Day 3 Recap
Matt Glaetzer and Stephanie Morton reigned over a heaving Anna Meares Velodrome on Saturday night with the South Australians surging to the 2018 national sprint crowns on day three of the 2018 Cycling Australia Track National Championships in Brisbane.
The sell out crowd jammed the official Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games venue for a preview show were treated to a masterclass of sprinting from the South Australians who prevailed over Victorians Jacob Schmid and Caitlin Ward.
Glaetzer opened his sprint competition with the fastest time ever recorded on Australian soil in Friday’s qualifying (9.757), continuing his electrifying 2018 Nationals campaign in which he grabbed a sea-level record in the time trial and a third straight team sprint crown.
Glaetzer progressed to the final via a close bout with fellow South Australian Thomas Clarke, while Jacob Schmid (VIC) came back to win in three heats over Olympian Nathan Hart (ACT).
“I treated the semis like the final against Tommy, who has really taken a step in his performance and his career and it’s really exciting,” said Glaetzer, who knocked Schmid to a third straight silver medal in the event in two straight heats.
“Schmiddy he’s a class act. He went to three in the semi which is always tough so I was a bit tired after that but he came against me and I tried to exploit that in the final.”
“It’s one I really wanted and to make sure I’m progressing well and to get tough races under my belt. We’ve got really high-class sprinters in Australia, so getting some tough races under your belt is always valuable experience.“
As the defending Commonwealth Games keirin champion has one eye on the National Championships, and one on April’s Games, he prepared for today’s final with, Schmid, Hart and Patrick Constable in a punishing morning gym session.
“It was a big day today, up at 7am to do a two-hour gym session, which I worked really hard in,” said Glaetzer. “ So it just shows that I can do that, and still come out here and contest a sprint competition and win.”
He will look to add a fourth gold medal for the Nationals in the event on Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve always wanted to defend that title, but it is going be tough, I will have to tackle these fast boys again tomorrow but it’s about who can race the best in the final race.”
Clarke took the bronze over Hart.
Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Steph Morton (SA) celebrated back to back titles and a third career win in the event following a clinical performance in front of the packed crowd.
“It’s pretty cool, this is the first year I’ve managed to go back to back,” she remarked. “The crowd tonight was amazing, they were really loud not often do you hear things, but the first lap tonight I heard a little kid say “go Steph”, which was awesome.”
Morton, who boasts the track record set at the 2017 Nationals and the fastest time ever on Australian soil posted in Melbourne last July, clocked the only sub-eleven second time of Friday’s qualifying session of 10.809secs.
In the semi-final, Morton was far too good for Victoria’s Maddie Jansen in two straight heats, while Victoria’s Caitlin Ward (11.240) continued a rousing comeback from injury with an upset of dual national champion Kaarle McCulloch (NSW).
The experience of the 2017 World Championship silver medallist and Glasgow Games gold medallist Morton proved too strong for the Victorian in the final, with Morton taking the title in two straight heats.
“It was good racing, I had my own race that I needed to get done,” Morton said. “It was about forgetting who I was racing and it was more about I was about getting the tactics and skills down.”
“I’m pretty happy that in the middle of a big season, and with gym this morning, that I can come out and win under fatigue. It’s about getting the plan and the process right and it just goes to show that with if you can nail that, even with fatigued legs you can still come out and get the job done.”
The gold was Morton’s second of the Championships after claiming team sprint on the opening day and she will aim to conclude her 2018 campaign with a strong performance in the keirin.
“I know it sounds boring, but it’s about working through the process, working through the skills because you need to get it right now because you need to have done it so many times its just second nature,” a measured Morton said. “So I’ll be going out there with a game plan so looking at my opponents. The keirin is a little different to the sprint racing, instead of it being one on one you’ve got a whole field of girl so you’ve got to weigh up what they’re going to do.”
McCulloch, who seared in her time trial victory on Friday, took the bronze medal in three heats against Janssen.
In the under 19 men’s keirin, Victoria’s Sam Gallagher soared to a sensational victory over teammate Oliver Booth (VIC) and Thomas Cornish (NSW).
U19 women’s Kieran Final
Victorian, Alana Field stormed home to victory to take home the gold over South Australia’s Heather May. The young rider from Carnegie Caufield Cycling Club drove hard over the final lap to take the lead. A well-earnt bronze was awarded to Lucie Fityus (NSW).
