Alexandra Manly claimed her second rainbow jersey of the 2019 World Championships with an electrifying victory in the 100-lap points race.
“I can’t believe what just happened just then, it is still a blur, it is so super special,” said Manly, who announced her race intentions early by figuring in the points in the opening two of ten sprint competitions.
A conservative next thirty laps ensued before Manly launched a decisive move at the halfway mark. Together with Yang (KOR), Manly took a lap on the field and with it twenty bonus points and the race lead.
Boylan (IRE) and Badykova (RUS) teamed to try to put a halt to Australia’s third women’s endurance world title of the week when they took a late lap, pushing Manly into third overall.
Manly’s smart tactical race paid dividends as she finished among the points in the final sprint which elevated her to the top of the podium.
“The plan worked out perfectly. I conserved energy at the start but still managed to get points,” Manly explained. “Then I recovered, recovered, recovered and when the moment was there I attacked.
“I knew I had to go for a lap as I knew I would need a big chunk of points if I wanted to be in the mix for the medals. I just needed to stay composed for the final sprint, and I did.”
The win was the women’s endurance squad’s third of the week, with Manly joining Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW), Amy Cure (TAS), Annette Edmondson (SA) and Georgia Baker (TAS) to claim the team pursuit title, while Ankudinoff won the individual pursuit. Cure and Baker also claimed Madison silver, while Edmondson finished fifth in the omnium.
“This week has been super special, Ash getting the rainbows yesterday was so inspiring. And the girls in the Madison last night, they fought all the way, they almost had it. And also to Nettie, she only had one mistake which cost her but she fought to the end.”
The Madison always promises and never fails to deliver, with the Australian pairing of Leigh Howard and Cameron Meyer edged off the podium in the dying stages of the 50km Madison final in which riders averaged an astonishing 59.2km/h.
The Aussie duo set the tone early, duelling with the Polish pairing and an excited crowd to sit atop the rankings equal with the home team after 5 (of 20) sprints.
At this point, eventual gold medallists Germany made their first serious play for a medal, taking a lap on the field. This move was immediately answered by Australia, Denmark, Great Britain and Belgium.
Second overall at the halfway mark, Howard and Meyer took another lap and for the rest of the race they desperately fought for a spot on the podium.
However, the Aussie pairing was pushed out of the medals in a see sawing final fifty laps which saw multiple laps taken by the German, Belgian and Danish outfits in a thrilling end to the race.