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.