, the quartet just missed the medal rounds by three-tenths of a second and finished fifth overall.
In other events, Drizners took a gallant fourth in the scratch race, Slattery was twelfth in the omnium, while Plapp and Drizners finished tenth in the Madison.
The Academy riders now form the majority of the Australian sixteen-rider team that will line up in the final World Cup round in Hong Kong this weekend.
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce a 17-rider team for the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships to be held in the Netherlands from 14-17 March.
The Championships offers valuable qualification points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the Australian team to vie against 200 of the world’s best from 30 countries.
The selections feature a host of reigning and former world champions including David Nicholas (QLD), Amanda Reid (NSW), Simone Kennedy (NSW), Alistair Donohoe (VIC) and Kyle Bridgwood (QLD),plus the Tandem pairing of Jessica Gallagher (VIC) and Pilot Madison Janssen (VIC).
Emily Petricola (VIC) returns to the team following her outstanding debut at the 2018 World Championships which saw her bring home dual medals and the individual pursuit world record.
“The world record, it’s a lovely sort of thing that I'll be proud of when I look back on my career, but at this moment for me it’s just about trying to be better than what I’ve been before, to try to make sure that there’s no one better than me on that day,” said Petricola, who unofficially bettered her existing world mark on the way to the National crown last December.
2018 World Championship silver medalist in the scratch race Darren Hicks (SA) will look to continue his strong form with a focus towards the timed events.
“It’s just exciting to go into 2019 with a lot ahead rather than just the time trial so I’m excited,” said Hicks, who went within two seconds of the 3-kilometre individual pursuit world record (set at altitude) at December’s Nationals. “The individual pursuit has never really been a focus, but I’d like to run a three 41 or a 42 just to reassure myself that it’s something I can do every time we get to any track in the world.”
Newcomer Paige Greco (SA), who shone at December’s Track Nationals in Melbourne, will make her national team debut, as will Michael Shippley (QLD) and Daniel Van der Laan (NSW).
“It’s (Australian team selection) has been a goal since I moved to Adelaide, so I am thrilled and excited,” said Greco, who announced herself on the para-cycling scene with dual national records and gold at the 2018 Track Nationals. “My goal at worlds is a PB (personal best time), but I’ve got some things I need to work on.
“I’m also really looking forward to the team environment as it will be excellent to get some advice from the more experienced riders and see how they handle the pressure.”
In the men's Tandem events Brad Henderson (SA) is confirmed, with his Pilot to be named at a later date.
The Australian Cycling Team will head to Brisbane in late January for a team training camp and UCI Category 2 event before heading to the Netherlands in late March.
The Team celebrated ten medals at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Rio, the fourth most by any nation behind Great Britain, Netherlands and China.
ATHLETE (STATE) CLASSIFICATION
Dual Gold for Morton; Glaetzer, Cure & Edmondson claim silver at Track World Cup fourth round in London
The Australian Cycling Team has won two gold and two silver medals at the fourth round of the UCI Track World Cup in London at the weekend, with the four-rider team finishing third on the medal tally.
Stephanie Morton surged to dual gold in the sprint and keirin, reigning world champions Matthew Glaetzer grabbed sprint silver, while Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson won the Madison silver.
Stephanie Morton’s career-best form has continued with the Adelaide cyclist winning gold in the sprint and keirin at the fourth round of the UCI Track World Cup in London at the weekend.
Morton topped sprint qualifying (10.595) for the fourth straight World Cup before taking care of Urszula Los (POL), Katy Marchant (GBR) and Olena Starikova (UKR). In the final, Morton defeated Laurine van Riessen (NED) in straight rounds.
“I am delighted to finish my World Cup season with another win in the sprint,” said Morton. “The women's sprint depth is great at the moment; the racing has really stepped up.”
In superb signs for the 28-year-old, Morton fired to win keirin gold on the final day of competition and also during a planned high workload training phase designed to support racing and skill execution. It capped a long season for the Adelaide cyclist which began at the Oceania Championships in October and has taken in five countries.
The 2018/19 World Cup season netted her eight medals from four rounds including four gold and is littered with highlights including gold and an Australian Record with Kaarle McCulloch in round two’s team sprint after the duo was edged by just 0.001second in the first round.
Morton topped the sprint qualification in every World Cup, taking silver and bronze in the first two rounds before storming to her first individual World Cup gold medals in rounds three and four. After personal bests in the flying 200m at both rounds, Morton also clocked her first career sub-10.5 second ride in the flying 200m (10.484seconds).
