Double World Cup gold headlines five medal haul
6 December 2015
CYCLING: The Australian Track Team claimed a five medal haul of two gold, two silver and one bronze day two of competition at the New Zealand leg of the UCI Track World Cup Series.
The men's team pursuit squad of Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn, Jack Bobridge and Luke Davison claimed gold in an Australian Record of 3mins 53.010secs.
World champions Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure teamed with Isabella King and Georgia Baker also claimed gold in the team pursuit, with dual 2015 world champion Annette Edmondson part of the qualifying line up.
Stephanie Morton claimed two silver medals; first in the team sprint with Kaarle McCulloch and then in the sprint.
Matthew Glaetzer, Nathan Hart and Peter Lewis added a bronze medal in the team sprint. World champion Annette Edmondson sits third after the first three events in the omnium. Glenn O'Shea is tenth in the men's event.
Men's Team Pursuit
London Olympians Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Jack Bobridge combined with Luke Davison to set an new Australian record of 3mins 53.010secs on route to gold.
On Friday, Michael Hepburn, Alex Edmondson, Glenn O'Shea and Jack Bobridge qualified fastest to advance to round one where the quartet - with Mitchell Mulhern replacing O'Shea posted a time of 3mins 55.363secs to secure a spot in the ride for gold over Switzerland.
Davison came in the final - meaning all six team members contributed to the gold medal performance - and Australia took an early advantage and steadily extended it across the four kilometres to win by over four and a half seconds.
"We wanted to go fast in the final," explained Edmondson. "In round one we went 3:55 with catching Switzerland, so we knew we wanted to go fast, but to ride 3:53.010 is an Australian record for us.
"We're pretty rapt that we've come away with a very fast time and the gold medal."
Women's Team Pursuit
It was a close battle with Canada in the final but the Australian team of world champions Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure with Isabella King and Georgia Baker claimed gold in 4mins 18.213secs.
Australia took the early advantage and lead by four tenths of a second after the opening kilometre before Canada clawed their way back to lead by less than a tenth at the half way point. It was then Australia who turned the tables back in the third kilometre before holding their narrow advantage to the line.
"It was a really close battle out there," said Cure. "We knew it was going to be tough so we just had to stick to our schedule. The last couple of laps we were just racing them and we knew they were up the whole time.
For Baker the victory had a special meaning with today being her late father's birthday. "It is special to all of us, especially to wear these black bands. We all went out there and wanted to do it for Pat, and we did that," added Cure.
Women's Team Sprint
Having qualified second fastest Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton claimed silver in 33.200secs, just behind the 32.682secs of world champions China. It is the second consecutive silver medal in the event for Morton and Australia after she partnered with Anna Meares in Cali last month.
In the other medal ride off the Netherlands posted a time of 33.433secs to claim bronze ahead of Germany.
Stephanie Morton claimed her second silver of the day in the women's sprint, with only reigning world champion Kristina Vogel able to beat Morton throughout the competition.
In qualifying Morton was the second fastest in a time of 10.799secs. Kaarle McCulloch was sixth fastest in 10.953secs having earlier also held the fastest time.
It was a quick turnaround for Morton in the semifinals as she was back on track less than an hour after claiming silver it the team sprint. It didn't impact her though as she defeated Shuang Guo in two rides to earn a spot in the final against World Champion Vogel.
"I'm really happy with my racing overall, I thought it was going to be a bit tougher trying to back up but there was some really good racing and I'm happy," said Morton. "We only had one ride yesterday [in the team sprint], then had to come out today and do the whole sprint qualification and team sprint final so it was a big ask but I'm really happy I stepped up and was able to come home with two silvers."
Men's Team Sprint
Nathan Hart and Matthew Glaetzer teamed up with Peter Lewis who came in for Jacob Schmid who raced the keirin to claim bronze.
Great Britain held the lead over the opening two laps but a powerful surge by Glaetzer swept the trio to the bronze medal in 43.733secs to Great Britain's 44.039secs.
Gold went to Germany in 43.130secs, with New Zealand taking the silver, slightly slower in 43.419secs.
World champion Annette Edmondson made a strong start to her omnium campaign finishing sixth in the opening scratch race before a pair of third placings in the individual pursuit and elimination. At the half way point Edmondson is third on 102 points, six off second and twelve of the lead.
Glenn O'Shea improved throughout the day to reach the half way point of the competition in tenth place on 68 points, 26 points off the medals. But with the flying lap, 500m time trial and all important points race to come O'Shea is still within medal contention. O’Shea finished sixteenth in the scratch race and ninth in the individual pursuit. Before finishing fourth in the elimination to end day one.
Jacob Schmid finished second and Patrick Constable fifth in their round one heats. In the repechage Schmid and Constable both finished fourth and didn't advance to the second round.
Gold went to Joachim Eilers (Germany) ahead of Maximilian Levy (Team, Erdgas.2010) and Matthew Baranoski (United States).
In the non World Cup events Alex Edmondson finished 13th in the UCI C1 scratch race.