Australia is celebrating two new Madison national champion pairings with Rohan Wight (SA) and Alex Porter (SA), plus Kristina Clonan (QLD) and Macey Stewart (TAS) securing their first green and gold jersey at the 2018 Cycling Australia Madison National Championships at Hisense Arena on Saturday December 16.
An action-packed men’s Madison was won by reigning team pursuit world champions Rohan Wight (SA) and Alex Porter (SA) who lapped the field in an explosive attack to seal their first victory in the event.
“I’m a bit speechless, to be honest. We said three or four months ago we wanted to come here and win this race and we knew with such a quality field it was going to be tough, so to actually go out there and implement our plan perfectly and pull it off is an amazing feeling,” said Porter.
The early sprints were a hard-fought battle with rising stars Jarrod Drizners (SA) and Lachlan Scott (NSW) the early leaders before fellow young guns Godfrey Slattery (VIC) and Cameron Scott (NSW) moved to the top of the standings.
With the fast pace starting to be felt the second half of the 200 laps race a number of teams attempted to take a lap, though it was Wight and Porter who proved successful, grabbing the lap in no time and jumping the lead by 15 points on Slattery and Scott.
“It was tough out there and the pace was on from the start, there was a bit of a lull in the pace in the bunch with the German’s off the front just dangling there so I thought this would be a good time to go and we took it in no time at all,” Porter added.
Wight and Porter’s speed in the sprints was too much for the rest of the field to overcome as they raced home to pull on the green and gold jersey, adding to their Bendigo Madison title. Jordan Kerby (QLD) and Leigh Howard (VIC) powered home in the final sprint to win silver ahead of Slattery and Scott.
“It is awesome! We took out the Bendigo Madison together and that was a fantastic feeling to do it here again it is unbelievable,” Wight added.
“Really special they are super classy bike riders and I look up to them and get to train with them all the time. They are really generous with all their knowledge and experience I think it has brought us up to another level,” Wight continued on the strength of the field including dual Madison World Champions Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard.
Gold: Rohan Wight and Alex Porter 55
Silver: Jordan Kerby and Leigh Howard 47
Bronze: Godfrey Slattery and Cameron Scott 38
Oceania Champions Macey Stewart (TAS) and Kristina Clonan (QLD) overcame an early crash in the race to claim their first Madison national title in a tactical display of racing in one of the strongest fields ever seen at a Madison National Championships.
“It is so exciting and such a massive honour, a bit of a relief, we really thought we were in with a chance tonight, we have been riding really well together. And I think that is what it is about, knowing what each other is doing to do, being able to read each other,” said Stewart.
“The competition out there with the other teams, they are world-class teams, it is a huge honour to win an Aussie Madison title, it is never an easy one.”
One of three teams involved in a crash following the first sprint, Stewart and Clonan were quickly back on their bikes and taking control of the race by the halfway point of the 120-lap race.
A high speed and constant pressure from former winners Annette Edmondson and Alex Manly (SA) and Ashlee Ankudinoff and Josie Talbot (NSW) was not enough to stop Stewart and Clonan from riding away with the title thanks to their potent sprint.
Clonan was also pleased with the result and to continue her successful partnership with Stewart.
“It was a big week last week, a big deal for all girls with the first six-day ever. Now, with the Madison which is such a huge thing now for women with it being in the Olympics,” she explained.
“Awesome to race with Macey at the six-day, and with Oceania, it has been good practice for us. A lot of girls switched it up tonight, but Mace and I had the same partner, it was a huge advantage.
It also continued an outstanding 2018, Clonan’s first in the elite level with Australian and Oceania titles as well as making her World Championship debut in Hong Kong in April.
“It has been a huge year for me, a massive step up since under 19s. To be able to step up like that, it was a huge shock, but I think I have transferred nicely but I know I have a lot of work to do in the future.”
Edmondson and Manly collected silver with Talbot and Ankudinoff completing the podium.
Gold: Kristina Clonan and Macey Stewart 45
Silver: Annette Edmondson and Alex Manly 34
Bronze: Ashlee Ankudinoff and Josie Talbot 24