“It has been a huge couple of months of racing, so it is nice to finish on a high,” said Morton. “First keirin gold for me at a World Cup - so that's really special.
“It has been a really successful season and I will definitely soak it up and use that as motivation. I’m now looking forward to getting in some more good training back in Adelaide and getting ready for that final push into the World Championships.
“But, for now, I think I've earned myself an extra slice of pavlova at Christmas!”
Glaetzer grabs sprint silver
Reigning world champion Matthew Glaetzer’s unbeaten run in the sprint this World Cup season came to an end with a gallant silver medal at the fourth round of the UCI Track World Cup in London.
Third fastest in qualifying (9.708), Glaetzer accounted for Melvin Landerneau (FRA) and Jair Tjon En Fa (SUR), before being pushed to three in his semi final match up with dual world champion Jeffrey Hoogland (NED).
In a repeat of the sprint finals from the first and second rounds of the World Cup, Glaetzer faced Harrie Lavreysen (NED) and it would be third time’s a charm for the Dutch cyclist as he dived for the inside line in the second heat and rode to victory.
“Today's sprint competition was the toughest I have ever done,” said Glaetzer, who is racing through a high workload training phase designed to support racing and skill execution. “After going to three with Jeffrey, I have never been that broken, drained and in pain. I was happy to make the gold ride off but knew I didn't have much left.
“I gave it everything I had against Harrie, I pushed the limits tactically and got caught out in the last race, but he had the legs on me so silver it is.”
The race capped a superb World Cup season for Glaetzer which included three sprint gold and one silver. The Australian also clocked a 9.502sec flying 200 in the opening round, just shy of his 9.459sec personal best set five years ago (at altitude).
“My World Cup season in the sprint was something special, to have three gold and a silver is awesome,” said the Adelaide cyclist. “The keirin for me was a bit hit and miss with making one final in three races, but overall I am really content with my season.
“Now it's time for a break from travel, racing, freezing weather and time get stuck into the Aussie summer!”
Cure & Edmondson win Madison silver
In just their second race as a pairing, Amy Cure and Annette Edmondson delivered Madison silver for Australia at the fourth round of the UCI Track World Cup in London.
In a final marred by a crash which forced both Russia and the United States to withdraw, the British pairing of Kenny and Archibald exerted early control. The Aussies lead a stunning challenge to take the race lead after four of ten sprints; however, the hometown heroes pounced in a searing final double-points sprint to take gold on 34 points.
Edmondson and Cure finished in second on 19 points, with Belgians Jolien D’Hoore and Lotte Kopecky taking bronze.
“We are extremely excited about winning silver,” said Edmondson, who teamed with Cure to win the 2017 Oceania Madison crown. “I have only raced a handful of Madisons, and as this was my first major international race, I was very nervous going in.
“To end up on the podium was really exciting. Yes, there are a few things we could do differently, but overall we are happy to get Australia back in the mix.”
Tasmania’s Cure, the 2017 World Championship Madison bronze medalist, was excited to be back on track in the event.
“I am thrilled to come home with the silver as I have been looking forward to the Madison, I always love racing it,” said Cure. “We made a few little tactical errors out there that hurt us, but I was proud of Nettie as this was her first international Madison above the Oceania level, so it was terrific for her to step up as she did.”
2019 Omnium, Madison, Team Sprint and Team Pursuit National Championships
The Australian Cycling Team and Podium Potential Academy members will headline the start lists when four National Championships are decided this weekend in Melbourne.
With Tokyo 2020 less than 600 days away, Olympic events will take centre stage in Melbourne beginning with the Omnium Championships at DISC Velodrome on Friday 14, with the Madison, Team Sprint and Team Pursuit to feature in an action-packed night of racing at Melbourne Arena on Saturday 15 December.
Omnium / Team Pursuit / Madison
Australia’s team pursuit world record holders Samuel Welsford (WA), Alexander Porter (SA), plus Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien (VIC) will swap their green and gold Australian jerseys as they chase national glory in their respective state team colours.
The quartet will split for the team pursuit event, with Howard and O’Brien to lead defending champions Victoria against strong outfits from South Australia and Western Australia. In the women’s event, it will a close battle between NSW, Queensland and South Australia.
In the Madison, defending champion Porter will team with fellow South Australian Josh Harrison, dual world champion Howard will form an all-Victorian pairing with O’Brien, and 2017 champion Welsford will line up with Cameron Scott (NSW).
