Australian Track Cycling National Championships
On the opening day of the Subaru Track Cycling National Championships, three national titles were awarded including gold to Anna Meares, Stephanie Morton and Rikki Belder (SA) in the women's team sprint. In the men's 1km time trial, two-time Commonwealth Games champion Scott Sunderland managed to clinch victory in his pet event just one week after being hit by a car while training. In the junior men's individual pursuit, Rohan Wight (SA) posted the fastest time on Australian soil to win his second national title for 2015.
The evening session will see six finals decided from 630pm including the men's individual pursuit, women's 500 metre time trial and men's team sprint.
Elite men’s 1km time trial
One week after being hit by a car, dual reigning Commonwealth Games champion Scott Sunderland claimed gold at the Subaru Track National Championships.
The 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion and the Australian record holder in the one kilometre time trial, Scott Sunderland (WA/Budget Forklifts) clocked a time of 1:02.359 to clinch his maiden kilo national title.
“To finally get a national title is a great feeling after setting the Australian record [in Mexico] and after winning two Commonwealth Games,” said Sunderland, who was hit by a car last Wednesday while training, but despite potential cracked ribs and severe swelling on his leg travelled to Melbourne for the Championships.
“I’ve had a big cork to my right thigh and it was swollen like a water balloon. Up through my ribs I’ve got a lot of bruising and a potential crack,” said Sunderland who made the decision to ride the event earlier on Wednesday.
“Once I was on the starting gate I was in the zone and it was game on. The initial pain was there but once you’re in the final, it’s going to hurt regardless,” said Sunderland who becomes the seventh winner of the event in seven years.
Wollongong’s Scott Law (Avanti/NSW) claimed silver, a narrow 0.25 of a second off the pace of Sunderland, stopping the clock in 1:02.609.
Nicholas Yallouris (NSW / 1:03.294) rounded out the podium.
Women’s Team Sprint
In a rarity for the women’s team sprint, three gold medals were awarded to South Australia with Anna Meares, Rikki Belder and Stephanie Morton joining force to claim victory in ‘pairs’ the event.
Photo credit - Cycling Australia
Triple reigning champion, Belder rode both qualifying and the final, pairing up with Meares to qualify fastest before Morton subbed in for Meares. The pair then clinched gold in an Australian Championship record time of 32.820secs.
“I love riding first wheel with these girls. I have made some good gains this season, I’m in a much faster place than last year,” said Belder who now holds four team sprint national titles to her name.
“It’s nice to get the title back, I haven’t ridden it for a while now,” said Meares who won the title with Belder in 2012.
“I think it is also a great example of how strong the depth is in team sprinting at the moment here that we can sub in and sub out and ride a national record,” said Meares.
Sprint junior world champion Courtney Field and Caitlin Ward (VIC) claimed silver while Western Australia’s Rebecca Stevenson (WA) and Tahlay Christie (WA) claimed bronze.
Under 19 men’s 1km time trial
In the under 19 men’s one kilometre time trial, South Australia’s Rohan Wight claimed gold in a blistering time of 1:03.529, recording the fastest time in history on Australian soil for an under 19 rider.
A little more than an hour after setting the fastest individual pursuit qualifying time, Wight pulled out a solid final lap against eventual bronze medallist Thomas McFarlane (1:05.293 / VIC) to clinch victory.
Cameron Scott (NSW) bagged silver in the event, stopping the clock in 1:03.995, just 46 hundredths of a second off the pace of Wight.
“To come out like that after qualifying in the individual pursuit, I wasn’t sure how I was going to go, but to do that I’m pretty happy,” said Wight who turns 18 on Friday.
“To get a win at the omnium national titles and then to come here and still have good form is pretty huge for me,” said Wight who won the junior men’s omnium national title in December.
Elite men Individual Pursuit
In the elite men’s individual pursuit qualifying, New South Wales’ Tirian McManus will ride for gold after clocking the fastest time in the 4000 metre event.
In the second heat Tirian McManus (NSW) set a time of 4mins 23.405seconds. McManus’s time stood the test of time with fourth place finisher at the 2012 Road World Championships Alex Morgan second 4mins 24.541secs.
For bronze Jackson Law (NSW) will ride against Junior World Championship bronze medallist and Oceania Champion Daniel Fitter (QLD).
Under 19 Individual Pursuit
In the under 19 Individual Pursuit qualifying, Rohan Wight (SA) was fastest against the clock to book a place in the final against Tasmania’s James Robinson.
Alex Rendell (WA) and Kelland O’Brien (VIC) will battle for bronze.