Madison gold caps Track World Cup campaign
1 March 2017
TRACK CYCLING: The Australian Track Cycling Team has wrapped the 2016-17 UCI Track World Cup with one gold and one silver medal at the final round held in Los Angeles.
The Australian team faced a challenging start to their week, with the team’s equipment including training and competition bikes failing to arrive from Colombia, where they contested the previous World Cup round.
Using bikes generously lent from Team Canada, USA and New Zealand while also spending numerous session at an indoor cycling facility, the team managed to keep training throughout the week.
However, with their equipment not arriving until the second day of competition, the compromised preparation forced the team to make the unfortunate decision to pull out of the women's team pursuit event. A tough decision considering the team had won gold in Cali just days earlier.
However despite the issues, Amy Cure and Alex Manly ended the team’s campaign on a high with gold in the women's Madison, while Ashlee Ankudinoff claimed some consolation for not lining up in the team event with silver in in the women’s individual pursuit.
The two medals in Los Angeles took Australia’s final 2016-17 World Cup tally to eight medals including five gold, two silver and one bronze.
Australia's cyclists now turn their attention to the 2017 Cycling Australia Track National Championships will be held Brisbane's Anna Meares Velodrome from March 2-5.
Australian Champion Alex Manly (SA) and Oceania Champion Amy Cure (TAS) combined to win gold in an exciting women's Madison that went down to the wire, with the medals only decided on the final sprint.
The experienced Australian pair, who have both stood on the Madison podium at the National Championships, steadily picked up points across the sprints, building their tally to consistently sit in the medal positions throughout the race.
Heading towards the final sprint Cure and Manly were in the silver medal position with the top five teams separated by just seven points, and double points on offer meant the medals were still all up for grabs.
"Yes! It was a very close race," Cure said. "We managed to fight it out in the sprints each time and get some points. But it really came down to the last sprint."
New Zealand lead the race home collecting 10 points, but Cure crossed the line second for six points to snatch gold on 20 points, one point ahead of New Zealand. Italy on 18 rounded out the podium.
Cure now turns her attention to this week at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
"For sure it is great racing moving forward," Cure explained of using the Cali and Los Angeles World Cups as preparation for this week’s Track Nationals.
"It has not been the best preparation only just receiving our bikes yesterday," Cure explained of an interrupted week for the Australia team who missed the team pursuit competition.
"But we have had great help from Canada, New Zealand and USA for lending our team some bikes the last few days as well as Zwift cycling for inviting us into their headquarters for some good training before racing.”
The women's Madison was introduced at the world level for the first time this season, with Cure excited about the growth of the event and being able to race it internationally.
"We have a lot to learn out of that race and it was great experience for us moving forward,” she explained.
"It's awesome that the Madison is going in the right direction. We are very lucky in Australia that we have had it as a national championship for three or so years now. But it's always different when you race with someone new.”
Women's Individual Pursuit
Australian and Oceania champion Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) pursuited her way to silver in three minutes 35.921 seconds, in what was her first individual pursuit at world level in five years.
In the final Chloe Dygert (United States) took the early lead through the opening kilometre, with Ankudinoff trying to fight back in the closing stages it was Dygert who proved too strong to hold off Ankudinoff.
Earlier in the day Ankudinoff qualified second fastest in 3mins 32.894secs to set up her ride for the gold medal.
"It was great to be given the opportunity to ride the IP as my team mate Beck Wiasak is the current World Champion in the IP," said Ankudinoff, the 2012 world championship bronze medallist, the last time she raced a stand alone individual pursuit at world level.
"I was pleased with my qualifying ride given our bikes didn't arrive until Saturday morning. I would’ve liked to have ridden faster in the final but I now know where I am at and can improve between now and Worlds."
Bronze went to Jaime Nielsen of New Zealand.
Women's Scratch Race
Georgia Baker (TAS) completed a successful day for Australia as she sprinted to seventh in the women's scratch race. In a race full of attacking moves Jasmin Duehring (Canada) and Tetyana Klimchenko (Ukraine) managed to take a late lap avoiding a sprint for the win. Klimchenko took gold ahead of Duehring with Elinor Barker (Great Britain) completing the podium.
Men's Omnium and Scratch Race
2015 junior world champion Kelland O'Brien (VIC) raced to ninth in the omnium in an impressive display by the 18-year-old. O'Brien made a strong start finishing second in the opening scratch race. 12th in the tempo and 14th in the elimination race saw O'Brien start the final points race on 70 points. A bold move by O'Brien netted him a lap alongside Campbell Stewart (New Zealand) and a win in the fourth sprint saw him finish on 95 points.
Szymon Sajnok (Poland) won gold on 121 points ahead of Stewart on 115 and Sanghoon Park (KOR-115).
O'Brien also finished 18th in the scratch race, which was won by Yauheni Karaliok (Belarus) ahead of Thomas Denis (France) and Thomas Sexton (New Zealand).
Men's Sprint and Keirin
South Australian Thomas Clarke finished 21st in the sprint in his fourth World Cup of the season. After qualifying in 10.242 seconds, Clarke lost his 1/16 final to Shane Perkins (Dream Seeker). Gold went to Denis Dmitriev (Gazprom-Rusvelo) who defeated Max Niederlag (Germany) in the final. Sam Webster (new Zealand) rounded out the podium.
In the keirin Clarke narrowly missed advancing directly to the second round, finishing third in his round one heat with the top three advancing. In the repechage it was another close call with Clarke crossing the line second again missing out on a spot in the second round.
Fabian Puerta (Colombia) collected gold ahead of Hugo Barrette (Canada) and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (ISN Track Team).