“The Madison will be fast, the night is incredible and the racing is always full gas. There are plenty of good combinations of teams, Porter and Harrison, and especially the locals in Kell (O’Brien) and Leigh (Howard) will be one of the teams to beat,” said Welsford, who will contest the Madison, omnium and team pursuit across the weekend. Welsford will be a favourite in Friday’s Omnium following his World Cup gold in Germany two weeks ago.
“The team pursuit and omnium have been a big focus of mine over the last few years now, and after winning omnium gold in Berlin last week, I am keen to bring back what I learned at the World Cup and take it into Nationals.”
Exciting Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy pairings aiming to upset their more fancied opponents include Conor Leahy (WA) and Godfrey Slattery (VIC), plus dual junior world champion Luke Plapp (VIC) who will pair with Jarrad Drizners (SA).
In the women’s Madison, defending champions Macey Stewart (TAS) and Kristina Clonan (QLD) will take to opposite teams in 2018 when they pair with Academy members Josie Talbot (NSW) and Alex Martin-Wallace (QLD) respectively. Fellow Academy members Maeve Plouffe (SA) and Sam De Riter (VIC) will team up.
“It has been a tough few months, I have been training harder than ever before, have moved to Adelaide, so I am excited to see how I go this weekend after putting in so much hard work,” said Stewart, who joined the Australian Cycling Team in 2018. “Madison is my favourite event, one I am targetting over the next few years, and as defending champion I would like to back it up in 2019.
“I have a new partner for the Madison in Josie Talbot, Kristina and I are split for these Nationals, which I think will be a strong team and I am excited to see what we can do.”
Stewart and Clonan, plus Alexandra Manly (SA), will be three to watch in the women’s omnium.
The Team Sprint National Championships will be decided on Saturday night, with three-time world champion Kaarle McCulloch (NSW) and Holly Takos (SA) headlining the women’s field. In the men’s, 2018 Commonwealth Games medallist Patrick Constable (SA), Nathan Hart (ACT) and Jacob Schmid (VIC) will headline their respective state teams.
Academy riders in action include Caitlin Ward (SA), James Brister (SA), Tom Clarke (SA), Tom Cornish (NSW) and Matt Richardson (WA).
Victoria’s prestigious 121st Austral Wheelrace (for both juniors and seniors) will also showcase the Australian Cycling Team during the evening.
Tickets are still available online or at the door.
"With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games less than 600 days away, Cycling Australia (CA) continues its Australian Cycling Team program support for Track, Para-cycling, BMX and Road athletes.
The Podium, Podium Ready and Podium Potential programs encompass 60 athletes (male and female) within the following disciplines: 20 Track, 12 Road, 6 BMX (Supercross and Freestyle), 22 Para-cycling.
“Our ‘What will it take to win’ performance plan creates a clear athlete pathway that is designed to maximise Australia's chances of Podium performances at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and at World Championships and Commonwealth Games ” said Simon Jones, Cycling Australia’s Performance Director and key driver of the Australian Cycling Team strategy.
Over the past twelve months, Australia celebrated half a dozen world titles and dozens of medals in Olympic and Paralympic events across the Track, Road, BMX and Para-cycling (Road and Track) disciplines.
In 2018, new athletes were welcomed into the program including dual para road world champion Emilie Miller, road world championship representatives Lucy Kennedy and Jack Haig, plus track athletes Macey Stewart and Kristina Clonan. Road cyclists Luke Durbridge, Callum Scotson and Rachel Neylan exited the program.
“The Australian Cycling Team’s athlete classification system is demonstrating its robustness in identifying and supporting the right blend of athletes with the skill, experience, capability and potential to be the world’s best,” Jones added.
“We have also committed significant resources to the athlete pathway, which is vital to our future success.
“In November we saw that commitment come to life with the commencement of the Podium Potential Track Academy which features 13 Endurance and Sprint athletes who have begun training in close proximity to the Australian Cycling Team in Adelaide.
“The Academy will provide these young riders with both a cycling and personal development experience that’s targeting the 2024 Olympic cycle.
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.
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
Cycling Australia is pleased to announce the implementation of the revised athlete pathway strategy, the Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy.
The Academy’s focus will be on developing athletes to target success at the 2024 Olympic Games and beyond in both sprint and endurance disciplines.
The program will see athletes immersed in a high-performance environment at the Australian Cycling Team headquarters in Adelaide, with the aim of bridging the gap between the country’s regional high-performance network and the podium programmes in Adelaide.