Men’s 15km scratch (60 Laps)
A herculean effort from South Australia’s Joshua Harrison saw him lift the scratch race green and gold jersey onto his shoulders.
The triple 2018 Oceania champion Harrison featured in a breakaway group for half of the punishing 60-lap race before roaring to the win ahead of Stephen Hall (WA) and Rohan Wight (SA).
“It was a long time out the front but I got there in the end,” said Harrison, a dual national champion in the team pursuit, after claiming his maiden individual title.
“I’ve been trying to win one by myself for a while and I pulled it off so I am happy!”
“I had a few very dangerous riders coming along so didn’t want to leave the front I had to be in the top three the whole time or else I would have slipped back.
“I didn’t expect it to be that long, but I had a plan to go up in the last 20 laps. I guess I went a little bit early but I held it to the end.”
Under 19 women’s Madison (80 laps)
With the Madison set to make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the potential stars of the 2024 and 2028 Games with the under 19 women’s event making its debut on the Track Nationals program.
It was an energetic 20km race largely animated by the two Victorian teams and Queensland, with two early crashes, unfortunately, bringing an early end to the two ACT teams.
Victoria’s Sarah Gigante and Jemma Eastwood were crowned the inaugural champions on 40points ahead of Alice Culling and Ashlee Jones (34 points) and Queensland’s (20pts).
It was Gigante’s second gold medal of the week following the state’s team pursuit victory on day one and adds to the rising’s stars triple gold medal performances at last month’s Road National Championships in Ballarat.
Under 19 men’s 25km points race (100 Laps)
Blake Quick took his second gold medal in two days to snatch the victory in the points race. It was neck and neck between Quick and fellow Queenslander, James Moriarty until on the final lap Quick pushed hard to win the gold. Bronze went to Victoria’s Bill Simpson.
Tasmania’s 2014 world champion Amy Cure celebrated back to back points race national crowns on day three of the 2018 National Championships in Brisbane on Saturday.
Cure took the gold in a gripping 25km race, after finishing just ahead of hometown favourite Kristina Clonan (QLD) on the final sprint, Clonan taking silver and individual pursuit champion Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) grabbing the bronze.
“It means so much,” said Cure after pulling the green and gold jersey. “It’s such an achievement and every time I get up to put on the green and gold, to win an Australian championship, it really means a lot to myself.
“It’s a reward for all that hard work I’ve put in for this event.”
The action in the 100-lap began at the gun, with Maeve Plouffe (SA) taking the first points on offer, before Cure grabbed her first maximum of the day in the second sprint.
The first major attack of the day came shortly after through a solo effort from Josie Talbot (NSW) who was reeled in by Cure on the line in the third sprint.
With the five-rider NSW and three-rider Tasmania outfit holding the numbers, Ankudinoff and Cure launched another attack, with young gun Clonan riding a measured race alongside the Olympians.
Cure took the maximums in the fourth sprint, with Clonan keeping within reach of the world champion in second, before a stinging move from Manly just before the halfway mark caught the bunch off guard.
Manly took wins in both the fourth and fifth sprints, before lapping in a blink of an eye. However before she could take a breath, the Cure, Ankudinoff and Clonan lead bunch reeled her in, with half a dozen riders taking a lap on the field which caused the race to implode.
Such was the ferocity and frequency of the attacks, the crowd, riders and commissaires were kept guessing as the race headed into the final stages, with Ankudinoff edging Cure in the sixth sprint with Clonan once again in the points.
Talbot and Manly grabbed the maximum points in the next two, before a late South Australian charge from four-time national champion Edmondson and Manly sent a minor ripple through the field.
With Clonan using the crowd to spur her on, she prevailed in the penultimate sprint to send the race into a deciding double-points final sprint with Ankudinoff clinching a podium place with the win, while Cure edged ahead of Clonan to take the jersey.
“It was really tough out there, all the girls put in a huge effort,” remarked Cure.
“I was lucky to have a few Tassie girls out there and NSWIS had so many out there so you know it does get tough towards the end of the race. But I am happy to come home with the win.
“I think it would have been a great race to watch for our spectators but it definitely had us on the edge of our seats.”
As Cure races toward a second Commonwealth Games team appearance, the depth of Australia’s women’s track endurance program is providing all team candidates with the perfect test ahead of the team announcement and April’s Games.
“It’s great to see we’ve got so many girls at a high standard as it really makes it hard for us.