Australia’s Para-cycling stars target green and gold glory

Australia’s 2019 summer of track cycling begins this week at DISC Velodrome in Melbourne with the two-day Para-cycling National Championships.  

Australian Cycling Team members will be in action including reigning Paralympic and world champion David Nicholas (QLD) and dual World Championship medallist Emily Petricola (VIC).

Nicholas delivered yet again in 2018 as he surged to defend his C3 individual pursuit world title in March, while also collecting a podium during the Road World Cup series and four National crowns on the road and track.

“It has been a great season, I kept it pretty low key after Track Worlds as I came down with bug away that put me out of action for a while anyway, but it was good to be able to build up to Road Worlds.

Nicholas will be aiming for his eighth consecutive pursuit crown and sixth straight win in the time trial, with the Queenslander’s sights also firmly set on March’s World Championships.

“My goals are obviously to defend my two nationals titles, but also to set a time in the kilo and pursuit to see where I am at in my preparations for the World Championships.

Petricola will be looking to defend her C4 national pursuit crown, an event in which she shocked the para-cycling world in 2018 after breaking the world record in qualifying at the World Championships in March.

“When I look back at 2018 I’m pretty shocked at what a huge year it has been, in particular thinking back to the world champs and the results there, it all seems a bit surreal,” said Petricola, who claimed World Championship silver in both the pursuit and time trial.  

While only having begun cycling a couple of years ago, Petricola was quickly selected to the Australian Cycling Team and has committed to the program by moving back to Melbourne after three years working in the United Arab Emirates.

“I have gone from training on my own all the time in the middle of the desert on a trainer most of the time, to be a part of the bigger machine of Cycling Australia and more locally, the VIS,” added Petricola, who will race both the time trial and pursuit this week on her home track at DISC before tackling FedUni RoadNats in January. “With so much change, I’ve certainly had to be a bit more resilient and persevere as I reestablish my life in Australia.

“But now that things are settling down a bit, I’m starting to find my rhythm and looking forward to getting some positive results over the coming months.”

Former world champions Alistair Donohoe (VIC), Kyle Bridgwood (QLD), Amanda Reid (NSW), Simone Kennedy (NSW), plus Jessica Gallagher (VIC) who will be piloted by Madison Janssen (VIC) in the Tandem events, will be in action.

The Para-cycling National Championships will be held in conjunction with the 2019 Omnium Championships.

#ParaTrackNats Quick Guide

  • What Tandem Championships in the time trial, sprint and pursuit; ‘C’ Championships in the time trial and pursuit.
  • Who Australia’s best para-cyclists
  • When
    • Thursday 13 December – Time Trials.  From 12pm.
    • Friday 14 December: Pursuits & Tandem Sprint. Qualifying from 10am, Finals from 4pm.
  • Where DISC Velodrome
  • Tickets Online at the door
  • Results  liveresults.cycling.org.au
  • Follow  tracknationals.org.au  |  #tracknats