The Academy aims deliver a comprehensive and balanced performance curriculum to develop athletes for the physical and mental demands of a high-performance sport, prepare them for Australian Cycling Team podium program, Olympic success and ultimately for life beyond sport.
Athletes will work with two full-time, discipline-specific coaches who will lead the Academy’s performance planning, training and racing strategies. The program will aim to support growth and learning opportunities both on and off the bike to build long-term resilience with high levels of athlete ownership.
Working with the Senior Athlete Career Advisor, athletes will be guided and supported through a process in which they will engage in formal education / career development to ensure a future career pathway away from the bike.
An inaugural class of thirteen athletes was selected following an intense application process which included performance assessments, video presentations, panel interviews and reference checks. This process created a deeper understanding of the person behind the performances which allowed for a more balanced appraisal of athlete suitability and potential.
The Academy will launch in November 2018, to coincide with the end of the Academic year. At this point, athletes will relocate to Adelaide for the next step in their performance journey.
Jon Norfolk (CA Head of Performance Pathways & People) said “We are excited to be launching the Academy program in 2018, adding an essential layer into our performance pathway.
“This Academy programme is the first stage of our broader pathway strategy which in time will assess the needs of all disciplines and levels of the sport. A well-functioning athlete pathway is fundamental to long and sustainable success, and it’s a platform we need to focus on and build upon over the next 6-10 years.”
“The Academy gives athletes full exposure to the Australian Cycling Team performance environment with a holistic programme explicitly designed to maximise their athletic potential.
“However, success for the Podium Potential Academy will not just be measured in future Olympic success, but in the performance of all its graduates in transitioning out of sport successfully.
“This success will be the result of a long-term athlete development strategy, with the Academy building on the great work of our network institutes and delivering the next stage of preparing athletes for future Olympic performance.”
Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy Athletes 2018
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ashlee Ankudinoff has returned to Australia eager to contest her first race since the April’s Games, the National Road Series Tour of King Valley from 31 August.
In April at the Anna Meares Velodrome, Ankudinoff, along with Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure and Alexandra Manly soared to team pursuit gold, smashing New Zealand by nearly ten seconds in a time that would have won the 2018 World Championships.
“It’s a moment I will never forget,” reflected Ankudinoff, who also boasts two world titles in the team format. “Racing in front of family, friends and a home crowd is something you dream of. I was fortunate to live my dream that night, standing on that top step, singing the national anthem with my three teammates.”
Ankudinoff was also critical in the team’s second Commonwealth Games gold which saw an emphatic scratch race win by Cure in a brilliant display of team racing.
“I can’t forget the scratch race. This is another moment that I will never forget when I look back at my career. I didn’t win the gold medal, but I certainly felt like I did. Amy, Nettie and I had a plan going into that race and for it to come together on race day is something incredible. It was such a rewarding feeling for me knowing that I had contributed to Amy’s gold.
Following the Games, Ankudinoff enjoyed a well earned three-week Hawaiian holiday with her partner Jack before hopping back on a plane to the USA mainland for the summer criterium series where she picked up wins in the Tour of America’s Dairyland series.
“I decided I would have quite a bit of time off the bike because if all goes to plan, I won’t be having much time off over the next two years heading into the Olympic Games,” Ankudinoff said. “It was such a long build up to 2018 Commonwealth Games, and we did put a lot of emphasis on peaking for this event, so it was great to switch off both mentally and physically.
“We made a lot of sacrifices last season by not doing any World Cups and no World Championships, but I do think it was the best thing, you could see by our time, it is positive heading into the next two years.”
Ankudinoff’s focus over the next two years is firmly set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She will rejoin the new look women’s track endurance squad in Adelaide this month along with Edmondson, Cure and Manly, Georgia Baker plus Tassie’s Macey Stewart and Queensland’s Kristina Clonan who joined the program mid-year.
“I think both Kristina and Macey are great inclusions into the women's track endurance Team. I really look forward to training with them over the next few years,” said Ankudinoff. “We all know there is a lot of hard work ahead of us between now and then.
“We now have a team of seven, and of course seven doesn’t go into four, but I think with the team we have now along with an excellent training/support environment that is based out of Adelaide to do something special in two years time.
“All eyes are on Tokyo and that Olympic Gold medal.”
Ankudinoff will line up for Specialized Women’s Racing in the National Road Series Tour of King Valley event from August 31 - 2 September, followed by Amy’s Otway Tour on 15/16 September.
Following this, Ankudinoff will contest the 2018 Oceania Track Championships in Adelaide from 10-13 October.
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.