The Australian Cycling Team begins its 2018 UCI Junior Track World Championships campaign on Wednesday evening at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. Watch Live
2017 World Championship bronze medallist Alexandra Martin-Wallace (QLD) is eager to hit the track for her second tilt at a rainbow jersey.
“I am really looking forward to Worlds, my last major race was Nationals, so it’s been a long time coming for me,” said Martin-Wallace, claimed scratch bronze in 2017 and will contest the Team Pursuit, Omnium and Madison in 2018.
“After getting fourth, fifth and sixth last year in those events respectively I’m aiming to improve my results and hopefully be on the podium.
“I haven’t thought too much about the competition; I’m just trying to focus on the things that I can control and prepare myself to be at my best.”
Martin-Wallace and fellow 2017 representative Alice Culling (VIC) will team with debutants Sophie Edwards (SA), Lauren Robards (ACT) and Sarah Gigante (VIC) in the endurance events.
The men’s endurance crew suffered a cruel blow on the weekend with James Moriarty (QLD) breaking his collarbone after coming down following a clip of wheels in training.
“It is devastating for him, and the team, but I have been so impressed with how the team has gotten around him, and how he has responded to the situation,” said Gilmore, who revealed he would take Moriarty under his wing as a guest coach for the Championships.
“While he, unfortunately, won’t be out on the track, we feel this is a great opportunity for James to experience a different look at the World Championships. He will be able to shadow the coaching staff in the pits, in team meetings and learn the processes the staff go through each day.”
The endurance line up will now form from a quartet of debutants in Luke Plapp (VIC), Blake Quick (QLD), Michael Rice (ACT) and Luke Wight (SA).
“I think it is going to be very special, pretty excited to get it underway,” said Plapp, who will line up in the team pursuit and will partner with Quick in the Madison. “I know it is going to be a lot different than nationals, everyone will be on another level, and it all becomes more tactical, you can’t ride everyone off your wheel.
“But I am not going to ride differently; it is about backing yourself, not worry about how they race, but race your own race. Go in with a game plan and don’t follow other wheels.”
The sprint team comprises Leigh Hoffman (SA) and Thomas Cornish (NSW), and Alana Field (VIC).
The 2018 UCI Junior Track World Championships will be held from Wednesday 15 - Sunday 19 August at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland.
Finals to be held in afternoon sessions beginning at 4pm local time (midnight AEST).
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